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Meet the sibling team taking centre stage in the collision repair game in Canada’s theatre capital!



YEAR CAREER Why this GM has never worked anywhere else!

PLUS: Understanding ADAS / ICBC’s self-appraisal / Inside an international repair competition







Meet the sibling team taking centre stage in the collision repair game in Canada’s theatre capital!



See how Kate and Andrew Tapley transformed Fix Auto Stratford after taking over the family business in 2015!

Fostering a fun, family feel around the workplace is of chief importance to Kate and Andrew Tapley, owners of Fix Auto Stratford.

YEAR CAREER Why this GM has never worked anywhere else!

PLUS: Understanding ADAS / ICBC’s self-appraisal / Inside an international repair competition

Collision Repair_19#1n.indb 1


Photos by: Eddie Chan Insta: eddiemarkhampyro

2020-02-21 1:43 PM



Familiar faces in unfamiliar titles! REGIONAL NEWS | 68

Industry news from coast to coast! TOWING NEWS | 80

Updates in the hauling and recovery sector!

Walt Sabadin has seen it all in his 45-yearlong career—and knows what to expect.



Cycling through auto recycling!


ICBC’s latest money-saving suggestions. DOMINATING THE DECADE | 51

Why Boyd was named TSX’s best ROI of the 2010s! SGI’S SHAKEUP | 66

Comply to SGI’s incoming changes—or face labour rate cuts next year.

Brandon Friesen of True North Track Truck tackles tricky terrains daily!



A sneak peek inside LKQ’s Niagara facility! FROM COFFEE TO CAR PARTS | 88

How this Ontario company uses coffee waste to craft car parts! CCIF has a new Steering Committee lineup—and it’s a real dream team!






Budds’ annual event! AUTOMECHANIKA | 52

Highlights from the Shanghai show!


Canadian camraderie!


Check out some nuggets of wisdom from John Stuef and Amy Bradshaw’s From Doing to Leading—and enter to win a copy!

Take a closer look at the one-of-a-kind Stan Lee spraygun auctioned off by SATA!


Resetting insurer-repairer relationships. by Darryl Simmons



What makes your employees want to stick around. by Steve Knox


The one-of-a-kind classic that wound up on the Barrett Jackson stage by Rick Francoeur The Office for Women’s Apprenticeship is taking its efforts national this year!


The path to fair and effective industry regulation. by Andrew Shepherd



Fostering connection in the workplace. by Chelsea Stebner


Frankly, my reader, do you give a damn? by Jay Perry A closer look into towing turmoil in Ontario.


Windshield replacement in the ADAS era. by Howard Berg

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

YOUR ONLINE SOURCE Canada’s collision repair information resource. New articles and top news stories daily. Visit collisionrepairmag.com. 6   COLLISION REPAIR COLLISIONREPAIRMAG.COM


How this estimator shoulders insurer disruption. by ‘Forty,’ the Progressive Estimator


Chins up—auto employement is on the rise! by Allison Rogers


NOT-SO-STRANGE BEDFELLOWS Insurers and repairers are two sides of the same coin BY DARRYL SIMMONS

PUBLISHER DARRYL SIMMONS publisher@collisionrepairmag.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER OREST TKACZUK orest@mediamatters.ca EDITORIAL DIRECTOR GIDEON SCANLON (905) 370-0101 gideon@mediamatters.ca ASSOCIATE EDITOR ALLISON ROGERS allison@mediamatters.ca


he recent CCIF served as an excellent reminder of how far the collision repair industry has progressed in the past 20 years. That’s not just an arbitrary number, it’s basically how long we’ve been publishing Collision Repair and just a little bit shy of when I owned a small bodyshop. It is wonderful to see repairers and insurers in the same room, realizing they are on the same side of the equation in the eyes of the driving public, sharing identical challenges today and into the future. OEM certification is definitely going to play a bigger role in the repair process and that

will be friction between those who pay and those who get paid. Back in the day, however, for those old enough to remember, insurance pay was king. Consumers? If you think your current appraiser is tough, imagine an older couple coming in with a magnifying glass checking out to see if your paint line blended on their 1982 Volare and then refusing to pay extra for anything not on the original estimate. Supplemental to a consumer pay in those days? Yeah, sure. Forget about it. So, before you start throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, imagine just for a

Like it or not, repairers and insurers are forever linked at the hip, sharing the same customer, with the same demands. Working together will always get you further than constantly butting heads. will inevitably increase costs. Sooner, rather than later, these costs will be passed on to the consumer. And they will not be happy. One of the ways the insurers will try to mitigate these increases is by radically changing the playing field by adding even more waivers and variations to policies to confuse the heck out of customers with the simple phrase, “Do you want to save money on your policy?” This could include everything from parts usage, and rental agreement to right-off terms. But it will be a hard-sell to avoid following OEM procedures. As always, there’s a fair bit of griping about the insurance companies. Here’s an inside secret just between you and me…there always


moment that insurers decide to stop insuring cars and consumers must pay for their own repairs. It’s not a pretty picture. Like it or not, repairers and insurers are forever linked at the hip, sharing the same customer, with the same demands. Now please keep in mind, we are always on the side of the collision repairer—always have been, and always will be. But I just want to put out a simple reminder to both sides that working together will always get you further than constantly butting heads.


SUBSCRIPTION One-year $39.95 / Two-year $64.99 Collision Repair™ magazine is published bimonthly, 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 and statements appearing in this publication have been compiled and included with the permission, though not necessarily the endorsement, of the editor, or of independent columnist contributors, and are in no way to be construed as those of the publisher, or as endorsements of them. 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: 317 Reid St., Peterborough, ON K9J 3R2

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


PEOPLE ON THE MOVE SWAMY KOTAGIRI — MAGNA INTERNATIONAL Swamy Kotagiri was recently named president of Magna International. After serving as the company’s chief technical officer for six years, Kotagiri will now be responsible for helping drive overall strategy including, strengthening the alignment between the company’s customer strategy and new mobility activities. He will continue to oversee Magna’s Power and Vision segment and related investments.

ANNA GIAGKOU — COX AUTOMOTIVE CANADA On November 27, Cox Automotive Canada announced that Anna Giagkou would join the organization in the role of chief financial officer. An experienced finance executive with a track record in developing strategies, Anna joined Cox Automotive Canada from Numeris, where she last held the position of vice president of finance. In her new role, Anna is responsible for managing and reporting Cox Automotive Canada’s finances.

FRANK VOSS — TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING Frank Voss was appointed president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada following the retirement of Fred Volf, who had served as president since 2015. Most recently, Voss was vice president of administration and corporate security at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Kentucky, U.S. He will be responsible for all production and administrative functions at the Cambridge and Woodstock, Ontario, plants.

BILL LUCCHINI — DEALER FX The customer experience management company Dealer FX announced that Gary Kalk, the company’s CEO and founder, will be moving to the new role of executive chair of the board of directors, with COO Bill Lucchini assuming the position of CEO. Lucchini joined the Dealer FX team six months ago and said he is “excited and honoured” to be part of the company.

CHANCEY HAGERTY — PPG PPG recently announced the retirement of Gary Danowski, vice president of global automotive refinish. Effective March 1, Chancey Hagerty, PPG’s current vice president of industrial coatings, will assume the role of vice president of global automotive refinish. Hagerty has held a variety of roles in his 24-year career at PPG and will continue to serve its operating committee in his new role.



Andrew and Kate Tapley have been immersed in collision repair their whole lives—their father, Al Tapley, owned and operated two facilities until his death in 2015.



FAMILY TIES Sibling rivalry? Kate and Andrew Tapley have never heard of it BY ALLISON ROGERS


hen it comes to owning and operating Fix Auto’s Stratford facility, sibling duo Kate and Andrew Tapley strive to meet several endeavours: first, to provide quality collision repairs; second, to continue the Tapley family legacy; third, fostering fun. Kate and Andrew have been immersed in the collision repair world since birth—their father, Al Tapley, was active in the industry, owning and operating two facilities until his death in 2015. Kate and Andrew stepped up to the plate to continue the family legacy. “We knew it was the right thing to do,” Kate told Collision Repair. “He had been sick for a few years leading up to his death and, more than anything, we wanted to continue the family legacy.” Al had owned and operated St. Mary’s, Ontario’s Stonetown Tires and Collision as well as Nick and Dan’s Collision in Stratford. In 2016, Kate and Andrew made the decision to follow their father’s wishes and consolidate the two locations. “The consolidation of the two stores was part of our father’s succession plan,” said Andrew. “Plus, we had run out of space at the other location! This one offered much more space.” In 2018, the duo met Steve Leal—and sealed the deal. The shop became Fix Auto Stratford. “You hear Steve’s story—that he was a shop owner and operator, too, and now he’s the president of Fix Network World—you can relate,” Kate and Andrew agreed. “There was a clear fit between us and the banner.

We knew it was the right choice—it can’t be explained.” The 1,858 square-metre facility is CIAAP certified, and the team is actively working to obtain its I-CAR Gold Class certification for the facility. Kate and Andrew also said, in their three years as owners and operators,

“We’ve taken a family approach to the business and strongly believe in our shop and making it a great place to be. There’s a ton of laughter echoing around the shop. Every single day employees tell us that they absolutely love coming in to work.” —Kate Tapley



Fostering a fun and efficient workplace is very important for Kate, Andrew and their team.

they have driven their sales up considerably. “Undertaking the project of running a successful business is an accomplishment in itself,” said Kate. “We’re very proud of the team and our organization and what we’ve been able to do here every day.” Kate and Andrew always put their business and its operations first, but to them, an essential part of operating their business successfully is fostering shop culture and ensuring their 18-person team feels like a family. “We’ve always been very family-oriented, obviously—I mean, as brother and sister,” said Kate. “We’ve taken a family approach to the business and strongly believe in our shop and making it a great place to be. There’s a ton of laughter echoing around the shop. Every single day employees tell us that they absolutely love coming in to work.” The family-oriented feel Kate and Andrew strive for does not end with their employees—Fix Auto Stratford is active in the local community, especially where children’s sports are concerned. “We’re firm believers in supporting kids’ sports,” said Kate. “Andrew and I grew up in this area and it’s important to us to give


The 1,858 sq. m. facility features a massive garage bay and a well-lit welcome atrium.


back. We sponsor and support soccer teams in Stratford and baseball teams in St. Mary’s.” “We also support local organizations like the Rotary Kinsmen with donations,” said Andrew. “And our own Ladies’ Night charitable event, where we teach basic automotive skills,” added Kate. “We always donate the funds raised to a local cause. Plus, hosting charity events allows us to show off the shop and help our business.” When asked what advice they would give those hoping to be shop owners and operators one day, Kate and Andrew had a laugh. “We’re looking at each other and giggling right now,” said Kate. “There’s a ton of stuff

we’d like to say. We’ve been immersed in this business our entire lives!” “I would simply tell them to work hard each and every day,” said Andrew. “You’ve got to grind away at it.” “And that running a business is about your people,” said Kate. “We are firm believers in shop culture, and we will always work hard to foster that positive environment. “One more thing,” added Kate. “Worry about your own grass, not everybody else’s—I read that in an issue of Collision Repair! You should be concerned with what you’re doing for your business rather than getting caught up in what your competitors are doing.”

Fix Auto Stratford is active in the local community and even hosts Ladies Nights at the shop, where the staff deliver general safe driving tips as well as some practice safety tips geared toward women. For $20 a ticket, participants are split into small groups for hands-on learning from Fix Auto’s skilled technicians. Attendees learn to: •C  heck oil and perform a general review of what fluids go where •B  oost a battery, with

Kate and Andrew are local to the Stratford community—the shop supports the same sports teams they played on as kids!

both a battery pack and jumper cables • Check tire pressure • Jack up a vehicle • Change a tire “It’s great to be able to give women the opportunity to learn some new vehicle maintenance skills in a no-pressure, fun learning environment,” said Kate. “Our goal with this event is to teach some important vehicle maintenance skills in a relaxed, social environment. Not everyone has someone they can ask, so we’re happy to host our Ladies’ Nights and give everyone a chance to learn.”

Fix Auto Stratford even has its own furry mascots.





A new North American trade deal has been approved by both the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate—and it aims to ensure the automotive industry stays local. One of the biggets changes marked by the deal, now known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), requires an increase in North American content in cars built in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. While the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) required 62.5 percent of car content to be North American, USMCA requires 75 percent of automotive steel and aluminum to originate from a North American source. USMCA also dictates that 40 percent to 45 percent of vehicle content must originate from high-wage areas paying more than $16 an hour—namely in the U.S. and Canada, meaning some vehicles assembled in Mexico with Mexican components may not qualify for tariff-free access. The U.S. Congressional Budget Office says automakers could pay $3 billion more in tariffs over the next decade for cars that fail to meet the content rules.

Automotive industry employment is up one percent in Canada, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. DesRosiers analysts say an average of 691,400 Canadians were employed by the industry in the first nine months of 2019, up from 684,700 during the same period in 2018. Motor vehicle manufacturing employment was up 1.2 percent, and employment at automotive dealers grew two percent with 161,400 total employees. Motor vehicle wholesale employment was up 5.2 percent, followed by auto parts and accessories store employment at 4.5 percent.

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump signed USMCA in Washington.

CRITICAL CANADIANS Canadians report the highest number of problems with vehicles among comparable global markets, according to a recent report from J.D. Power. A recent analyst note from the company revealed that Canadians report 144 problems per 100 vehicles. The study, which looked at problems in vehicles ranging from one to three years old, also found that the number of problematic young vehicles in Canada is higher than rates in several comparable global markets, such as the U.K., Germany and the U.S. Further, this is the “second consecutive year that Canada has led the way in this distinction,” says J.D. Power.

REFINISHING REVOLUTION According to Mitchell International’s MPower, automotive paint and refinishing manufacturers could face the next wave of industry disruption in 2020, including increases in labour hours, parts replacements and material costs. According to the report, the average number of refinishing labour hours has increased by 1.75 percent in recent years, from 9.26 hours in 2017 to 9.43 hours in 2019. Mitchell says refinishing operations are tied to ‘repair vs. replace’ decisions made on estimates and, as more parts are being replaced, more refinish hours will be required. Consequently, the costs of paint and related materials have increased by 4.79 percent. In 2017, the average cost of paint and materials per job stood at $310.05; in 2019, the price per paint job was $324.91. In addition to the increases in replaced parts and paint costs, Mitchell says a wider array of manufacturers are offering vehicles with three-stage coatings. Since 2015, the percentage of repairable vehicles with threestage coatings operations written on the appraisal has nearly doubled, from 3.55 percent in 2015 to 6.5 percent in 2019. Three-stage coatings may not be the limit, either—other OEMs are exploring finishing protecting methods. Acura’s Andaro process goes beyond three steps to add a tinted clearcoat, and Land Rover offers full plastic wrap coating.

Refinishing manufacturers could be facing the next wave of industry disruption, says Mitchell International.


STRIKE SIDE EFFECTS Canada’s overall economy shrank 0.1 percent in October, marking the first time the economy had seen a decrease since February 2019. Many blame the decrease on the U.S. auto strike between General Motors and its United Auto Workers, which spanned from mid-September to mid-October last year. Statistics Canada recently reported that Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.7 percent to $57.1 billion in October as sales of transportation equipment declined. In September 2019, Statistics Canada had reported a 0.2 percent drop to $57.4 billion in sales for the manufacturing sector and had expected no change for October prior to the strike. The transportation equipment sector fell 3.1 percent in October as motor vehicle assembly and parts sales dropped due to the interruption.




Vaughan, Ontario auto parts supplier Martinrea International has signed a deal with a Mexican structural components business. Under the agreement, Martinrea will acquire six global plants from Metalsa S.A. de C.V., as well as 2,000 of the company’s employees. Martinrea will acquire a large facility in Bergneustadt, Germany; a plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico; a facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; two plants in China and another in South Africa. The deal also sees Martinrea acquire business with several automakers, including Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen.

The Romans Group recently released its annual Profile of the Evolving U.S. and Canadian Collision Repair Marketplace, covering the state of the North American collision repair sector in 2018. Broadly optimistic According to the analysts at the Romans Group, the U.S. collision about the industry’s growth repair sector is outperforming its Canadian counterpart—but there is room for growth up north. potential, the report was clear that analysts recognized the auto physical damage industry is at a “complex intersection” as it transitions toward technology. According to the abstract, Canada’s collision sector is under performing compared to the American sector. It reads, “the U.S. collision repair market size on a U.S. dollar basis remains 15 times the size of the Canadian market, and there are almost seven times more repair facilities for the total addressable market in the U.S.”

BIG WINS AT BASF Four Canadian BASF shops were honoured by BMW Canada during its Certified Collision Repair Centres conference in December. Shops recognized for their industry efforts included GTA-based Excellence Auto Collision, which received the 2019 Mitchell CSI Award for the best utilization of the CSI system. B&D Autobody and Glass won the 2019 Ultimate Performer Award for the best utilization of a KPI system. Doug’s Place Strathcona won ‘best in the Western region’ and Performance Collision and Restyling took home ‘best in the Central region.’ Both Doug’s Place and Performance Collision were awarded the 2019 CCRC Best Audit results.

Four Canadian BASF shops were honoured during BMW’s Certified Collison Repair Centres Conference in December.

MAGNA’S MAGNANIMITY Magna International recently extended its plant closures at its Chinese facilities to help contain the Coronavirus outbreak, which, at the time of publication, has killed more than 350 people. Nearly 20,000 workers manufacture auto parts in the Canadian company’s 68 Chinese plants. Investors have been cagey about stocks reliant on businesses with significant Chinese workforces since international attention became focussed on the outbreak in late January. Magna International has seen its stock value drop from $71.7 on January 20, to $67.08 on January 31. The company is also donating about $650,000 to help combat the outbreak.

BANNER YEAR FOR BANNER The end of 2019 saw CARSTAR cap off a banner year and close out its 30th-anniversary celebrations. According to the company, CARSTAR owners experienced an average of 20 percent sales growth across North America last year, translating to more than $1 billion in sales. The CARSTAR family also continued to thrive in other aspects, including growth, as the network added more than 100 new facilities to its network in 2019 alone. CARSTAR marked its 30th anniversary by pursuing monthly endeavours to thank its customers for their continued support. This included surprising 30 customers by paying for their repairs; celebrating female franchise partners during Women’s History Month; rewarding 30 hardworking CARSTAR techs and the opening of its 700th store, to name a few. CARSTAR celebrated 2019 with some stellar achievements.

FIVE THOUSAND FOR FOOD Over the holidays, AIA Canada’s Ontario division gathered to present the Children’s Breakfast Club of Toronto with a cheque for $5,000. Representatives from AIA Canada attended the club’s ‘Eggsquisite Olympics’ fundraiser on Dec. 17, where they presented the non-profit group with the cheque. The Children’s Breakfast Club is a charitable organization that provides nutritious and well-balanced breakfast meals prepared in accordance with Canada’s designated food guide.

AIA Canada’s Ontario division was active this holiday season.



END TO ASSEMBLY A site of automotive creation saw its demise when the General Motors Oshawa assembly plant ran the last vehicle down its line in December. The plan to close the Oshawa, Ont. location, along with four other U.S. plants, was decided in November 2018. At 2 p.m. on December 18, the last truck—a GMC Sierra—was rolled down the line by the final 2,600 workers. The pickup was auctioned off among employees, with Michel Roy, who spent nine years working on-site for parts supplier Ceva Logistics taking the win. The plant will become an autonomous testing track, and construction began in the fall of 2019.

DOUBLE DUTY Hyundai Auto Canada and Kia Canada have issued a recall—or, in the automakers’ words, a “product improvement campaign”—affecting more than 300,000 vehicles in Canada. The recall affects the automakers’ natural aspirated 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, as well as the turbocharged 2.0 four-litre cylinder engine. Both Hyundai and Kia will perform and engine control module update on the affected vehicles to assure the ability to detect potential problems prior to engine failure. Hyundai is recalling 275,533 cars and SUVs, while Kia is taking back 26,082 vehicles.

SAVE THE SUPRAS Toyota recently unveiled a list of parts that will go back into production this year, which includes reproduced OEM parts for the Toyota Supra models. The project, titled GR Heritage Parts, will ‘reprint’ discontinued parts for Toyota Supras, including door handles, fuel sender gauges, weather strips, front emblems and propeller shafts for the third-generation A70, and headlamps, door handles and brake boosters for the fourth-generation A80. Components can be ordered via the ‘heritage’ tab on Toyota’s Gazoo Racing website.

MILLIONS MADE Honda first arrived up north nearly 51 years ago, and the company just marked a significant manufacturing milestone—in the 34 years since the automaker built its first Canadian plant in Alliston, Ontario, Honda has built nine million cars within Canadian borders. An Accord sedan was the first model to make its way off the Alliston assembly Honda Canada recently celebrated a manufacturing milestone line in 1986, but the plant has —in the 34 years since the automaker built its first Canadian plant, Honda has built nine million cars within Canadian borders. produced nearly a dozen vehicle varieties since then, from Civics, to Odysseys, to Pilots. The automaker opened a second plant in nearby New Tecumseth in 1998, as well as an engine plant in 2008.

PLANT PAUSED The Fiat Chrysler Automobile assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario idled its minivan production from January 13 through the 20 to “align with demand.” The automaker would not elaborate on the temporary layoff. Originally, FCA said it would only idle the plant the week of January 20, but added the week of January 13 in a later release. Approximately 6,500 employees build the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan at the Windsor plant. Canadian Pacifica sales were down 38 percent last year to 3,731 units, while Grand Caravan sales in Canada were down 15 percent to 27,362 units last year. The two-week shutdown comes as the automaker prepares to end the plant’s midnight shift at the end of March. The company had originally announced its intention to cut the shift in the summer of 2018, but the move has been postponed several times. In November, FCA confirmed the shift will be cancelled at the end of 2020’s first quarter.



Ford is the top-selling automotive manufacturer in Canada, despite a three percent dip in overall sales in 2019. It is the 11th year the automaker has topped charts, likely due to its F150 being the top-selling pickup in Canada—for the 54th consecutive year, that is. Ford’s overall truck sales saw less than a one percent drop in 2019, while its car sales dropped more than 31 percent. Last year saw the timely demise of many Ford models—every car model manufactured by the automaker was discontinued in 2019, save for the iconic Mustang.

Tesla owners were gifted with a software update on Dec. 24, including features like improved Tesla Neural Net for identifying traffic lights and signs; convenience additions like more voice commands and hands-free launching of applications; and the ability to automatically save a dashcam video with a simple honk of the horn. The feature appears to have been inspired from a fan’s tweet in November.

To no one’s surprice, the Ford F150 was Canada’s best-selling pickup in 2019.


Tesla drivers can now tap the horn to save their dashcam footage.

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SNOW PROBLEM A self-driving snowplow has been maintaining sidewalks in Grand Prairie, Alberta this winter, making the city the first in Canada to send the new device into action. Dubbed the ‘snow bot,’ the RT-1000 snowplow was put to work in mid-December, clearing a seven-kilometre walking trail in the city’s Bear Creek Reservoir. The snow bot uses GPS, radar and 360-degree cameras to follow a pre-programmed path and avoid potential obstacles. Manufactured by Left Hand Robotics, the snow bot can allegedly clear up to 25 kilometres on a single tank of fuel. It does have limits, though—any snow deeper than eight centimetres requires human intervention.

ELEC-TREK Two B.C. buddies are using Canada’s Tesla Supercharger Network to trek across the country, reportedly making them the first to do so using Tesla’s network. Kevin Belanger and Don Goodeve kicked off their journey in Victoria, B.C. in a 2018 Tesla Model 3. Belanger said the budding network of Supercharger stations—which he says can fully charge his Tesla in 15 to 20 minutes—has closed a gap between Calgary, Alberta and Sudbury, Ontario. He estimates the trip cost him about $180.


Kevin Belanger and Don Goodeve were reportedly the first to complete a cross-Canada trip using Tesla’s network of Superchargers.


An AAA Foundation for Traffic It was recently announced that Canada is working Safety study says drivers have a on developing the first all-Canadian zero-emissions tendency of becoming too reliant concept car. The concept—titled ‘Project Arrow’ in a nod to the Avro Arrow, a supersonic jet designed and on advanced vehicle technology after becoming accustomed to it, leading built in Canada in the 1950s—will be unconstrained by them to engage in distracted driving a price limit and intends to showcase the “very best” in behaviours. AAA partnered with the Canadian engineering, materials and design, said Flavio Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers to study distracted driving among Association. “A project like this unleashes the creativity two groups of drivers—those who of the Canadian supply base,” said Volpe. “We’re going already owned vehicles equipped to demonstrate the best of the best. We want to show with advanced driver-assist system that the Canadian supply chain is as advanced as any (ADAS) technology and those who in the world. A concept car that demonstrates what the were given ADAS-equipped vehicles Canadian auto sector can do is money well spent,” he said. A fully built vehicle is expected in 2022. to drive for purposes of the study. When simultaneously using adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance, drivers familiar with ADAS showed a 50 percent increase in engaging in some sort of secondary task and an 80 percent increase in performing tasks that divert their hands or eyes away from the task of driving. Drivers with less experience using the technologies were more likely to stay attentive and engaged while the systems Flavio Volpe says the first all-Canadian zero-emissions concept were in operation. car will “unleash the creativity of the Canadian supply base.”


The RT-1000, or ‘snow bot,’ has been making its rounds in Grand Prairie, Alberta.

TESLA TROUBLE The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating the 12th Tesla crash due to its autopilot feature. On December 7, a Tesla Model 3 recently rear-ended a parked police car and another vehicle in Conneticut, U.S. The Tesla owner said he had his vehicle on autopilot while checking on his dog in the backseat, and police cited the feature as the cause of the accident. Police added that regardless of a vehicle’s capabilities, a driver’s attention should never be taken off the road.

AUTOMOBILE ALEXA The Canadian government is now using Amazon’s Alexa to enhance consumer vehicle recall knowledge, meaning Canadians can ask their Alexa devices about current recalls potentially effecting their vehicles. To activate the free service, simply say, “Alexa, open vehicle recalls.” The device will ask a series of questions about the vehicle make and model before providing a personalized list of recalls. The service is slated to run as a six-month pilot and is among the first projects the Government of Canada has used voice assistance for. On average, manufacturers issue 650 safety recalls each year, affecting more than five million vehicles from coast to coast.


PREPARE FOR PREMIUMS A December bulletin from Aviva Canada says Albertan drivers could soon pay more to insure their vehicles—up to 15 percent more in premiums, according to the release. According to Celyeste Power, western vice president for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the province has no choice, considering how claims have been rising in the province. She said the increases are due to a number of factors, including the expense of high-tech repairs, the rise of distracted driving and Alberta’s changing weather. Power also said insurers have been losing about 12 cents on every dollar spent, resulting in about $2 billion in underwriting losses in recent years. In 2017, Alberta’s then-NDP government imposed a five percent rate cap on auto insurance increases—and the current United Conservative provincial government chose not to renew it. According to Power,“the cap was just a band-aid.”

PINK SLIP POWER On Jan. 20, Wawanesa Insurance announced it has successfully implemented CSIO’s My Proof of Insurance (MPOI), meaning partners in Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia can now send electronic pink slips directly to their customers using the MPOI solution. According to Jocelyne Prefontaine, Wawanesa now offers electronic proof of insurancevice president of digi-and it is popular among consumers, says Jocelyne tal and innovation at Prefontaine, VP of digital and innovation. Wawanesa, more than 100 customers a day have signed up for the new pink slip option since its introduction in October 2019.


Celyeste Power says Alberta has no choice but to increase insurance premiums.

Now that winter is in full swing, CAA is encouraging drivers to get their batteries checked to avoid unexpected battery failures. Batteries older than three years are especially susceptible, but even a fully charged battery can lose power when the temperature dips below zero. CAA also issued a list of battery replacement warning signs: if your vehicle cranks slowly while attempting to start; if you hear a grinding, clicking or buzzing noise when turning your ignition; if your vehicle has stalled or your headlights dim while idling, yet brighten when you rev the engine, it may be time to change your battery.



MAKES SCENTS An Israel startup company says it has discovered how to use scents to alter human behaviour and increase vehicular safety. Moodify’s concept may seem ripped from the plot of a sci-fi film, but at CES 2020, Yigal Sharon, the company’s CEO and co-founder says it’s all backed by scientific fact. So far, Moodify’s range includes four shades: ‘Moodify White’ operates like a volume knob to ‘turn down’ the intensity of undesirable smells; ‘Moodify Blue’ can calm you down; ‘Moodify Green’ is designed to increase alertness and awareness; and ‘Moodify Red’ is designed to keep a driver aware and alert for up to 20 minutes.


An Israel-based startup is using scents to improve vehicular safety.

LEAP OF FAITH Was that a bird? A plane? Superman? Nope, just a Florida man and his Toyota Camry. Around 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 5, the driver of a Toyota Camry began to feel dizzy while cruising along the interstate. Video footage shows the man hitting an embankment at full speed, with the Camry skyrocketing 138 feet (42.4 metres) in the air and clearing 12 cars before crashing into the dealership. About 15 to 20 customers witnessed the heroic leap—but no one was injured, according to facility manager Bruce Azevedo. Four cars were hit by the identified flying object, however, and the damage is expected to be in the thousands. A Florida man put on quite the show for dealership customers when he hit an embankment and lept over 12 cars back in December.

SEWAGE SOLUTION After his engine bay caught fire, a Russian man felt compelled to take matters into his own hands and scanned the scene for a way to douse the flames. Luckily, there was a large truck with a tank and hose nearby. Unluckily, the truck was a septic hauler. The man was driving a BMW X6 when smoke started pouring out from under the hood. Panicked, the video shows the man searching for help, enlisting the driver of the septic truck, who positions his hose and starts spraying. After a matter of seconds, the hood—and the exposed engine bay itself—are smothered in a mess of thick, murky sludge. There were no reported injuries, though the fate of the dung-dusted X6 is unknown. The biggest question—why the man didn’t just let the car burn. Thoughts go out to the Russian repairer dealing with the feces-coated X6.

PROSECUTABLE PROTOTYPES State troopers in Bowling Green, Kentucky arrested two General Motors employees when police caught the men racing prototype 2020 Chevrolet Corvettes at 11:20 p.m. on Jan. 8. Mark Derkatz, 30, of Windsor, Ont. and Alexander Thim, 27, were charged with reckless driving, racing a motor vehicle on a public highway and speeding more than 26 mph (41 km/h) over the speed limit. Thim allegedly hit a top speed of 120 mph (193 km/h), while Derkatz reached 100 mph (160 km/h) in 45 mph (72 km/h) zone, according to the arrest citations. Police also said a breath test detected the odour of alcohol, but the drivers were not cited for driving under the influence. GM has an assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky. The company released a statement saying it is aware of the incident involving its “test vehicles” and is investigating.

A video recently posted to Twitter has drivers all around the world gassed up, as it shows a woman filling several grocery bags with gasoline—even double-bagging them in an attempt to avoid any spillage. In the video, a woman stands with her trunk popped at the pump and begins filling several grocery bags with gasoline. She double—and triple—bags the gas before popping the haul in her trunk and driving off. The incident is reigniting conversations on gas handling safety. While this is likely the most extreme method of mishandling fuel, there are always new and shocking cases hitting the web every day.

PAW-SOME PAINT Land Rover has made its mark as a dog-loving brand, with canine accessories like collapsable ramps and spill-resistant water bowls available for the 2020 Defender. Now, the automaker has used 3D printing technology to print a plastic dog paw, which it will use for durability testing. The paw— which even has lifelike claws—is dragged along a painted car part to test paint durability. Land Rover brought in Yogi, a Labrador and guide dog, to construct the paw, and testers set up sensors on a prototype Defender and measured where Yogi set his paws and the amount of force generated by his landing. They then modelled the artificial paw based on Yogi’s real ones. Good boy.

Yogi, a Labrador and guide dog, lends a helping paw to the Land Rover brand as it dreams up new ways to test paint durability.


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EMPLOYEE RETENTION 101 What makes your employees want to stick around BY STEVE KNOX


mployee retention has been a hot topic of discussion for the collision repair industry. However, it is never anything I personally struggled with at my facilities. I reached out to my Facebook friends when researching data for this article, asking “what makes you stay at the job you are at?” Answers like, “my bills”, “my groceries” and “my online shopping addiction” came through, of course. It was through all of these tongue in cheek replies, however, that I found the answers I was looking for.  One of my friends mentioned he used to

your employees with respect. These folks took the time out of their day to bring to you an issue that is present under your watch. They actually care. Another friend said he enjoys the ability to learn and grow. He works at another facility in Fredericton that has made some recent upgrades and his department is the one most affected by this. He has pride in his skills and is looking to upgrade them as much as possible. He went on to say that his manager and crew are what really keep him loving his job. They keep the drama out of the shop, and it’s a fun environment to work in.

He also said that he would never be able to do his job if he felt micromanaged or not trusted. He feels that management has his back. That’s a pretty huge compliment for any business. Through this unique experiment, I found a clear trend in the answers: give your employees respect and show them trust; always be honest with them; give your employees room to do their job; listen to them and help them grow. The job satisfaction expressed was something that resonated with me as well. My wife bought me lottery tickets for Christmas this year and when she gave them to me, she

What makes you stay at the job you are at?’ I asked. Answers like, ‘my bills,’ ‘my groceries’ and ‘my online shopping addiction’ came through, of course. It was through all of these tongue in cheek replies, however, that I found the answers I was looking for. work for a local utility provider. He was in a management position where many people reported to him. He was trained to understand the difference between a problem and a complaint. He said an employee that brings a problem to you has likely thought about the issue at great length and will be ready to present a viable solution. These people should be taken seriously, as they are willing to help with options for growth and improvement. This is generally a constructive conversation, with a favourable outcome.  The other side of these responsibilities is handling complaints. It is best to let employees air their grievances while actively listening. If you have a solution, offer it. Always treat

One body technician said she enjoys the freedom to do her work; to not feel as though someone was watching her every move. She feels her company trusts her and she is truly valued. Her motivation is her independence and her ability to use her own judgement. Finally, I have a friend who is a bit of a local celebrity. He’s my resource for advice on fine whiskey, political decisions and what hockey team will win this Saturday. When asked, he said mingling with the public keeps him interested in his work. He drives a truck that restocks stores with potato chips and loves what he does. It’s just him, his truck and a bunch of fried potatoes. He enters every store with a smile and knows everyone he meets.

asked, “What would you do if you won?” For the first time in my life, I can say that I no longer have that dream of winning and leaving my job because I think I would work through to retirement. I guess my employers might know a thing or two about employee retention too.

CARSTAR Fredericton and CARSTAR Fredericton North general manger Steve Knox is a former member of the CCIF Steering Committee and an I-CAR instructor. He can be reached at sknox@ carstarfredericton.ca.



The State of Louisiana commissioned a custom the 1935— in Long Huey or Senat for e made vehicl same Cord restored by 360 Fabrication.

THE CORD’S RECORD The one-of-a-kind classic that wound up on 360 Fabrication’s doorstep BY RICK FRANCOEUR


n the world of automotive collecting, there are some vehicles that are legendary, and some that are the stuff of legends. It was clear that the 1937 Cord that arrived in our shop—360 Fabrication in Abbotsford, BC— in the fall of 2013, was a little bit of both. Auto aficionados the world over will agree that when it comes to vehicles that revolutionized and influenced the sector, the 1937 Cord is high on that list. The stylish Cord was the first American built front-wheel-drive car with independent front suspension. Power came from a 289-cu. in. Lycoming V8. The semi-automatic fourspeed transmission (three plus overdrive)

extended in front of the engine, allowing Cord to dispense with the driveshaft and transmission tunnel; as a result, the new car was so low it required no running boards. Amongst its many automotive firsts, the 1937 Cord boasted hidden headlights, making it a sensation at its New York Auto Show debut. The 1937 Cord that arrived for restoration at 360 Fabrication was one of 237 Custom Beverly’s built in that year by the Cord Motor Company of Auburn, Michigan, and the only factory-armoured version Cord ever produced. The car arrived at 360 in a non-drive state,


as a chassis and a lot of boxes. We undertook a meticulous restoration, including preserving its most unique element, the 1937 era armouring and returning it to its factory code gun metal grey colour. But it’s in the armouring that the legend of this particular 1937 Cord takes flight. Some vehicles gain notoriety for their engine innovation, some for their revolutionary design. Others still become famous, or infamous as the case may be, because of their dubious owners. In those cases, the car can become almost as legendary as the owner themselves. The legend of this Cord, currently owned by a


Canadian collector but preparing to cross the block as one of the special feature cars at Barrett Jackson’s big show in Scottsdale, Arizona, begins in the political history of the American deep south. To understand the importance of the story the mystery car has to tell, one first needs to understand the history of the man, and manufacturer, who created it. In the roaring 20s in Auburn, Indiana a man named Errett Lobban Cord was drawing notoriety as part promoter, part visionary. He was a flamboyant salesman and business tycoon drawn to the car-making business because of its moneymaking possibilities. In 1924, when he was just 30 years of age, Cord took over the day-to-day operations of the Auburn Auto brand. Rather than focus on the conservative design of the day, Cord focused on cosmetics, and Auburns were transformed into some of the best-looking cars on the road. They were technical and styling masterpieces. By 1929 Mr. Cord was looking to expand the company to include his own name on the roster, and thus the brand regarded by many auto experts as the coolest and most revolutionary vehicle nobody’s ever heard of—the Cord Automobile Corporation— was born. At the same time Mr. Cord’s star was rising in the automotive world, one of the most outspoken and colorful politicians in US history was also climbing through the ranks of the American politician system,

800 miles to the south in Louisiana. Huey Long, self-nicknamed ‘The Kingfish’, was elected as a U.S. Senator in 1932 after serving five years as Governor of Louisiana. A vocal Democrat and supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Long’s agenda was received with well-publicized outrage by the Ku Klux Klan, who publicly denounced him as having “un-American views on authority.” Legend has it that, by early 1935, the two men’s lives were about to intersect. The oral history of this Cord is that, under growing threats by his enemies towards Long, the State of Louisiana commissioned a custom-made vehicle for Senator Long. The vehicle was a one of a kind Cord, a vehicle that featured an astounding eighteen automotive firsts, the highest ever from any manufacturer. This particular Cord was especially important, as it had been commissioned to be bulletproof. Construction began on the hand-built vehicle, but fate intervened once again when on September 8th, 1935 a single assailant shot Senator Long. He died two days later. Meanwhile, construction on his vehicle continued, and, upon its completion two years later in April 1937, the Cord Automotive Company delivered the vehicle to the State of Louisiana. With no clear mandate for its use, the Cord was turned over to the US Coast Guard, where it was believed to have been used in the State’s Naval Shipyard to ferrying VIPs around the base. It is one of only two 1937 Cords made with

the dual spare tire holders in the front fenders—and the only armored Cord ever made. The Cord is documented to have been purchased in 1939 in New Orleans by a Mr. Enoch Karra, who kept the car until 1952 when he sold it to a Mr. Ed Christie. The illustrious Cord transferred ownership again to a Bruno Kaplan and then Mr. Curtis R. Rogers, a known Canadian politician and auto collector who purchased the vehicle in June of 1972 and brought it home to Amherst, Nova Scotia. The Cord remained in the Rogers collection until his death in June of 1989, when another Canadian auto collector, this time from the country’s west coast, Gary Morgan, purchased the Cord, along with several other high value cars from the Rogers estate. He brought it out west to Chilliwack, British Columbia, where it remained until capturing the heart and imagination of its current owner, who appreciated the quality restoration and the rareness of the Cord’s pedigree. But when Barrett Jackson learned of this rare Cord, the owner was convinced to sell it across the block—which is where it was on January 18 at the Scottsdale main event, selling for US$120,000.

Rick Francoeur is the president and CEO of the 360 Group of Companies.



GOING PUBLIC The path to fair and effective regulation of the collision repair industry By Andrew Shepherd


n my last column, we discussed the worldleading approach of Canada’s public insurance provinces in adopting ‘universal’ collision repair standards covering training, equipment and business operations. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and B.C. are addressing consumer safety and insurance cost control through the regulatory powers of government insurance agencies. In Saskatchewan, this involves a two-tier accreditation scheme with a top tier modelled after the manufacturers’ specifications for operation and repair, and with these, the ‘rights’

are an obvious answer, how are other provinces following suit? It is true that a provincial insurance agency provides an ideal regulatory mechanism to drive changes to the collision repair industry, and there are no signs that other provinces are considering this direction, but there is a wide range of alternatives to government regulation. Quebec’s insurance approach might be called ‘quasi-regulated’—the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA) was created in 1978 to bring risk sharing, claims settlement and rate-setting standards to private insurers

of a national accreditation program - An AIA Canada Position Paper”—available on the AIA website. Alberta has recently created an expert advisory committee to review the province’s automobile insurance system to reduce costs for consumers—they may well consider the same options being reviewed in Ontario. One could confidently predict a trend to further regulation of the repair industry, particularly as we move rapidly toward autonomous vehicles, increased complexity and growing safety concerns. Industry selfregulation, through programs such as CCIAP,

By any standard—no pun intended—these three western provinces are taking an enlightened approach to improving safety and controlling escalating insurance rates. But if training, equipment and operational standards are an obvious answer, how are other provinces following suit?

to repair a far greater number of collision types. Tier 2 will have similar training requirements without the same investment in equipment. The sweetener in the deal is a payment of up to $15,000 per shop to compensate for investments in training and equipment. The tiered system is very similar to that operating in Manitoba since 2018 and that proposed for BC in the coming months. By any standard—no pun intended— these three western provinces are taking an enlightened approach to improving safety and controlling escalating insurance rates. But if training, equipment and operational standards

operating in the Province. Clearly, it would be an easy step to adopt training and equipment standards as well. Ontario, with the largest population of collision repair facilities, has been very active in looking for ways to reduce insurance costs. AIA Canada has been in discussion with Ontario’s Conservative government regarding the adoption of the Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program (CCIAP) as a form of industry self-regulation. These discussions are based on an AIA White Paper entitled“Collision Repair Facility Accreditation: Implications for the industry and the public and the role

provides governments with an effective model which avoids red tape and reduces public costs – and at the same time serves the collision repair industry itself by avoiding the regulatory burden of paperwork, licenses and inspectors.

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 andrew.shepherd@aiacanada.com



CONNECTION INTENTIONS Fostering connection in the workplace BY CHELSEA STEBNER


e often joke about being a big family, yet it’s not a joke, it’s truth. True connection in the workplace is invaluable—it nurtures healthy relationships and drives teamwork. As a leader in your organization, do this little check-in exercise with yourself: when was the last time you walked through the shop and said ‘good morning’ to each member of your team? When was the last time you gave someone on your team a compliment? When was the last time you celebrated a win—even a small one? When was the last time that you sat down with a teammate just to ask them

‘getting along’ with one another. A workplace with strong social connections is simply a happier place to be a part of. When people are happier and connected with each other, the stress level goes down and engagement and loyalty go up. Your leadership in creating these relationships will spur others on to do the same. When we understand one another and know what’s going on in people’s lives, we can act with compassion and understanding in more situations and we can coach and guide people in a better direction. Now, you might be thinking: Chelsea, give

the long game. This next month, put connection with your team as one of your goals. Make it a mandatory part of your day to be more engaged with people and watch the transformation. You will see someone light up when you ask what they did with their kids last weekend, or how their project vehicle is coming along. Even better, when you share with your team the great review from Mrs. Jones’ vehicle repair and celebrate how great you did as a team. When we focus on others a little bit more instead of being so focused on getting our own list of stuff done, we foster a positivity-

Work relationships are incredibly important. They are about more than just ‘getting along’ with one another. A workplace with strong social connections is a happier place to be a part of.

how they are doing? Not a performance review, but simply to ask them, ‘how’s life?’ It’s pretty darned easy to get trapped in all day-to-day, must do tasks, phone calls and email replies; however, in doing so, we miss some of the important moments. Connection with people. Your people. Your stakeholders. The people that help make your world spin round. Work relationships are incredibly important. They are about more than just

me a break. We’re here to earn dollars and get a job done. We’re not here to mollycoddle people and hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” Yep, you’re right. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat. We are most definitely here to earn dollars— that’s the basis of business. I’m willing to bet you want longevity in your business and you’re not just looking for a quick buck. That means you better be willing to dig deep and figure out how to engage your people for

charged environment, which in turn will create a stronger team. And that is worth connecting for. Chelsea Stebner is the co-owner and operator of Parr Auto Body, a repair facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She can be reached at chelsea@ parrautobody.com.



DO YOU CARE? More importantly, do you give a damn? BY JAY PERRY


hen pondering this question or presenting it to a client, I prefer asking, ‘do you give a damn?’ as it conveys a much more powerful—and potentially negative sensation. Many people apply this colloquialism in situations where they are not really bothered by something—brushing something off as meaningless. The reality is that we as leaders must display that we care about everything all the time. One easy area to understand what I am saying is with customers. They are the lifeblood of the business and without them,

someone else’s interests is the need to care about the other person’s bottom line. Yes, if we do not care about other’s benefits or goals, we are going to hurt ourselves. One of my clients took this to heart when I advised that they need to focus on the goals of the other party with whom they did business, in a rather adversarial environment, and had spectacular results. Many things came to light as to why certain requests were made of his people. These reasonings were much more palatable to his staff than the blind demands that were forthcoming because of a change in policy.

Are you familiar with their challenges both from the job they do for you and in their personal life? I am not talking about prying into personal business, but do you know things like their commute time and costs? What do they require for daycare? Do they have hobbies that bring—or hold potential for—indirect benefits to your company? You may not, and I dare say will not be able to solve all problems that your people have. But, by the fact that you listen and can demonstrate empathy and offer support, you will start down the pathway that can help you win in this tough labour market.

I have previously said that the unreasonable requests of today will be the norm of tomorrow—and that seems to be holding true. For our leaders, this means they have to work smarter with external customers to ascertain true needs to be satisfied and help their staff manage these extra pressures based upon the additional demands of the customer.

the business will die. So, you must care about what they think, want or imagine they need even when they are unreasonable. I have previously said that the unreasonable requests of today will be the norm of tomorrow—and that seems to be holding true. For our leaders, this means they have to work smarter with external customers to ascertain true needs to be satisfied and help their staff manage these extra pressures based upon the additional demands of the customer. One of the more difficult things that also needs addressing but is harder to see a connection between our profitability and

It also allowed him to move around in negotiations to the point where he gained concessions that would have been costly to him as well as working out a more democratic approach to information-sharing that allowed for greater cooperation between the companies. A more collegial relationship that more closely resembles a partnership-inlearning was achieved all because he cared, and his behaviours demonstrated that care. This raises another point about the internal customer—employees. Do you care and does your treatment of them communicate that you give a damn?

Staying on top of the things that others care about by showing that you give a damn is how you stay the one who’s driving.

Jay Perry is the 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 is also an education partner with California Coast University in Santa Ana, California. He can be reached at jayperryally@gmail.com.



PANE IN THE ADAS Windshield replacement in the ADAS era

ADAS technology falls into four categories:


1. Adaptive: Systems that change/adapt


DAS stands for advanced driver assistance systems. It refers to any electronic system that assists the driver while driving and is intended to improve vehicle safety. It is estimated that nearly 40 percent of the new vehicles sold in Canada today have some sort of ADAS technology built into them. It is projected that figure could jump to more than 50 percent by 2023. This technology is designed to work together with other systems to automate the vehicle while enhancing its safety.This is done by warning the driver of potential issues and ultimately avoid collisions. Adaptive systems are ones that adapt vehicle settings based on input from the surrounding environment. Automated systems take over certain functions that the driver cannot do safely.

based on input from the surrounding environment

Monitoring systems use sensors, cameras, or other means to observe the surrounding area or driving of the vehicle and assess whether a correction needs to be made. Warning systems alert the driver to potential issues in their own driving or the driving of others that could increase the risk of injury to those in the vehicle. ADAS technology allows the systems in the vehicle to function properly and is built into a vehicle’s windshield. This technology will require more rigorous standards and qualifications for auto glass technicians. Replacing a broken windshield is not as simple as replacing the glass—some ADAS windshields have modules or cameras built into them that need to be calibrated in order to function properly. Many features of ADAS are designed to capture external information through the


2.Automated: Systems that take over and perform certain functions that the driver cannot do safely 3. Monitoring: Systems that use sensors, cameras, or other means to observe the surrounding area or driving of the vehicle and assesses whether a correction needs to be made 4. Warning: Systems that alert the driver to potential issues in their own driving or the driving of others that could increase the risk of injury to those in the vehicle


Ultimately, access to the ADAS requirements and glass specifications is key to making consistent ADAS glass. Different car manufacturers have different approaches to specific ADAS designs for their specific models.

Some examples of specific ADAS systems: • Adaptive cruise control (ACC) • Adaptive high beam • Glare-free high beam • Adaptive light control; swivelling curve lights • Automatic parking • Automotive navigation system providing up-to-date traffic information.

windshields, allowing the vehicle’s computer to quickly analyze and efficiently provide the necessary action. The technology requires the automotive glass to meet or exceed the requirements in order to not reduce, distort or impede the signal, which ultimately may cause the vehicle to react incorrectly. As a result, automotive glass manufacturers must meet the requirements for the ADAS systems. These requirements include choosing the right raw materials, investing in product engineering, and setting up the proper quality inspection standards for production. Every car manufacturer has its own specifications for ADAS calibration. These differences range from manufacturer to manufacturer, and in many instances, the same manufacturer will have differences from model to model. Only trust manufacturers who have the proven experience to produce the original specifications of auto glazing, which enable the ADAS system to be recalibrated. Precise calibration ensures correct pitch, yaw and roll of the camera. Ultimately, access to the ADAS requirements and glass specifications is key to making consistent ADAS glass. Different car manufacturers have different approaches to specific ADAS designs for their specific models. ADAS sensors or cameras are most commonly mounted on the glass. Once a windshield has been replaced, the position of the sensor or camera has ultimately changed— even the slightest shift will cause the need for calibration. Recalibrating the camera or sensor after the replacement of the windshield is therefore necessary—whether or not OEM glass has been installed. In order to re-calibrate the ADAS windshields, special training, equipment and expertise are

required. There are three types of calibrations: static, dynamic and a combination of the two.

• Automotive night vision

Static Calibration

• Crosswind stabilization

This type of calibration is performed in a shop with specialized calibration tools like electronic devices and laser targets specific to each model. Each vehicle manufacturer requires different target boards and specific predetermined standards set by the vehicle manufacturer. Examples of some requirements for static calibration are:

• Driver drowsiness detection

• Clean and level floor with minimum 10 metre depth from rear bumper to the target board • Walls and floors cannot be black or white and cannot be a checkerboard pattern • Walls must be free of posters • Technician’s clothing cannot be black or white, as it may interfere with the calibration process • Proper lighting

• Blindspot monitor • Collision avoidance system

• Driver Monitoring System • Electric vehicle warning sounds used in hybrids and plug-in electric vehicles • Emergency driver assistant • Forward Collision Warning • Intersection assistant • Hill descent control • Intelligent speed adaptation or intelligent speed advice (ISA) • Lane departure warning system • Lane change assistance • Pedestrian protection system • Traffic sign recognition • Turning assistant • Vehicular communication systems • Wrong way driving warning

Dynamic Calibration Dynamic calibration is done with a handheld device connected directly to the vehicle’s computer through the vehicle’s OBD ll port. Once this is done, the vehicle will need to be driven at a designated constant speed over a prescribed distance in proper weather conditions. Additionally, all lines on the road must be clearly visible. This allows the vehicle to be put into ‘learning mode,’ where it may use reliable benchmarks to use as driving aids, allowing the advanced driver assistance systems to become familiar and accustomed to certain road features.

Combination Calibration Some vehicle manufacturers require both

static and dynamic calibrations. These calibration tools help to duplicate the manufacturer’s settings, ensuring your vehicle maintains the safety features it originally came with. So, when should calibrations be performed? • When a windshield has been replaced • W hen the ADAS camera has been disconnected • When the camera is removed partially or develops a fault • After a wheel alignment or changes with the suspension All of the above factors may seriously affect how well your ADAS works if it is not calibrated properly. FEBRUARY 2020 COLLISION REPAIR  35


What are some things that can negatively affect the calibration process, causing it to fail? • Not having a full tank of fuel. • Having cargo in the trunk or the back seat. • Not having a proper wheel alignment. • Not having the windshield installed properly. Items that may potentially affect the dynamic calibration process: • Not having proper weather conditions • Not having proper signage and painted lines on the road. • Not maintaining the speed required to perform the dynamic calibration.

Note Most North American drivers are not aware of the need to recalibrate the ADAS systems to avoid potential safety risks. Nevertheless, when an ADAS windshield is replaced, the cameras must be recalibrated.

Most drivers are unaware of the need to recalibrate ADAS to avoid potential safety risks.

Recalibration is an absolutely critical process that ensures the driver and passengers’ safety. Every car manufacturer has its own specifications for ADAS calibration. These differences range from manufacturer to manufacturer, and in many instances, the same manufacturer will have differences from model to model. Therefore, only trusted manufacturers, who have the proven experience, can produce the original specifications of auto glazing which enables the ADAS system to be recalibrated.


Precise calibration ensures correct pitch, yaw and roll of camera angle. The Fuyao Group is proud to be one of these trusted manufacturers. Howard Berg has been involved in the auto parts industry since 1992, specializing in auto glass since 2012. He is now serving as the regional sales manager—Canada at Fuyao North America Inc. He can be reached at hberg@ fuyaogroup.com.


YOUR GUIDE TO INSPIRING PEOPLE ON THE FRONT LINES Snippets from John M. Stuef and Amy D. Bradshaw’s From Doing to Leading


ack in 2016, when John M. Stuef was working as a regional manager in charge of running six collision repair facilities, he began to realize how little managerial training was available for people looking to run a successful shop and decided to write a book. Stuef met Amy D. Bradshaw, Ph.D., a professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, and recognized they shared a keen

interest in human nature and helping people tap into their inner purpose. In the book, the authors discuss the pitfalls of ‘traditional’ leadership techniques and outline the importance of understanding human behaviour and the science behind how the brain works. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities to learn and grow as a leader,” said Stuef. “I saw a need for

leadership advice that catered to frontline workers, specifically in the bodyshop business. I’m the first to admit that I’ve made mistakes and wanted to share what I’ve learned to save others from making the same mistakes.” Check out some key points from From Doing to Leading: Your Guide to Inspiring People on the Front Lines on the following pages!

Chapter One: Natural Born Leader “The doers are focused on the best way to get their job completed. For them, taking a bird’s eye view of tying together multiple tasks in an efficient workflow has always been the manager’s job. When you transition from being a doer, the one performing the task—like fixing the car, writing the estimate, or setting the pipe—to being the one leading others, you’re going to find that you need a different set of skills.”

Chapter Two: The Science Behind Human Behavior “I’m going to introduce to you the benefits of understanding human behavior and explain why it’s better to inspire people rather than push them. When you begin to tap into the why behind human behavior and what motivates people from within, I guarantee you will increase your potential for being an effective, inspirational leader.”

Chapter Three: Trust: A Leader’s Most Valuable Commodity “A leader’s most valuable and fragile commodity is trust. An environment where people feel trusted and have 100 percent trust in you, their leader, is a positive place to work.”



Chapter Six: Purpose and Core Values: The Framework for Creating Positive Neurochemicals in the Workplace “Have you ever heard the phrase “Culture trumps strategy?” Have you wondered what that means exactly? Basically, culture trumps strategy means an inspired team, connected with a common set of beliefs and values, and united with a sense of purpose, will defeat an uninspired team.”

Chapter Seven: Achieving Consistent Team Results “By understanding the way our brains operate, you are able to predict this behavior. However, you will have to come up with consistent training methods to overcome it. Be patient. If the task is one that you want the team member to do on a consistent basis, then you will need to delegate, trust, verify, recognize and repeat.”

Chapter Eight: Putting It All Together “Remember, you’re the one responsible for creating a tribe of people connected with similar values and beliefs. When you have successfully built that environment where positive neurochemicals are the norm and where trust and collaboration thrive, you will reap the rewards of an engaged, inspired workforce. You will witness firsthand how culture trumps strategy and you will have successfully made the transition from a great doer to a great leader.”

Like what you’ve read and want your very own copy of From Doing to Leading: Your Guide to Inspiring People on the Front Lines? John M. Stuef and Amy D. Bradshaw were kind enough to provide Collision Repair with a few copies of the book— and we want to pass them on to you! To win a copy, please sent a review of these snippets to allison@mediamatters.ca. The most thought-provoking reviews will win a paperback edition of From Doing to Leading! This contest is open until March 31.

Amy Bradshaw spent her formative years in University City, Missouri, where she graduated from University City High School. She travelled to the west coast after high school where she went to college and graduate school. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in cell and molecular biology.

John Stuef was born and raised in Detroit “Motor City,” Michigan, where his Dad was an engineer for Ford Motor Company and his grandfather owned and operated his own auto body shop. John went to auto body school and honed his skills at a local body shop where he started out as a painter’s helper and worked his way up to painter, body man, manager, and then owner of his own shops. John also spent several years as a regional manager for a large MSO and now spends his time writing, consulting and speaking to frontline leaders around the country.



THE FUTURE IS NOW   How this estimator shoulders disruption BY ‘FORTY’, A PROGRESSIVE ESTIMATOR


hances are if you are reading this article you are experiencing daily struggles in three main areas of collision shop management. A lack of skilled staff, a lack of labour rate increase and the resistance to change from insurance ‘partners’ is slowly destroying this industry one retired tech at a time. I’ve been in this industry for my entire life and have always heard from my peers that, “someday there will be nobody skilled enough to fix the cars, what will the insurance companies do then?” paired with, “well if they don’t start paying higher rates, there will be no techs to hire and no shops to send their cars to.” Are these the problems of the future? I think the ‘future’ we have all been talking about isn’t the future anymore, I think it is here and now. The changes that need to be

made are up to us, wouldn’t you agree? Challenge yourself with these questions and see if you disagree. 1.Are you having difficulty hiring technicians? 2.Are you having an issue getting paid for the operations that you need, paired with an unwilling attitude to accept change from your insurance ‘partners?’ 3.Cost of doing business, OEM Certifications, OEM Repair Information. Are these costing the same as they have in the past, or are they all going up at exponential rates? 4.Are the increased costs of sustaining your business being fairly compensated by


your insurance partners? Let’s be honest—we are all in the same industry and I most likely already know your answers to each one of the questions. We are each suffering the consequences of a tech shortage. We all struggle to get paid for the correct operations that we need to fix the car properly. I can’t count how many times someone has told me, “they just aren’t going to pay for that.” What can we do about it? The facts are that we are experiencing extreme changes in our industry and we all need to work diligently to solve the so-called ‘future’ problems that haunt us today. With the increased cost of purchasing a product follows with a respective inflation in cost. What happens now that you invest in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair cars to the certified level only to be told, “no, we do not pay for that.”


Simply put, Progressive Estimating is the answer. Stop thinking that you will only be told “no.” Start asking for the operations required to fix the car. Start asking for ‘OEM Safe Repair Lookup.’ Start being the change that you want to see in the industry. Remember, you lose 100 percent of the dollars you don’t add to your estimate. Most importantly, progressively improve your craft.

Dollars left on the table I was recently told by an insurance partner that “some shops just want to be paid to turn the lights on” and “I can’t pay you to move the car to the next bay—some things are just included in the repairs.” This was his response after I proved an operation as not included by Audatex, but required to complete the repair. What was that operation? Setting up a welder to perform the repair. I couldn’t believe that Audatex does not include setting up your welder when replacing a weld on a body panel. Page 44 of the Audatex Reference Manual under Labor Exclusions will express that “setup of welding equipment, welding materials and/ or test welding” is a labour exclusion. Think about this, how many times has your shop used a welder? The answer to that times a .5–Setup Mig Welder or Setup STRS will be the answer to how many dollars you have left on the table. Even worse is that your $20,000 resistance spot welder, that you had to purchase as a result of an OEM Certification, is being used free of charge. Remember what I mentioned earlier about increasing the costs of doing business?

explanation of this. You may think that you understand what these operations are until you read the definitions carefully, then you will see the opportunity that is ahead.

Safe Repair Lookup It is no secret that cars are getting more technology involved, to say the least. If you do not take it upon yourself to search repair information on every car before each repair; you are just leaving the opportunity on the table to make a mistake that could be as simple as a comeback to reprogram, or as serious as a motorist injury or death. The bottom line here is that you are not smarter than the manufacturer and you will not be any time soon. You need to protect yourself, your tech and your business by doing the research and following through that the tech has completed the repairs as per the manufacturer. Only once you invest this time into this area, will you notice the large burden that it puts on your administrative staff. Both Audatex and Mitchell have unofficially shared that the time required to find OEM Repair Procedures is not included in repair times. Therefore you need to charge for your times to do this and rightfully so.

“We don’t pay for that”’ To insurers: Why don’t you? Do you not care about a safe repair? This is very possibly the reason I wake up in the morning. I am lucky enough to have the personality that provides me with a surge of energy towards ridiculous statements like this, as well as the constitution to see it through. What do you mean you don’t pay for it? As ‘insurance company X,’ you don’t support a safe and proper repair completed to OEM specifications? As ‘insurance company X’ you don’t find it fair to compensate your ‘partners’ with the allotted time to complete the tasks? They can’t have both—it is simply not sustainable. Don’t take no for an answer. Provide insurers with the documentation proving why you need the reimbursement of your time. Send them a copy of the page in the Audatex Reference Manual proving the operation is not included. Prepare to take the time to explain in detail, as well as the liability concerns if you don’t! Be knowledgeable, be respectful and be confident in what you are asking for. You will be challenged—how the changes are accepted depends solely on your professionalism in this conversation.

Educate yourself I hate reading, I always have, but when it comes to reading up on my profession and bettering my craft, I will read novel after novel—and you should too! Two exceptional places to start are the Audatex Database Reference Manual and the Mitchell CEG P-Pages. In here you will learn about operations that you have been doing for years without fair compensation. Beyond setting up your welder, it is also not including a twostage setup when you paint the interior, jambs, edges and undersides in Audatex. Read up further on the two-stage interior to see the

If you enjoyed this article, please keep an eye on future content by ‘Forty,’ the Progressive Estimator of Canada. We want to hear your feedback, too—Forty wants to hear what issues you are experiencing and what you think of his vision. Most importantly, he wants to create a unified front to change this industry for the better. Please contact forty@ collisionrepairmag.com. FEBRUARY 2020 COLLISION REPAIR  41


Whitby Collision and Glass is the only I-CAR Gold Class certified facility in all of Durham Region.

THE CONSTANT REPAIRER After more than four decades in the industry, Whitby Collision and Glass’s GM has seen it all—and knows what to expect next BY ALLISON ROGERS


f you’ve walked through the doors of Whitby Collision and Glass in the last 45 years, you’ve likely encountered Walt Sabadin. Walt has been a fixture in the facility since he was 15 years old—but his infatuation with cars and the automotive sector were ignited long before the seasoned repairer acquired his first industry job. Walt—who grew up in Ajax, Ontario—has always loved cars. He recalls “messing around” with the other neighbourhood kids, painting their bicycles and toy cars to pass the time. He continued to cultivate his interest in his youth, tinkering with electronic parts and learning how to drive a manual transmission. “I had a knack for it,” Walt tells Collision Repair. “My dad would always tell me, ‘you’re gonna be a technician when you’re older.’ And that was just when I was a little guy!” When it came time to attend high school, Walt knew he was destined for a career in

automotive repair. Ajax High School offered a wealth of trades-related courses in the 1970s—and he took full advantage. “I took just about every class that I could. Engine rebuilding, transmission rebuilding, electrical diagnosis, small engines, welding, soldering, woodworking, refinishing, machine drafting—absolutely anything that had to do with vehicles.” His dedication paid off. In 1974, a 15-yearold Walt was offered part-time hours cleaning cars at Whitby Collision and Glass. “I used to ride my bike there every day after school, washing cars until the place closed every night. In the summers I was full-time, just doing detailing and cleaning cars at first.” After his first summer, a service manager approached a teenage Walt and asked if he could help with some general mechanical work. He obliged, keeping his part-time hours during the school year and returning


as a mechanic that summer. The bodyshop manager later asked if he was willing to try his hand at bodywork. Walt accepted and soon began sanding and prepping cars. “When I finished high school, I kept that job and eventually started to get into painting as well. Then I did my apprenticeship, got my license and worked as a flat rate painter until the late 1970s.” Back then, Whitby Collision and Glass was a smaller operation—but business was booming. The shop kept growing—and Walt’s responsibilities on the floor and behind the scenes alongside it. “After I began helping with payroll, I found myself doing more than I could handle, so we hired a prepper—he’d prep the cars and I painted them. When we grew again, we hired a painter. After that, I was full-time in the office and management became a two-man operation. I served as assistant manager for


The shop is very active on social media, posting before and after results and other content on Instagram: @whitbycollisionandglass.

“I always say the new young professionals entering this trade should strive to be at the top of their game. I like to see that, and I enjoy helping the young passionate techs succeed, coaching them and watching them move up in the industry. I’m really proud of the team we have on the floor today.”

a little bit before becoming the bodyshop manager and, eventually, general manager.” At that time, the shop was still writing handwritten estimates—but Walt sensed the incoming waves of technology and wanted to arm himself with computer-based knowledge. So, he enrolled in computer learning courses at Durham College. This was not out of character for Walt, either— he always aims to address industry challenges head-on. In his 45-year career, he says he’s “seen it all,”—and adapting is not a choice. “I’ve seen changes across the board—from basic collision repair to painting to direct repair programs. But the biggest thing is keeping up with them,” he says. “Take OEM certifications—it’s a huge thing today and will be moving forward,” added Walt. “Or the rise of autonomous technology, or collision avoidance systems and their corresponding repairs and calibrations. All these changes can be called challenges but following them is not a choice.You have to adapt to survive as a business.” That’s what the team at Whitby Collision and Glass has done—adapted to survive. The business outgrew its old location in the early 2000s, moving to its current location in 2003. It boasts a spacious garage, the latest tools and equipment and is OEM certified with Volkswagen, Audi, Toyota, Kia, Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat, Ram, SRT, Dodge and Mopar.

On top of that, the shop is the only I-CAR Gold Class Certified facility in Durham Region. “We always want to make sure we’re at the top of our game, assuring that we stay up to date with training and OEM factory standards,” says Walt. Now, like any good manager, Walt wants to pass on his wisdom and help build the same path for others. “I’ve always held an interest in helping the younger techs build their careers. I always say the new young professionals entering this trade should strive to be at the top of their game. I like to see that,and enjoy helping the young passionate techs succeed, coaching them and watching them move up in the industry. I’m really proud of the team we have on the floor today.” One question remains—why has Walt spent his entire career at Whitby Collision and Glass? “That’s easy,” he laughs.“The family-owned atmosphere.” As Walt, who played a key role in designing the current facility and growing the business, that family atmosphere allows him to draw a great sense of satisfaction from the business’s successes. “Watching the company grow throughout my career has made me feel like an owner here. Plus, we’re a family and most of the people I have hired though my career are still with us.” Walt adds. “I’m very proud of that.” FEBRUARY 2020 COLLISION REPAIR  45


GOING NATIONAL Women’s apprenticeship program expands across Canada BY ELIZABETH SARGEANT


fter 10 years of operation in Newfoundland and Labrador, an organization designed to help women advance in the trades is expanding across Canada. The Office to Advance Women Apprentices (OAWA) was launched over a decade ago with hopes of offerring support to female apprentices entering the industry. According to executive director of the OAWA, Karen Walsh, there was a clear lack of support for female apprentices entering trade such as auto repair and mechanics. According to Walsh, “the missing link is often wrap-around support services.” “Many other provinces are saying: Women are going into the trades, but they are not staying,” Walsh told Daily Commerical News. And Walsh isn’t wrong. According to leading research, the national average of women in underrepresented fields in Canada is between three and four

percent. However, Newfoundland’s program has been fighting to increase this number with some innovative tactics. “[Through our program], we have helped businesses with inclusion plans. We have a database of about 2,000 women they can look to for hiring.” Now, Newfoundland’s average is close to 14 percent when it comes to female employment in certain trades, and they hope to continue growing. “Our program has been trial and error and for the most part there hasn’t been much error,” Walsh explained.  In addition to OAWA’s database, their services such as mentorships programs, networking events, and working alongside unions has helped significantly—but there

is still work to be done. “If a woman is on-site and she’s the first to be laid off or she’s struggling to stay in the trade,” said Walsh. “But these are the types of issues we’ve been able to [work against] so we can keep women in the trades and advance them.” The OAWA has partnered with the Canadian Building Trades Union to open offices in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. For more information on OAWA, visit womenapprentices.ca.



“By publicly ranking the repair shops by performance and highlighting which repair shops strive to be the top performers, we expect to help curb some of the rising claims costs and pressures that ICBC is facing.” – David Eby, Attorney General for B.C.

RANKING REPAIRERS The latest in ICBC’s money-saving schemes BY ALLISON ROGERS


he Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is planning to introduce a new public ranking system for the province’s collision and auto glass shops in an effort to cut down on repair costs. According to ICBC, repair facilities will soon be ranked on performance based on various factors and the rankings will be placed on the corporation’s locator webpage. The change, which was announced in early January, took action on February 3 for collision repair shops and March 2 for auto glass facilities, though the public won’t be able to see how each shop is ranked until ICBC has collected “significant data,” says the corporation. “After consulting with industry leaders, the redesign of the collision and glass repair programs will improve transparency and accountability of repair shops for drivers who get into accidents and need to choose

which repair shop they go to,” said David Eby, B.C.’s Attorney General in a news release. “By publicly ranking the repair shops by performance and highlighting which repair shops strive to be the top performers, we expect to help curb some of the rising claims costs and pressures that ICBC is facing.” ICBC, which has lost nearly $2.5 billion in the last two years largely due to rising claims costs and legal fees, says savings will be found from improved performance along with faster processing of claims, faster repair cycle times and greater autonomy for highperforming suppliers—but will the ranking plan follow through? The insurance giant hopes this change will help consumers make “more informed” choices about where to take their vehicles for repairs, while “encouraging shops to be top performers.” According to the elements of the program,

windshield repair facilities will be encouraged to repair glass rather than replace whenever possible. “In many cases, a small crack or chip in a windshield can be repaired instead of replacing the entire windshield. ICBC’s comprehensive coverage for private passenger vehicles allows customers to have their windshield chip repaired for free with no deductible,” ICBC said in a news release. The corporation also says it will perform more drop-in inspections and will provide topof-the-line equipment and training to ensure shops can fix most vehicles on the road today. Further ranking criteria has yet to be released. According to ICBC, the ranking system was developed after more than a year of consultation with the collision repair industry and come shortly after the government launched an operational audit of ICBC.

All is fair… ICBC has launched a series of eyebrow-raising initiatives in the past year, and on January 29, Attorney General Eby announced plans to create an independent fairness office within the Crown insurer, one with the goal of increasing accessibility to its services. “I think it’s no secret that many British Columbians simply don’t trust ICBC and that is a problem,” Eby told press. “British Columbians should have the peace of mind that they will be treated fairly after they’ve been injured in a crash.” The fairness office will provide recommendations to the ICBC,


On Jan. 29, Attorney General Eby announced plans to create an independent fairness office within ICBC in an effort to increase accessibility to the insurer’s services.


which the corporation will be obliged to respond to. The fairness office will be run by a provincially appointed fairness officer, who will begin work by Spring 2021. It is unclear whether these new policies will affect the day-to-day

routines of collision repair businesses in B.C. It is also unclear how these new policies are expected to lower costs for the public insurer, whose finances Eby once described as a “dumpster fire.”

Letting go of lawyers The latest in ICBC reforms say the corporation will no longer involve lawyers in the compensation claims process. The provincial government claims this change will see ICBC premiums will drop as much as 20 percent—about $400 per driver, per year—as the insurer introduces a system designed to redirect hundreds of millions of dollars spent in legal costs each year to directly benefit B.C. residents injured in car collisions. The legislation would require ICBC by law to assist every person who makes a claim and to ensure they receive all the care and benefits to which they are entitled. Further, the new rule would see maximum care benefits increase to $7.5 million from the current $300,000 limit, with the benefits available to any B.C. driver without hiring a lawyer. Under the existing system, people who are not at fault for accidents can pursue additional benefits through the courts. The new care and recovery benefits plan would be available to anyone

On Feb. 6, B.C. Premier John Horgan announced plans to overhaul the province’s vehicle insurance system.

hurt in a crash, regardless of who was at fault. The legislation also states that B.C. drivers may sue anyone who is convicted of a criminal offence in relation to an accident, as well as car and auto part manufacturers. Though Eby did not use the words ‘no-fault’ during his speech, the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. has declared that the province’s NDP government is indeed introducing a no-fault insurance scheme.



REBORN with ever ything you asked for in a ref inish system–color consistency and tools.



Brock Bulbuck served as the company’s CEO from 2010 to 2020.

POWER PERFORMANCE The Boyd Group is TSX’s best ROI of the decade BY ALLISON ROGERS


he Financial Post released its list of the best TSX investments of the past decade, outlining the stocks that netted its investors the highest returns. Among them was was the Boyd Group, which returned more than 4,247 percent to those who held units from January 1, 2010 until December 31, 2019. According to the Financial Post, the Boyd Group was “riddled with debt” and trading just above $5 a share at the start of the decade. When Brock Bulbuck took over as chief executive in 2010, the company switched to a consolidation strategy. It’s stock now trades at more than $200 per share. The Boyd Group does not plan to slow

down in the new decade either; effective January 1, 2020, the company transitioned from an income trust to a public corpora-

tion. The transition required approval from registered unit and shareholders, which is acquired on Dec. 2.

In August, the Boyd Group announced that president and COO Tim O’Day would take Bulbuck’s place. He will keep his role as president.

As a result, unitholders received one common share for each unit held as of Dec. 31, 2019. After the conversion, there are 20,207,194 common shares both issued and outstanding. The company has also welcomed a CEO, Tim O’Day. O’Day previously served as the company’s president and COO and will continue to serve as president in the new role. His COO duties are to be reallocated to existing key management personnel, according to Boyd. O’Day has said he is “extremely excited” for the future of the company and aims to uphold the company’s long-tenured leadership to continue to garner the “outstanding” results of recent years.



SHINING IN SHANGHAI All the auto-themed excitement Automechanika brought to the Far East BY ALLISON ROGERS


he 15th edition of Automechanika Shanghai was held in December, where 6,590 exhibitors from 46 countries gathered for a week of networking, learning about new product technology and witnessing the anticipated Chinese round of Automechanika’s Body and Paint World Championship. This year, the event was held at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai, China—which boasts roughly 360,000 square metres of exhibition space. With its events and programming, the show strived to embrace both rising technology and industry connectivity while highlighting specific products in the fields of electric vehicles, ADAS systems, 5G and AI applications, car connectivity, mobile services and lightweight materials. This year, Automechanika Shanghai reinforced its repair and maintenance area, which occupied an extra 21 percent of space on the show floor—some 63,000 square metres. Automechanika Shanghai hosted wealth of events, summits and presentations within the show—65, to be exact—including the

Shanghai round of Automechanika’s Body and Paint World Championships. In China, four candidates went head-to-head to decorate a hood inspired by the respective host country of the Automechanika competition. As design ideas were submitted for the competition, hoods were dominated by a single


colour—red—to reflect the 70th anniversary of the violent overthrow of the democratic Republic of China at the hands of communist revolutionaries. Sun Xiao Shuai took home the crown, winning himself a spot at the international finals in Frankfurt, Germany next September.

Automechanika Shanghai also saw the third leg of Automechanika’s Body and Paint World Championship, where four technicians went head-to-head to compete for a spot in the international final.


His design, sponsored by SATA and entitled ‘the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China’ features bold reds, oranges, yellows and greens on a black background. Of four contestants, judges crowned Sun Xiao Shuai the winner, giving him a chance to compete in Automechanika’s international final, which will be held in Frankfurt from Sept. 8 to Sept. 12, 2020. Honourable mentions went to Lu Wei of Li Tu Painting Technology Service Centre, sponsored by SATA; Wen Jie Min of YATU

Advanced Materials Co., sponsored by YATU, for his play on Chinese ‘red culture’; and Wen Jie Min of YeeToo Airbrush Design Company, sponsored by BASF China, for his ‘Quintessence of Chinese culture’. The next legs of Automechanika’s Body and Paint World Championships will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from Jun. 7 to Jun. 9, 2020 and Mexico City, Mexico from July 22 to July 24, 2020. The final competition will be held in Frankfurt, Germany from Sept. 8 to Sept. 12, 2020.


The newly certified Barrie Team surrounds an Audi, ready for the next phase in the repair process.

CERTIFYING SUCCESS Assured South Barrie completes its two-year journey


EM certification is starting to become the status quo in the collision repair industry, given a facility would like to secure work from a specific manufacturer. However, when Kyle Strong, manager of Assured South Barrie, was asked why his store embarked on this process, he answered, “this solidifies the relationship between us and Audi/Volkswagen, as they have supported us for years and it shows we take their brand and clients seriously”. As committed as the Barrie team is to their partner, they too showed that they were ‘all in’ in attaining all requirements when they started the process back in 2018. The five areas in which they needed to reach compliance were: training, facility, tools and equipment, repair procedures and OEM parts usage. For most of us, time and money are challenges we face in our daily lives—and it is no different in the certification process. Adrian Gaspell had to attend courses at

An Audi SUV on the Frame Bench, awaiting for its roof to be re-attached.

Volkswagen’s Training Facility in Virginia for two weeks and is required to attend a final one-week session. To coordinate this with the facilities production schedule and the limited availability of training spots offered by VW was indeed a juggling act. Having the right equipment to work on VW and Audi vehicles requires 3D measuring tools, an approved frame bench/rack, allocated space to work on aluminum and VW certified welding machines and ‘repair packs.’ Time allocated to training and funds earmarked to procure the required equipment is a heavy front-loaded based investment; however, this not only ensures proper repair of these evolving vehicles but secures the safety of those who drive these vehicles. Being Audi and VW Certified does not mean the learning ends here; continuous improvement and staying current to new and updated repair process is required to maintain certification. Kyle Strong’s goal is to ensure his team always possesses the

Only Audi approved adhesives can give this roof the security it requires.



confidence to do the job, both mentally and physically. What’s next for the team? Given that OEM certifications are similar in some ways for many automobile manufacturers, they will begin to pursue certification with other partners, to maximize their ROI on equipment they have already attained. Congratulations to the team at Assured South Barrie, not only for strengthening their position in the repair landscape, but for strengthening their relationship with the Audi and Volkswagen dealerships in Barrie.

To have the proper weld, you need the proper machine – only a VW approved unit will do!


The annual event, now in its 13th year, gives industry members a chance to catch up, celebrate the holidays and support a great cause.

Guests were also treated to freshly shucked oysters.

With spreads of food lined up as far as the eye could see, attendees were all smiles.

HOG FOR THE HOLIDAYS Budds’ Collision annual Pig Roast and Christmas Party


n December 20, more than 300 members of Canada’s automotive aftermarket found themselves in Oakville, at the 13th annual Pig Roast and Christmas Party at Budd’s Collision Services. Feasting on an array of gourmet appetizers, including fresh-baked beaver tail pastries, an assortment of Canadian cheeses, fresh-shucked oysters, sushi, pizzas and— of course—roast pig. “This is a good spread,” said industry event veteran Sean Slaven. “It would be easy to get used to this.”

“We pulled out all the stops, and wanted to make it an event to remember,” J.R Martino, Manager of Budd’s Collision Services. “I’m happy so many people have come” Of course, the crowds didn’t just come for the food. In the spirit of Christmas, the event invited all those attending to the Sam Piercey Foundation. Bing Wong, of Canadian Hail Repair, directs the activities of the foundation. “It is a really important cause, and I think Sam would be proud of how big this has become,” said Wong.

After officially launching in 2016, the foundation serves to support young apprentices in the collision repair industry. The foundation is in honour of the late Sam Piercey, co-owner of Budd’s and a long-time columnist for Collision Repair magazine. “This would mean a lot to my father,” explained Sam Piercey Jr.“Dad was really believed that the industry needed to attract talented people and that we all had a role to play in that.” As has been a longstanding tradition at the event, its end was marked by a live performance of bagpipe music. JANUARY 2020 COLLISION REPAIR  57


AllData’s Eric Schultz, Jean-Luc Sauriel and Rhett Holland. Symach’s Osvaldo Bergaglio and Les Pawlowski.

Collision Repair’s Allison Rogers and Eric Léveillé, vice president of paint and body equipment for UAP, the parent company of the NAPA and CMAX.

Paul Stella of Toyota Canada and Rodelo Harrilal of Greater Toronto Appraisal.

Melanie Rice, Sean McIntosh, Colson Cole and Norm Angrove.

A FORUM TO REMEMBER The glitz and glamour of CCIF Toronto


t the end of January, the Canadian Collision Industry Forum held its annual conference and first-ever vendor showcase in Toronto. With more than 750 attendees and 54 vendors, the two-day event was a whirlwind of informative sessions, comprehensive product demonstrations and networking opportunities. CCIF Toronto 2020 kicked off on Thursday with a vendor showcase from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The booths of 54 exhibitors lit up the show floor as attendees witnessed product demonstrations, indulged in a catered dinner featuring cured meats, gourmet sandwiches and sushi, and networked with colleagues inside Mississauga’s International Centre. The festivities were re-ignited on Friday morning as CCIF attendees were welcomed with a massive breakfast spread and more time on the tradeshow floor. At 8:30 a.m., CCIF Director Caroline Lacasse

took to the stage to deliver her welcoming address, where she asked the crowd a series of questions to gather data on how this year’s conference was received by attendees. “Of course, we always need feedback to improve. We call this The Voice,” Lacasse said with a laugh, referring to the hit reality singing show. Paul Prochilo, chairman for the CCIF Steering Committee, then took to the stage to deliver his welcoming address, touching on topics like OEM certifications, technology in the industry, recent disruptions and cycle times. “As CCIF chairman, my vision for the next two years is to provide the same mission-critical data that we’ll be exposed to today, as well as to arm all of our attendees with practical solutions for collision centres to execute in their businesses,” said Prochilo. “Our goal is to ensure that CCIF attendees are not just managing change, but to ensure that we are leading change.”


Prochilo also welcomed Nick Dominato, Canadian sales and business development representative for AsTech, to the Steering Committee. Dominato will fill the young leader position, which is new to the Steering Committee this year. “Above and beyond his standard duties as a CCIF Steering Committee member, Nick will act as a liaison and representative of all young leaders in the collision repair industry,” said Prochilo. After Prochilo’s address, the former CCIF chairman, Patrice Marcil, took to the stage to discuss CCIF’s endeavours in the past few years, highlighting the efforts of industryeducation connection. Marcil outlined education initiatives for 2020, which include instructor development via a series of training seminars. He also discussed upcoming workforce recruitment and retention operations, which will involve ongoing surveys to students, school visits and


Jarred Jones, Paul Nestorowich, Alina Luztono-Stanley, Germana Silveira and Matthew Mauro.

Former CCIF chairman Patrice Marcil discusses CCIF’s industry-education connection plans for 2020. Mike Savage, 3M Canada.

Hail Specialists’ John Mowat and Ricky Chin pose with Collision Repair’s Wanja Mann.

Justine Arco and Suad Dualeh.

This year’s SATA spray gun auction featured a Stan Lee-inspired design.

Susie Frausto, vice president of marketing and sales for the Boyd Group, and Carl Mohammed Jr., manager of business development for Assured Automotive.

Thomas Julius, director of business development for Car-Part.com and Ryan Smith, vice president of appraisal, salvage and claims for Saskatchewan Government Insurance.

Mike Gilliland, president and founder of AutoHouse Technologies, Collision Repair’s Gloria Mann and Kelvin Campbell, owner of CSN Chapman Auto Body.

Danny Frangione of CSN Turpin-Capital.

Eric Léveillé, Keith Tutossi and Dale Chalklin of NAPA and CMAX. FEBRUARY 2020 COLLISION REPAIR  59


CCIF chair Paul Prochilo delivers his opening remarks.

Russell Duncan of Pro Spot. Spanesi’s Constantino Uliano with his daughter, Sarah Uliano.

Michael McLean of Dominion Sure Seal.

Collision Repair’s Bradley Turmel and Roger Turmel of AutoQuip.

career days, as well as promotional videos on different careers in the collision repair field, adding that these videos are available on CCIF.ca and can be branded with your company logo to attract talent to your facility. Marcil also announced that CCIF will issue three scholarships this year—one at each of its events, in Western Canada, Central Canada and Eastern Canada—valued at $1,000 each. Attendees got a brief break after Marcil’s address before International Bodyshop Industry Symposium director Jason Moseley focused on international issues and the global collision repair market, highlighting Canada’s position versus the European, U.S. and other global markets. Moseley also discussed control versus collaboration, where he discussed ways for collision repair facilities to collaborate with insurers and OEMs on things like labour rates,

parts and paints discounts, joint branding and quality control. Other speeches touched on topics that, while less directly connected to the collision repair industry, raised issues of paramount importance to repairers. Craig Dowden’s What Makes People Tick? discussed some ways for business owners to better understand their staff, sharing insightful tips on how to evaluate your interactions with both staff and customers. CCIF guests also listened as Justin Jakubiak, one of the few Ontario lawyers whose practice focuses on automotive and dealership law, with a long history of working for dealerships, repairers and mechanics throughout the province, discussed how collision repairers could protect their businesses from unnecessary legal liability stemming from their work. Steve Trapp, the North America Services


SATA general manager John Turner prepares to auction off a one-of-akind spray gun.

Manager for Axalta Coating Systems, delivered a workshop on how to drive for 45 percent gross profits. One of the automotive aftermarkets bestknown management experts, Trapp now manages nine strategic account managers across the U.S. and Canada. A former vice president at ABRA, he joined Axalta in 2009, where he has played a leading role in writing its management training curriculum, develop innovative e-Learning modules, refined their performance management tool, and other services. After a round of Test Your Knowledge with Centennial College’s Daniel Chudy, Paul Prochilo returned to the stage to deliver his closing remarks. Collision Repair was at CCIF Toronto to capture all the action—see if you can spot some friendly faces in our CCIF photo spread!


Fix Auto’s Kim Roberts, Andrew Neufeld, Elizabeth Wilcox and Alexandra Zalec.

Dustin King, Norton Saint Gobain.

Doug Roberts, Daniel Hogg, Mark Weeks and Darryl O’Keefe of Fix Auto. Bing Wong and Carl Mohammed Jr.

Dave Roberts of Fix Auto North Barrie added gun to add to his collection after bidding $3,000—Roberts also took home the Canada 150 spray gun at CCIF 2018.

Derek Florczyk, vice president of operations for Assured, Simar Gill-Bola of Aviva Canada and Anthony Bianco of Assured.

Michael Carcone of Carcone’s Auto Recycling and Steve Fletcher, managing director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada.

Dara Carpenter of ELC Dispatch Solutions and Mark Ragoobar of AllState Insurance.

Dave Woolley, Pat Ryan, Randy Hearn of AkzoNobel.

Progi's Stephanie Filteau, general project manager; Diane Chaîné, president; Gregory Roy, accounts director and Collision Repair's Allison Rogers. The 3M team.

Jeff Schroder of Car-Part.com, Steve Fletcher and Car-Part.com’s Roger Schroder.

Wedge Clamp’s Mark Greenberg, AutoQuip’s Wayne James and Roger Turmel, and Ryan Bruno of CSN Collision Centres. FEBRUARY 2020 COLLISION REPAIR  61


DREAM TEAM CCIF announces its 2020/2021 Steering Committee


ith 2020 now upon us, the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) announced its Steering Committee for the 2020/2021 term. Considered one of the most influential bodies in the Canadian collision sector, the twenty-four-person group guides the CCIF’s

efforts to create industry-wide networking and information-sharing opportunities and to promote the collaborative development of solutions to common problems. CCIF certainly has a dream team this term—take a look at the members of the Steering Committee and their impressive achievements:






Axalta’s learning and development director will take on the role of past chairman.

Prochilo, the CEO of Simplicity Car Care, will chair the Steering Committee.

New to the committee this year is the young leader position, which will be filled by Nick Dominato, president of Precision Marketing.

The Collision Repair columnist and managing partner at Parr Auto Body will serve as special advisor to the board.

As CCIF director, LaCasse will administer the board.






RSA Insurance’s director of claims subrogation, salvage and vendor management.

Chief operating officer of CSN Collision Centres.

Associate director of sales for Discount Car and Truck Rentals.

Manager of dealer technical support at Mazda Canada.


BRADY CHATTINGTON Operations manager at CSN Image Auto Body.







AutoCanada’s vice president of collision centres.

Vice president of sales for Fix Auto Canada.

Bodyshop manager at Airdrie, Alberta’s Cam Clark Ford.

Owner and operator of Collision 360.

Vice president of UniParts O.E.M.






Director of claims commercial partnership for Desjardins Insurance.

Director of performance consulting at Mitchell International.

Director of operations for Fix Network Canada.

Director of claims, appraisals department for Desjardins Insurance.

Performance manager for Lift Auto Group.





Wawanesa’s director of procurement and claims.

National account manager for ALLDATA Canada.

Director of business development at Advantage Parts Solutions.

Director for AIA Canada.

MURPHY TARVES General manager of operations for Craftsman Collision.



This year, SATA auctioned off a limitededition Stan Lee-inspired spray gun.

With colourful, one-ofa-kind pop art designs, several CCIF attendees were eager to take home the special edition sprayer.

SUPERHERO SPRAYER SATA auctions off one-of-a-kind spray gun for charity at CCIF


ATA went all-in at the Canadian Collision In du s t r y For u m (CCIF) in Toronto last week when the company auctioned off a one-ofa-kind Stan Lee-inspired spray gun and donated all the proceeds to Autism Speaks Canada.

Doug Roberts of Fix Auto Barrie North has won the special-edition sprayers for three years running—here, he stands with his 1500 B SoLV gun, which was signed by Jay Leno.


The gun—a custom SATAjet 5000 B decorated with comic and pop art designs— sold for $3,000 to Doug Roberts of Fix Auto Barrie North, with all proceeds going to Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to promoting solutions across the spectrum and along a life span for needs of people with autism spectrum disorder and their families. “This is a one of one gun,” SATA general manager John Turner said of the Stan Lee sprayer at CCIF Toronto 2020.“You will never see anything like this again.” For the past three years, SATA has attended CCIF Toronto and auctioned off a limited edition spray gun. In 2019, SATA gave away two limited-edition


sprayers at CCIF Toronto: a SATAjet 1500 B SoLV, featuring a written signature from comedian and late-night TV show host Jay Leno. Leno rarely signs items but was won over by Turner at SEMA 2018 when he discovered the funds would be donated to the ABLE network, a Canadian charity supporting autism research. Roberts also claimed the Leno-signed gun in 2019.

The second spray gun—a SATAjet 1500 B SoLV spray gun signed by NASCAR legend Richard Petty—was raffled off at CCIF 2019, which went to Daryll O’Keefe, general manager, Ontario at Fix Automotive Network. Two years ago, the brand auctioned off a Canada 150 gun at CCIF Toronto—of which there were only 150 made—to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.  Roberts was the winner of the very first Canada 150 gun two years ago at CCIF 2018, which sold for $3,000. SATA contributed an additional $1,500 to the cause to donate a total of $4,500 to autism research.  Needless to stay, Doug Roberts surely has a SATA spray gun collection we all can envy.

SATA’s April Chadwick and Dennis Krueger pose with the promotional sign at CCIF.

John Turner, SATA’s general manager, was enthusiastic as ever as he announced the proceeds would go to Autism Speaks, a Canadian organization dedicated to autism research.


During a recent town hall meeting, SAAR executive director Tom Bissonnette said some of the smaller Sask. shops were concerned about the price tag attached to mandated equipment purchases.


COMPLY OR DIE SGI to halve labour rates for non-compliant facilities in 2021 BY ELIZABETH SARGEANT


askatchewan Government Insurance has announced plans to cut labour rates paid out to facilities that do not meet equipment and training requirements by 50 percent, beginning April 2020. The new standards call for businesses to hold I-CAR Canada Gold Class accreditation. The move comes a year after Manitoba Public Insurance announced it would be enacting similar reforms which also incentivized shops securing I-CAR Gold statuses. According to SGI, there are two tiers that accredited shops can shoot for, with the top two tiers staying at the current rate of $92.68 (this will be reviewed in March of 2021). The top tier requires CCIAP or OEM certification, as well as an electronic 3D vehicle measuring system. Tier two shops do not require OEM


Patent Pending


certification or electronic 3D measuring. However, all shops will be required to have: • In terms of training, all accredited shops will need to have completed I-CAR WCS03 on steel welding and BRZ02 on MIG brazing. •E  quipment-wise, all shops will require a three-phase, 10,000 amp, 600 foot/pound squeeze-type resistance spot welder, a MIG pulse welder able to braze silicon bronze, a pressure feed anti-corrosion application equipment and a steel dent removal system. • All shops must have a garage and commercial liabilities policy of up to $1 million and a two years labour repair warranty.

Part #35950

• Flexible part holding cart

• Simple handtwist fasteners for quick & easy reconfiguration • Folds up for out-of-the-way storage • Holds up to 400 lbs.

Starting in March 2021, labour rates for non-compliant facilities will drop from $92.68 to $46.50 an hour. Last spring, the Saskatchewan Association of Auto Repairers and SGI participated in a series of town hall meetings about the new rules. At the time, plans for a tiered payment system incentivizing I-CAR

Gold accreditation had been announced, but the details remained unclear. During one of the meetings, SAAR executive director Tom Bissonnette said some of the smaller shops in rural areas were concerned about the price tag attached to mandated equipment purchases. “For example, buying a resistance welder is one thing, getting three-phase power to their facility could in many cases double the cost of that welder! Many smaller rural shops do not actually repair many collisions, they generally work on trucks that have hit a deer, change windshields and hail repairs,” Bissonnette told Collision Repair. According to SGI, this should not cost a facility more than $40,000, a price that some of the attendees at the spring town hall meetings had said would be difficult to justify. “Can you imagine spending anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 in training and equipment just to get a lower door rate?” Bissonnette said. Bissonnette also told Collision Repair that SGI is also giving accredited shops with a one-time cash payout of up to $15,000, a subscription for OEM repair procedures available until December 2020, additional time for frame set up and pre-scanning of vehicles in lieu of a door rate increase. After March of 2021, the door rate may be adjusted for first and second-tier shops—but we will have to wait and see. Sources close to ICBC have said the Insurance Company of British Columbia is likely to announce similar plans in 2020.

• Heavy-duty tight-mesh shelves During a recent town hall meeting, SAAR executive director Tom Bissonnette said some of the smaller Sask. shops were concerned about the price tag attached to mandated equipment purchases.

• 29”x 41”x 29” when configured full height

• Folding mast for two-side usage



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PACIFIC PRIDE Vancouver Island business leaders celebrated the achievements of local businesses at the end of January, honouring the community’s favourite local hotspots, including Cowichan Auto Repair. Cowichan Auto Repair took home the title for the favourite automotive business category at the Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards gala. The facility is a female-owned automotive repair and detailing shop. Owner Elly Rouge

hosts frequent Women and Wheels workshops, which aim to enlighten and empower women by teaching them the basics of how to care for their cars.The shop hosts other informative workshops, including Teens and Wheels, which teaches the same basics to local youth. Other nominees included BMT Group Services, a fleet maintenance centre in North Saanich, and Belmont Collision in Langford. Cowichan Auto Repair hosts frequent workshops to teach the basics of car repair to the local community.

HERE COMES THE (CAMO)SUN Students in the Automotive Technician program at Camosun College got to experience a slice of history in December as they were given the opportunity to work on John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce Phantom V. The bright yellow psychedelic vehicle is owned by the Royal B.C. Museum and gets diagnostic tests every year to ensure it is in tip-top shape.

The resoration of the vintage classic is typically left to professionals but, this year, young repairers studying at Camosun College got the chance to test out their skills in partnership with Coachwerks Restoration and work on restoration themselves. “Students in attendance were able to hear the roar of the engine and watch its rear wheels spin on a rolling road dynamometer,”

Auto students at Camosun College got to experience a slice of history when they got to work on John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce Phantom V.

said Camosun College. Students focused on getting fluid running through the engine. The rolling road dynameter did just that while collecting data on the vehicle as it ran. [The dynameter] will have a large screen feeding speed and other data in real-time,” Camosun reported. In addition to testing out the dynameter on the 55-year-old vehicle, the young repairers also had an opportunity to learn a bit about the history-filled Rolls Royce as they worked. Royal B.C. Museum collections manager Paul Ferguson was in attendance to teach the students about the history of the vehicle as they worked on it. “To be up close and personal with a vehicle of this stature is wonderful for our students,” said teaching instructor Patrick Jones. “It’s great to have the opportunity to make sure the car is maintained as it should be.” For more information about Camosun College and its restoration projects, visit camosun.ca.

EVERGREEN’S ENDOWMENT Evergreen Industrial, a forestry and industrial supply store operating out of Smithers, has announced it will be giving the proceeds of its collection and recycling of lead batteries to the auto body program at Smithers Secondary School. “It always looks like they don’t have enough money for the students, so it’s just a way to get more money for them and get batteries out of people’s fields,” Tyler Ferster, owner of Evergreen Industrial told B.C. Local News. So far, car dealerships and other auto bodyshops have been enthusiastic and very

willing to help out, dropping off old batteries from their businesses while encouraging others to do so as well. According to Gavin Scorer, a shop teacher at Smithers Secondary School, the town’s contributions are paying off. So far, more than $1,600 has been raised. Scorer hopes that this funding will allow kids who want to pursue auto repair after high school to have practical experience with modern equipment and give a competitive


edge to their auto shop program. Ferster hopes the funding will empower students to choose to work locally after their experience at Smithers Secondary School.

Tyler Ferster and Bryce Miller, co-owners at Evergreen Industrial, are supporting Smithers Secondary School in a super sustainable way.


PUTTING PREMIUMS IN ORDER Alberta drivers are bracing for potential auto insurance hikes this year, and the provincial government has created a committee to examine what ails the system. Earlier this year, the United Conservative party government cancelled the former NDP government’s five percent cap on insurance premium increases, prompting premium hikes of nearly 12 percent. Alberta Finance Minister

Travis Toews said he is hearing from concerned consumers and insurance companies, who say they’re selling insurance at a loss. “The cap was really putting a Band-Aid on a problem that just continued to fester,” said Toews. Toews appointed Chris Daniel—a consumer representative on the Automobile Insurance Rate Board—as the committee’s chairman.

Lawyer Shelley Miller and Dr. Larry Ohlhauser have also been appointed to the committee, which aims to find a “real solution” and make recommendations to the government for reform by next spring. The committee has a $1-million budgnet. Further, Alberta has also said offering government-run insurance policies like B.C.’s ICBC and Saskatchewan’s SGI is not an option.

CRUISING INTO CALGARY B.C.-based Lordco Auto Parts has opened its first out-of-province location with a 45,000 sq. ft. (4,180 sq. m.) facility across from the Calgary Auto Mall. The decision to expand into Alberta was made in early 2019. Okanagan regional manager Shaun Wheater, who began his career with Lordco in Vancouver as a teen when he drove vans for the company, says he jumped at the chance to organize a new Calgary superstore. The flagship location, located in a former Sears warehouse building across from the Calgary Auto Mall, features 12,500 sq. ft. (1,160 sq. m.) of retail space. The shop stocks

everything from belts, Bluetooth accessories, and more than 2,000 employees. horns and hitches, but the location boasts even more space for behind-the-scenes storage. Lordco is well known to Albertans who frequent the Pacific province’s roads—its store in Cranbrook, B.C. has long served Calgary clients. According to Lordco, it is the largest distributor and Lordco Auto Parts recently opened retailer of aftermarket parts in its first out-of-province location. B.C., with 98 store locations



DISTRACTION ACTION In November, Saskatchewan announced that it would be increasing distracted driving fines come February 1—and, according to December 2019 records, the idea of increased fines has gotten the attention of the province’s drivers. On January 22, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) revealed that police officers in the province handed out 534 tickets for distracted driving in December—the lowest total for any month in 2019. It was the second straight month in which lower-than-average numbers of distracted driving offences were recorded. In November, 653 tickets were issued for distracted driving. Over the first 10 months of the year, the average for those tickets was nearly 900—including an all-time record of 1,290 in October. “It’s too soon to draw any conclusions about what this means, but hopefully it’s the start of a trend of fewer people driving distracted,” SGI said in a media release. “It’s a potentially deadly mistake and—starting in February—it will be a much more costly one.” The fines for distracted driving increased on February 1. Prior to the change, a distracted driving ticket resulted in a $280 fine plus four demerit points. Now, the fine for a first distracted

driving conviction is $580 plus four demerits. Despite the December distracted driving decrease, there were still 408 tickets issued for cellphone use behind the wheel. “If you have your phone in your hand, you are breaking the law,” said SGI’s Tyler McMurchy. “Even if you are stopped at a red light.” In 2018, Constable Mike Seel with the Regina police service issued more than 1,100 by November. Further, in 2018, 768 people were injured and 22 people were killed in crashes directly related to distracted or inattentive driving in Saskatchewan. From people texting, to watching YouTube and playing games behind the wheel, Seel says he’s seen it all. “Distracted driving is just below impaired driving for causing injury or death,” said Constable Seel, who is known around Regina as ‘Hawkeye’.“I’ve


had grandmas on their phones, young kids on their phones, and everything in between. It was a very serious issue until police started increasing enforcement and the fines and penalties started increasing. So I feel like this will be a good deterrent for people to put their cellphones down.” Regina police issued a further 4,722 tickets for speeding or aggressive driving in December. Increases to distracted driving fines seem to be getting the attention of Saskatchewan motorists, according to December ticket records.


CATERED CARBON TAX Premier Brian Pallister is reportedly raising the possibility of imposing a carbon tax in the province as he tries to construct a green plan that will meet the federal government’s approval. Pallister’s government previously created a green plan that included a carbon tax below the national standard set by the Trudeau government. Pallister scrapped the plan when it was rejected by Ottawa and joined his fellow conservative premiers in challenging the federal carbon tax backstop in court. But Pallister is simultaneously warning that Ottawa will have to demonstrate a little more flexibility if it wants to continue to play the ‘bridge-building’ role to the other two Prairie provinces, where talk of western alienation and outright separation has escalated since Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won re-election in October. “The prime minister has said and numerous

of his colleagues have said they are seeking to build a stronger country,” Pallister said following a 30-minute meeting with Trudeau.“To do that, Manitoba is the bridge.” The capital is imposing its tax on provinces that have refused to meet the national standard for pricing carbon emissions: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The national tax was imposed in New Brunswick, but the province came up with its own tax after the election, which has Premier Brian Pallister is working on a green plan that could since been approved by the federal see the province develop its own carbon tax system. government. Pallister said he’ll unveil a new green plan and discuss it with the federal The national carbon tax is structured to government “in the not too distant future,” escalate over time, but Pallister has indicated adding that the dialogue “will include a that he believes any tax should be “flat and carbon price of some kind.” low like the Prairie horizon.”

MANITOBAN MERRINESS As the holiday season—and winter weather— cascaded upon Canada, AIA’s Manitoba division celebrated with a little bit of holiday philanthropy. On December 13, during its annual Christmas Luncheon, AIA’s Manitoba division gathered at the Viscount Gort Hotel in Winnipeg to share some networking opportunities, festive foods, laughter, fun—and socks. This year, AIA Manitoba was able to accumulate more than 600 pairs of socks, which the organization then donated to a local charity, the Siloam Mission. AIA Manitoba also donated $1,000 to the cause. The Siloam Mission is a Christian humanitarian

INSURER INCOME Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) recently released its financial report for the first three quarters of 2019, where it reported an increase in income and a 0.6 percent overall rate decrease. MPI reported a net income of $176.6 million for the first nine months of its 2019/2020 fiscal year, marking an increase of $89.2 million over the same time period last year. “MPI remains in a solid financial position heading into the final quarter of the fiscal

organization that alleviates hardships and provides opportunities for change for those affected by homelessness. According to the organization, it serves as “connecting point between the compassionate and Winnipeg’s less fortunate.”

AIA Manitoba has been active with the organization for several years—in 2018, the division gifted the Siloam Mission $1,500 and more than 600 pairs of socks and, back in 2017, donated a further 500 pairs to the organization.

AIA’s Manitoban memebers flexed their philanthropy muscles during the holiday season.

year,” said Mark Giesbrecht, vice president of finance and CFO for MPI. Total earned revenues for the first nine months rose by $52.1 million from the same period last year, driven mainly by higher motor vehicle premium revenue resulting from an increase in the number of motor vehicles insured, the value of these vehicles, and an overall 1.8 percent increase in basic insurance rates ordered by the Public Utilities Board effective March 1, 2019.

Further, the Public Utilities Board recently approved MPI’s rate application of an overall rate decrease of 0.6 percent, along with the Corporation’s proposed Capital Management Plan. “MPI’s new capital target and framework will serve to protect ratepayers from future rate hikes and aligns the interests of the Basic and Extension lines of business,” added Giesbrecht. The new rates take effect on March 1, 2020.



DOUG FORD FLOP Despite Canada’s new federal rebate program, EV sales have been plummeting in Ontario. Recent reports revealed that, within the first six months of this year, the sale of electric vehicles has dropped 55 percent in Ontario. In June 2018, the Conservative government called for a cancellation of the Ontario rebate program that had offered up to $14,000 to Canadians that chose to drive cleaner and greener. Despite the federal government’s quick efforts to bring back a new rebate program in spring 2019, it was seemingly too late. “Definitely, there was quite a significant

decline,” Cara Clairman, president and CEO of Plug’n Drive told news outlets. “Especially right after the rebates were cut.” The federal government had a goal that by 2025, more than 10 percent of cars on the road would be electric. Currently, only 3.5 percent of vehicles on Canadian roads are EVs. EV sales in Ontario are plummeting thanks to the cancellation of the province’s rebate program.

SITE SEARCH The Ontario government recently announced a job site challenge to identify constructionready sites where automakers or manufacturers could invest in Ontario by building a large plant, creating a wealth of both direct and supply-chain jobs for the province. Prabmeet Sarkaria, associate minister of small business and red tape reduction; Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade; and

Ernie Hardeman, local MPP and minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, made the announcement at the in Woodstock, Ont. The challenge invites municipalities, economic development agencies and industrial property owners to propose ‘mega sites’—large plots of land between 500 and 1,500 acres that are already zoned for heavy industrial use. According to the government, potential


sites will be evaluated based on predetermined criteria. When the province acquires a list of possible sites, it will launch a marketing campaign to showcase them to international and domestic investors. The first sits are expected to be made available to investors in the fall of 2020. The province began accepting proposals on Jan. 1, 2020. The deadline to submit is Mar. 31, 2020.


CRUISING CONSEQUENCES The Ontario Traffic Council (OTC) recently announced its support of Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) implementation in the province with its launch of Driving Safer Communities—the council’s campaign aimed to raise awareness of the new speed compliance systems. “Despite speed being a factor in approximately one-third of fatal collisions across Canada, data being collected by municipalities across the province clearly demonstrates that vehicles are continuing to speed,” said Geoff Wilkinson, executive director of OTC. “On behalf of the OTC, we wholeheartedly endorse the province’s implementation of ASE, and to further support the program we have launched the Driving Safer Communities campaign to ensure Ontario residents are well informed about this safety tool.” ASE systems utilize cameras and speed measurement devices to enforce speed limits in what the OTC describes as “vulnerable” sectors—such as schools and community safety zones. Each system is designed to change driver behaviour in these sectors to better facilitate safe driving conditions. According to the OTC, Toronto, Ottawa,

Brampton and the Niagara Region will be the first municipalities in Ontario to implement ASE systems, which could launch province-wide by spring 2020. Clear signage will be posted anywhere one is expected to be placed and, after a brief grace period, it will be fair game for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to issue tickets to any motorist caught speeding in these areas.

Ontario could be getting widespread automated speed enforcement.

FOSSIL FUEL FINES Ontario drivers who park petroleumpowered vehicles in EV-designated spots may soon be fined $125, thanks to a change to the province’s Highway Traffic Act. The change says vehicles parked in designated spots must be electric and attached to the station’s charging equipment. If the vehicles are neither electric, owners could be ticketed. The same charge will be applied to vehicles parked in charging spaces when they are not using the technology. The bill was brought forward in June 2019 by House Leader MPP Paul Calandra and later moved forward by Whitby, Ont. Progressive Conservative MPP Lorne Coe. It was co-sponsored by Guelph MPP and Ontario Green party leader Mike Schreiner. Similar laws prohibiting the blocking of charger spots are in place elsewhere in Canada. Quebec adopted a $100-$200 fine for blocking chargers last spring; cities including Vancouver, Sudbury, and London have also passed comparable bylaws. Similar legislation has been passed in 13 U.S. states, including California, Colorado and Florida. Ontario’s new bill goes into effect immediately. FEBRUARY 2020 COLLISION REPAIR  73


ACQUISITION HAT TRICK The Quebec-based iA Financial Corporation recently announced the acquisition of three vehicle warranty companies—WGI Service Plan Division, WGI Manufacturing, and Lubrico Warranty. WGI Service Plan Division and WGI Manufacturing operate out of Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia, respectfully. Both companies are subsidiaries of C. Walker Group, a market leader in the Canadian warranty and ancillary products business and also a longtime partner of iA. “We are excited that WGI will be joining a visionary and forward-thinking organization,” said Chuck Walker, owner of C. Walker Group Inc.“iA has demonstrated its commitment to enhancing its car dealer and client experience. We are confident that our clients and dealers will be well served and their interests will continue to be well represented.” Lubrico Warranty, which is based in London, Ontario, sells car warranties through more than 4,000 used vehicle dealerships across the all provinces—save for Quebec. Warranties sold by Lubrico are honoured at more than 3,000 collision repair facilities across North America. “With Lubrico Warranty becoming part of

iA’s dealer services division, we anticipate that synergies will allow us to add significant value to the services offered to Canadian consumers looking to acquire a vehicle through our network of dealer partners,” remarked Terry Fletcher, president of Lubrico Warranty. All three of iA’s acquisitions are effective immediately, according to the company. A news release by iA confirmed the three companies will be managed under the dealer services division of the corporation. “With the acquisitions of WGI and Lubrico Warranty, iA pursues its growth strategy to become a major force in the Canadian automobile ecosystem by achieving scale and

industry-leading productivity,” said Sean O’Brien, senior vice-president of dealer services at iA Financial Group.“These acquisitions will offer substantial opportunities in respect of client and dealer experience and will make iA more present in used vehicle dealerships. We are pleased to welcome the highly professional teams of WGI and Lubrico Warranty.” Established in 1892, iA Financial Group is one of the largest insurance and wealth management groups in Canada and also has operations in the United States. The company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols IAG for common shares and IAF for preferred shares.

Quebec-based iA Financial recently acquired three vehicle warranty companies in what can only be described as an acquisition hat trick.

A BRIGHT FUTURE Cars and Jobs, a program promoting the many available careers in the automotive sector, are predicting the continued growth of auto sector employment in Quebec throughout 2020. “Over the past few years, we have been hearing consistently from our dealers throughout Québec and Canada that they need to hire new talent in a variety of positions,” said Denis Dessureault, executive vice-president of the Montreal International Auto Show and Montreal Automobile Dealers Corporation. “Factor in the ongoing retirement of older workers and overall industry growth, and you have a sector that is keen to welcome new hires.” According to the group, 2019 saw the retail auto sector employ more than 50,000 people in Quebec, averaging weekly earnings of $1,135 compared to $592 for all retail sectors. “We predict that 2020 will be a continuation of [the upward] trend; where workers of all skill levels are needed in dealerships throughout the country,” said Dessureault. Throughout the 2020 Montreal Auto Show, which ran from January 17 through January 26, the team at Cars and Jobs were out on the show floor, aiming to foster relationships between job-seeking attendees and auto retail companies represented at the show. “Whether someone is just starting out in their career and thinking about post-secondary options, or someone is looking to enhance their career, they will be able to find an opportunity that is interesting in the auto industry,” wrote the group.



A BEAUTIFUL THING After patiently waiting for 25 years, Steve Lewis of Steve Lewis Auto body has purchased the Harvey’s restaurant next door to his shop. Steve Lewis Auto Body—a collision repair facility in Sydney, Nova Scotia—has been in operation for 45 years, with 34 of those years spent at 61 Beech Street. The property is located beside the former Harvey’s restaurant on the corner of Prince Street and Beech Street, which shuttered its doors on December 15, 2019. When news broke of the restaurant’s closure, the longtime family business couldn’t help but act quickly. “We’ve been trying to buy it for 25 years,” said facility owner Steve Lewis. “When we found out it was for sale, we made a phone call and it just went from there. We were happy about getting it, that’s for sure.” The deal to purchase the Beech Street Harvey’s was finalized at the end of December. Steve Lewis Auto Body has expanded several times over the years. The office areas underwent an expansion project about 15 years ago and, four years ago another building was added to the service bay. As far as the newly purchased plot and

building, there are a number of possibilities being pondered by the business. The building itself—which boasts 232.26 square metres of floor space—is in good condition, according to Lewis, but the business remains unsure of how it will fit into the already flourishing business. “There’s lots of things we can do with it, but we are not entirely sure how it’s going to fit yet,” said Lewis.“It will definitely be encompassed somehow. We’re just glad to have it. It’s another big step for the business.” Some ideas up for consideration include an estimating station or more office space for administration staff. One thing, however, is for certain—the staff at Steve Lewis Auto Body will no longer be able to walk next door for a quick bite for lunch or to grab a coffee at breaktime. “Some of the guys will definitely miss that, for sure,” said Lewis.

Thankfully for the resident of Sydney, representatives for Harvey’s have promised that a new location would be opening in the near future, though the representative could not release any specific details. Harvey’s is the second-largest Canadianestablished restaurant chain in the country behind Tim Hortons, and the fourth-largest burger chain in Canada. Steve Lewis Auto Body’s newest property acquisition is surely a beautiful thing.





isk is everywhere. Unfortunately, hazard awareness is less ubiquitous. Hazards exist in every workplace, though few sectors pack in as much dangerper-square-metre as the collision repair industry. “If you own, run or work in a collision repair facility, to control all hazardous conditions means you must ensure that everyone in the shop has the proper equipment to protect all employees,” says Mohammad Abdoli, associate professor at Ryerson University’s School of Occupational and Public Health. When it comes to industrial health and safety, there are five main categories of hazards—each posing life-altering consequences for employees facing long-term exposure. If a hazard has an impact on an individual in the

“The most important factor is that collision repair facility owners ensure employees are operating in a facility designed for auto repair. A good shop is equipped with ventilation systems where chemicals are captured and controlled on the spot.”

long term, the hazard is considered a health hazard. If they impact an individual instantly, they are a safety hazard. These broad categories are physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic and psycho-social. Depending on the circumstances, these hazards can fall into either the health or safety categories. In most repair facilities, employees most readily recognize chemical risks. They are faced when repairing and cleaning parts, as well as during painting and welding processes. Though well understood, hazardous chemicals do still damage the health and risk the safety of even the most well-informed repairers— though these risks are dramatically reduced through education. Physical hazards are also better understood, at least when it comes to physical safety hazards. What is less recognized, however, are the physical health hazards that have become problematic with increased exposure. Any type of loud noise, such as the sound of sanding the body of a car, or the high-pitched

— Mohammad Abdoli, associate professor for Ryerson University’s School of Occupational and Public Health.


whine of some grinders, can cause long-term effects. Equally, heat and cold stress can have significant deleterious effects on the heath of auto repairers. Even the vibration of power tools, the glare of headlamps and inhalation of petroleum fumes can deliver long-term health consequences. Ergonomic hazards are generally recognized, and often addressed by progressive collision repair facilities. Studies show that collision repair business owners and managers are quite happy to invest in ergonomic equipment, recognizing that a comfortable employee is an efficient one. This is important as it is not unusual for repariers to be in awkward positions for a period of time. New advancements in technology are ensuring the new generation of repairers have a healthy and safe workplace environment. From complete air-system paintsuits to top-of-the-line welding helmets, health and safety are getting the awareness that is needed.


AIRGO 2.0 Big Ass Fans As its parent name suggests, the AirGo 2.0 spans a whopping eight-foot diameter. With its Easy-Lock system, this unit features a full 360 degrees of movement utilizing high volume/ low speed technology to keep workers cool. Despite the fan’s size, the AirGo 2.0 is said to produce virtually no sound–little enough to carry out a conversation directly in front of, with an OSHA-compliant cage surrounding the blades to dissuade any curious fingers. bigassfans.com

EUROVAC II PNEUMATIC PORTABLE Eurovac Eurovac’s newest product, the Eurovac II Pneumatic Portable is designed to collect explosive dusts, fine powders, and debris from any automotive work environment. A portable unit, powered by compressed air, this vacuum can handle two techs sanding simultaneously and the use of the compressed air eliminates any chance of explosion by removing the element of a sparking motor. According to Eurovac, the system is grounded with static vacuum hoses which allows it to meet the National Fire Association Protection codes and create a safer work environment. eurovac.com

ADTH WELDING HELMET Pro Spot Pro Spot’s new ADTH welding helmet meets all of today’s welding and grinding applications. Its large viewing area (100 mm x 54 mm) gives great visibility before and during welding. Providing shade settings from 8 to 12 for all types of welding , the ADTH works on high efficiency dual solar cells. The helmet, complete with headgear, weighs less than 500 grams and works on all types of welding arcs. Replaceable cover plates are included.


COMPRESSED AIR-FED RESPIRATION SYSTEMS Sata With SATA’s compressed air-fed respiration systems painters get the personal protective equipment to work longer and healthier. Since 1931 SATA has been producing air filtration systems and continues today with some of the highest standards in air quality. SATA offers two different filtration series, the SATA 200 and 400 Series Filter Unit. In conjunction with filtration, SATA offers CSA/NIOSH approved fresh-air breathing systems, the Air Star C, SATA Vision 2000 and the latest SATA Air Vision 5000. sata.ca FEBRUARY 2020 COLLISION REPAIR  77


SCANNING THE SCENE What your business needs to consider before investing in a scanning and diagnostics solution


he importance of pre- and post-scanning every vehicle to ensure all systems are working properly and calibrations are completed is no longer debatable. Vehicles today can utilize over 50 individual modules containing large amounts of generic and manufacturer-specific data. A vehicle’s system could have 100 million lines of code programmed to operate all of its functions, which equates to nearly twice the data processing requirements of your home PC, or 10 times the data processing requirements of your smartphone. Most manufacturers have created position statements regarding pre-scanning, post-scanning and calibrations when performing collision repairs, with some backdating to vehicles manufactured more than a decade ago. A repaired vehicle must have all of these modules scanned and functioning normally to ensure the vehicle is safe to be returned to the road. While performing pre- and post- scans is no longer up for debate, the matter of how these should be performed remains an open question. What the best scanning method to use for your shop is a decision you will have

to make for yourself. OEM scan tools that are available through dealerships are not necessarily a sensible option for unaffiliated repairers. Using them can have a deleterious effect on shop KPIs. After towing a vehicle to a dealer and waiting for a post-scan and calibrations, the discovery of lingering trouble codes can be downright devastating. Generic third-party scan tools provide an inexpensive way for collision facilities to access this information but do not necessarily have the ability to read all of the vehicle’s control modules, and do not contain the software to retrieve all the manufacturer specific data from these modules. Another concern is that many errors from these modules will not illuminate a light on the dash or give any other indication of a problem. Then, there are the remote diagnostic scanning options. Performed and analyzed by trained automotive service technician utilizing OEM licensed software offsite, these services cut the guesswork and research time down by producing a full report with recommended repair procedures. A common concern about these options for shops is the added cost and downtime. There is no right answer to the question of

“When a job comes in, you must gather as much information about the vehicle that you possibly can prior to working on it. Otherwise, if you find trouble later on, you won’t know if the problem was already there or if you induced it during the repair process.” — Chuck Olsen, executive director of operations for AirPro Diagnostics


what is right for your shop. A quick scan of the options included in this section should, however, help. It should give you a solid sense of what to expect, and what to consider.


ASTECH DIAGNOSTIC asTech The asTech diagnostic device is able to connect to a vehicle’s computer and provide information to an off-site master auto technician. The technician will diagnose and resolve electronic and computer-related trouble codes as a result from collision, providing auto repair facilities with a detailed report featuring repair procedures recommended by OEMs. According to asTech the “need for immediate attention after a collision has never been more important.” The asTech diagnostic device makes the process incredibly simple for facilities that want to save time, guarantee completion dates and improve shop efficiency. astech.com

VEHICLE HEALTH CHECK (VHC) SCANNING SUITE Solera | Audatex Audatex - a Solera Company - is pleased to present the Vehicle Health Check (VHC) Scanning Suite. Designed to make scanning portable, affordable and simple, the pocket-sized OB2D dongle has the ability to easily pair with the smartphone app which is free to download on any Android and iOS phone. The VHC suite was designed to easily check a vehicle’s health in three easy steps. First, it performs a full automotive scan using the dongle and the app. Secondly, the VHC diagnoses the vehicle, with more than 80,000 Identifix technicians’ knowledge behind the most common diagnosis. Thirdly, the suite performs post scans to verify that the vehicle is operable before being put back on the road. audatex.ca

MAXISYS MSELITE Autel The MSElite is an advanced, wireless, diagnostic scan tool. The 10-inch touchscreen tablet comes equipped with an Android 4.4.4 operating system, a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 64G hard drive, and the Autel MaxiSYS system suite software. The MSElite has bi-directional control and can perform all system AutoSCAN and AutoVIN from 2006 onward. The MSElite is updatable via Wi-Fi, and includes a J2534 MaxiFlash Elite pass-thru programming device, MaxiSYS-VCI100 unit, combo docking/charging station, and complete OBDII connector kit. A two-year tool warranty and two years of free software updates are available with purchase. autel.com

CAR DIAGNOSTICS SYTEM Mitchell Diagnostics Connect. Diagnose. Repair. Simple. The first comprehensive car diagnostic system designed specifically for the collision repair and automotive claims process. Completing proper collision repair scanning can help expedite the repair process, enhance productivity and build business. When you incorporate the Mitchell Diagnostics car diagnostic system into your repair and claims infrastructure, you can quickly access data needed to ensure a proper and safe repair. mitchell.com FEBRUARY 2020 COLLISION REPAIR  79




EMERGENCY IGNORANCE Just weeks after the death of Ontario tow operator Todd Burgess, who died in a roadside accident on Nov. 7, the Canadian towing community reported another near-fatal roadside collision on in northern Ontario. The incident was reported on Nov. 22 on Hwy. 11 in northern Ontario. Two tractor-trailers following the tow truck allegedly made no attempt to slow down or move over for the truck’s flashing lights, resulting in one of the trailers nearly colliding with an oncoming vehicle. Thankfully, the oncoming vehicle

had slowed down for the emergency lights start to enforce these laws. Start ticketing and was able to avoid a head-on collision. A the offenders, enough is enough.” second tractor-trailer then hit the vehicle being rigged from behind, forcing the car into the rear of the tow truck. No one was injured. One disgruntled operator voiced his concerns on a Facebook post discussing the collision: “With all these Ontario’s tow truck operators are calling on tow trucks being hit, it’s time the OPP for stricter regulations. for the OPP to step up and

CLEAR THE WAY Alberta’s provincial government is being called on to approve new safety measures for tow truck operators after a man was hit responding to call in Edmonton in December. The operator was putting out traffic cones at the scene of an accident when he was clipped by the side mirror of a passing vehicle. He sustained minor injuries, but

the Alberta Motor Association says the incident represents a very serious—and widespread—issue. In Alberta, drivers are legally required to slow down to 60 km/h when passing emergency vehicles with their lights flashing—and that includes tow trucks.Alberta’s tow truck operators are also calling for rules that would allow tow

trucks to use both blue and amber lights. The Alberta Motor Association has reportedly met with the province’s transportation minister, but it is still awaiting answers.As for the province’s tow truck operators—they feel that drivers need to be held accountable for not following the ‘Move Over Alberta’ legislation.


Two brave and unidentified towing professionals assisted in an RCMP operation in mid-February.


Two anonymous tow truck drivers recently participated in an RCMP operation to capture two men suspected of theft, firearms and narcotics-related crimes. In mid-February, a suspicious vehicle pulling a trailer that had been reported stolen was spotted in Northern B.C. Shortly thereafter, a radio request was sent to commercial truck drivers asking for help in preventing the vehicle from evading police. Two tow truck operators responded by blocking the vehicle into the highway. In response, the suspect driver and passenger drove the vehicle and its trailer into a ditch, attempted to flee on foot and pointed a rifle at one of the tow truck operators. The suspects then fled into the nearby woods and later turned themselves in to police.


LIVE ON (THIN) ICE When death is a crack away, True North Track Truck’s Brandon Friesen doesn’t freeze up BY GIDEON SCANLON


n the frozen-over surface of Lake Winnipeg, disaster struck. A pickup truck with an attached trailer broke through the ice and became partially submerged. With their community known for being one of the best ice-fishing destinations in the world, the citizens of Balsam Bay, Manitoba are all too familiar with this situation.When ice breaks and vehicles are involved, they know who to call. Brandon Friesen is the owner of True North Track Truck, a towing business that specializes in ice rescues. The brand has built up modified trucks with distinctive ice tracks. Just their presence is enough to draw crowds to watch vehicle recovery operations live, on thin ice.  Friesen wasn’t sure that he’d provided much excitement to observers that day. By his standards, the job had been rather dull.  But then he saw a Ford F-150 driving towards him—and over the now broken ice surface. “We rescued the truck without water damage but realized the ice was still too thin to safely work on the trailer. We’d need another week before it would be thick enough,” “While we were working, another truck appeared. The

three gentlemen inside tried to cross the pressure crack open ice that the camper had caused.” The ice did not hold. Friesen watched as the vehicle dropped into the dark waters—with the three passengers trapped inside. With the cabin entirely submerged, the men struggled to free themselves. “The third guy felt he had another second before he would have drowned,” says Friesen. “Fortunately, we were right there.” Locals know just where to go for the best shows. Friesen often finds himself operating in the same areas with deceptively thin ice. In the aftermath of the rescue, Friesen issued a social media post warning would-be ice fishers of the dangers of deceptively thin ice. Unfortunately, the message did not reach one driver—who later drove right into a hole on the lake’s surface. His vehicle was left in a precarious position—its front-right wheel submerged as the cold air began to close up the lake’s surface. Fortunately for the driver, however, Friesen was there to pull off the day’s third and final rescue. “It’s simply our job to do incident management and help others while staying humble,” said Friesen.

Brandon Friesen, owner of True North Track Truck.

True North Track Truck’s rescues often garner an audience—this rescue attracted a handful of spectators.

The True North tow operators see slippery situations like this on a daily basis.

When ice breaks and vehicles are involved, visitors and residents of Balsam Bay, Manitoba know who to call. FEBRUARY 2019 COLLISION REPAIR  81


THE FOG OF WAR Gunshots and torched trucks ring in the GTA towing community’s new year BY GIDEON SCANLON


ust before Christmas, an apparently co-ordinated series of arson attacks on tow trucks throughout the GTA sent a chill down the spines of the area’s towing professionals. On December 11, a tow truck driver in a Richmond Hill parking lot had his vehicle rammed by a white pickup truck, before its driver took out a firearm and shot at the driver. In the early hours of December 23, three tow trucks were set ablaze in Hamilton, with the crimes all reported to Hamilton Police in the same one-hour period. Then, on December 23, the towing community work up to the news that five tow trucks had been torched in North York, and two more in Richmond Hill. While the shooting incident raised flags within the towing community, many members hoped the violent outburst against the tow truck driver was unrelated to his involvement in the industry. For many of the GTA’s towing professionals, these attacks were taken as confirmation that their worst fears had been right. A small criminal element was once again victimizing members of the broader towing community—after an all-too-brief lull.

Police claims of industry turf war raise unanswered questions That lull had begun six months earlier, with the wrapping-up of Project Kraken—a huge interdepartmental operation into the Chester Le gang. In June, Police announced that nearly 600 charges had been laid against 73 people associated with the organization. Toronto’s deputy police chief James Ramer said the gang and its associates had been linked to everything from murder, to drug trafficking and crimes involving the use of tow trucks as battering rams. “In two robberies in particular, tow trucks smashed their way through the front of jewelry stores and firearms were discharged,” he told reporters. Seven of the individuals charged were tow truck drivers whose vehicles were believed to have been used in at least two crash-and-grab burglaries of jewelry stores in the GTA. According to Toronto Police,

the gang’s tow truck operating associates were also suspected of being involved in attacks on towing professionals they perceived as infringing on their areas of operations. “[Some of the seven operators] had armed themselves and were prepared to shoot other tow truck operators over an ongoing battle

Toronto’s deputy police chief James Ramer said the Chester Le gang has been linked to everything from murder, to drug trafficking and crimes involving the use of tow trucks as battering rams. 82   COLLISION REPAIR COLLISIONREPAIRMAG.COM


over territory,” Ramer told the press. One detail remains unclear about the Police’s assertion that that these incidents involving the towing community qualify as a battle—or, as several department officials referred to it, a “turf war.” That detail? Which people or groups are alleged to have taken up arms in opposition to the Chester Le gang members and associates? Tow pros caught in the crossfire In the run-up to the attacks, several members of the towing community say the dangers operators faced from roadside attacks had increased. In the early hours of December 23, three tow trucks were set ablaze in Hamilton, Despite police claims with the crimes all reported to Hamilton Police in the same one-hour period. that the attacks on towto have a significant long-term towing industry were suspected of being ing professionals and involved in two open murder investigations, impact. their vehicles were “Raids are conducted, guys get DiManno makes it clear that the operators related to an ongoing charged, defendants cycle through involved are not representative of the industry. ‘turf war,’ police did not the justice system, they’re replaced In fact, she goes as far as to suggest that there provide evidence to in a gang hierarchy or resume their is no clear evidence available to the public that suggest the thuggish roles upon release from prison and ties towing operators to narcotics trafficking. acts were being recip“While details were scarce, it sounds like nothing much changes,” DiManno rocated. the tow truck faction was not necessarily In fact, even drivers Abrams Towing CEO Joey Gagne says some “bad wrote. involved with drug trafficking, which is at the from businesses with apples” are tainting the towing industry. core of gang activity. Rather, their interests Concerning coverage stainless reputations had been on the receiving ends of violence. Though a depressing read for industry pro- may have dovetailed with the Chester Le Earlier in the year, a driver from Abrams fessionals, DiManno’s piece—which is, even crew – a means to an end in what is alleged Towing was pulled from a vehicle and beaten six months after the news about the Chester to be a turf-protection racket.” Unfortunately, in other passages, the piece in a roadside attack. The driver suffered brain Le gang’s connections to the towing sector injuries and was unable to recall much about came to light, the most significant piece of veers perilously close to slanderous, describing journalism on the story—is admirably defen- roadside clients of tow truck operators as the attack. In an interview after the incident with sive about the towing industry’s reputation. being viewed as “prey”. “And, while many of us are familiar with While the piece mentions that the Toronto yorkregion.com, Joey Gagne, the CEO of Abrams Towing—and a past president of Star had discovered that members of the the intense get-there-first competition among the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario—told a reporter that it wasn’t the first such altercation his drivers had experienced. “It has not been normal [for] the last year or so,” Gagne said.“We’ve had drivers harassed and intimidated.” Early warning signs The spectre of a relapse of criminality affecting the towing sector was predicted by Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno, shortly after the Chester Le round-up. In her column June 28 column, which covered the intersection of guns, narcotics and tow trucks, DiManno suggested the round-up would be unlikely Just before Christmas, a series of tow truck arson attacks took place across the GTA, sending a chill down the spines of the area’s towing professionals.



tow truck drivers, the way they troll for prey, who knew that this has apparently taken on such a violent dimension?” DiMannio wrote. Unfortunately for the industry, however, DiManno’s piece is quite tame in its jingoistic assertions about the broader towing sector in the GTA. The Toronto Sun’s coverage of Project Kraken’s decision to include a rather concerning secondary headline—PISTOL-PACKING TOW TRUCK DRIVERS CAUGHT UP IN GUN AND GANG SWEEP?—is likely to have had a much more lasting effect on the general public’s opinion of tow truck operators. Nor is the content of the article likely to leave its readers with a realistic understanding of the broader towing sector. “You wouldn’t have wanted to argue with these tow truck drivers over your bill!” the piece jokes. Fortunately for Canada’s towing community, some members of the industry did step forward to improve the imprecision of the coverage. It its work covering the story, the CBC reached out to both Abrams Towing’s Gagne. “There’s some bad apples that do that,” Gagne said of the seven accused tow operators, “and then there’s some guys that are just trying to get work in their shop.” In the same story, PTAO’s current president, Mark Graves, made it clear that the honest members of the industry were at the most danger from this small criminal element. “We’ve had murders, vehicles burned,” he said. “It hasn’t escalated outside the industry. But we really want to try to get a handle on this before it does.”

March • A tow truck is driven through the front of a Markham jewelry shop. Two armed passengers and three accomplices. A second, similar crime is committed a few weeks later. • Two tow trucks are set alight in a residential area in Richmond Hill.

are tow truck drivers. According to Toronto Police, several of the tow truck operators kept weapons in their vehicles. • Police refer to the gang as a coordinated criminal organization. It is alleged to be involved in firearms, trafficking, conspiracy, robbery and brazen violent crimes.

May • A driver from Abrams Towing is pulled from a vehicle and beaten. He receives life-altering brain injuries. He is not the first Abrams towing driver to be victimized.

June • Toronto Police seize 23 guns, and drugs valued at $400,000 from a group referred to as the Chester Le Gang. • The investigation into the gang’s activities ends with close to 600 charges being laid against 73 members. • Seven of the individuals charged

December • A white pickup truck collides with a tow truck in a Richmond Hill parking lot. The driver of the tow truck fires several shots at the tow truck operator before driving away. The tow truck operator survives unscathed. • Three tow trucks are set ablaze in Hamilton, with the crimes all reported to Hamilton Police in the same one-hour period • Three tow trucks are set alight in North York, and two more in Richmond Hill. Police confirm that they believe the attacks to have been connected.

In May 2019, a tow truck drove through the front of a Markham jewelry shop with two armed passengers and three accomplices.



An overhead view of the Niagara location showcases the massive 16-hectare (39.5 acre) grounds.

A PEEK INSIDE More than 100 vehicles are processed through the production facility every week.

LKQ’s cutting-edge Niagara facility BY SAMUEL HOUPT


KQ’s newly renovated production facility in Niagara Falls has been the source of considerable inquiries among members of the auto aftermarket. In an effort to answer the endless inquiries from the industry concerning the location, Collision Repair got a sneak peek into LKQ Niagara to see how they are changing the recycled parts industry. The Background In 2014, LKQ purchased land in Niagara Falls. Over the next six years, the company invested in developing the 16-hectare (39.5acre) location and expanding its capabilities. In 2019, LKQ shifted its focus to the main building, upgrading it into a state-of-the-art

inside inventory, equipping it with fluid drain stations and dismantling bays. The production facility expansion was completed Dec. 1, 2019. Moving Forward Now LKQ Canada’s highest-producing yard, the team processes and dismantles more than 100 vehicles every week. As of the beginning of 2020, the yard has dismantled some 6,000 vehicles. Company representatives say it is able to provide twice-daily deliveries to its customers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. “The feedback has been great so far, customers are impressed by the availability of our inventory,” says LKQ district sales manager, Erin Vaillancourt. “We are getting some great feedback on how quickly we can deliver since we

provide twice a day delivery to body shops and repair centers across Ontario.” While the facility may be on the cuttingedge of efficiency, LKQ will continue to invest in improvements. It aims to add a warehouse in the future and has plans to invest in expanding the Niagara facility’s vehicle capacity to increase production and improve LKQ’s parts offerings in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region. LKQ also has hybrid warehouses throughout Greater Golden Horseshoe Region, with locations in Hamilton, Brampton and Whitby. The Hybrid warehouses are what allow LKQ to deliver all product lines twice daily, which include OEM recycled parts, and aftermarket by Keystone and PBE products.

Key details at a glance: - 18 dismantling bays - 17 dismantlers - 8 inside inventory and fluid drain stations - 7 Quality Control Technicians, - 1 Quality Control Supervisor - 3,200 vehicle inventory - 100 vehicles processed per week - 60 employees working in Niagara Falls





While OEMs are leaning more towards electric vehicles, other companies are thinking of ways to properly recycle these vehicles batteries once they’ve reached its end of life cycle. Lithion, a Quebec recycling company has developed a process to recycle 95 percent of the old lithium-ion batteries into new ones. The company’s process will enable the recovery of high-value lithium-ion battery components such as cobalt, lithium, and graphite, which can then be directly reused by battery manufacturers. Most lithium-ion batteries currently recovered and diverted from landfill sites are handled using processes that have an important environmental footprint and a much lower efficiency. The company will be opening up a pilot factory in Montreal and is set to begin its operations next year. The factory will be able to treat up to 200 tons of used batteries per year. The Sustainable Development Technology Canada foundation announced earlier this year that it would be contributing $3.8 million towards it.

Power management company Eaton has just announced that their previous plan of using old EV batteries to power buildings will now expand to sports stadiums. The Nissan Leaf is among many electric-powered vehicles currently on the market. Eaton initially partnered with Nissan in 2015 to harness renewable and reliable energy for residential buildings around Europe using power from old Nissan Leaf batteries. However in July, Eaton’s senior vice president Craig McDonnell stated that the businesses are in talks with football stadiums as well. “The football stadium community is interested,” stated McDonnell. “From significant ones with five or six stadiums in Europe.” Eaton predicts that using retired EV batteries for power will become increasingly common as the potential value market of electric vehicles is expected to be $2.3 billion by 2025 and the growing concern surrounding what to do with electric vehicle batteries is increasing. “Even when batteries no longer serve to power cars, they can be reborn to keep serving humans,” stated Nissan.

FOR(D) THE PLANET Ford’s eco-footprint has shrunk as their use of recycled water bottles in their vehicles grows. The company has been using recycled plastic in their trucks, SUVs and cars since 1990, and is now using up to 300 recycled plastic bottles to assist in the production of just one vehicle. This equals out to approximately 1.2 billion water bottles ethically recycled a year. “We do it because it makes sense technically and economically as much as it makes sense for the environment,” stated Thomas Sweder, a Ford Motors design engineer earlier this year. “This material is very well suited for the parts we’re making with it, and is extremely functional.” According to Ford, the recycled bottles are shredded into small pieces and sold to suppliers to turn into fibres. These fibres are eventually melted into sheets of plastic for the underbody of their vehicles. Ford announced in February this year that they would partner with locally-sourced renewable energy sources to power their plants in efforts to lessen their carbon footprint even more and improve their own fuel efficiency.

SCRAP ‘N’ SAVE Ontario drivers looking to go electric can have their gas vehicles scrapped and recycles and receive a $1,000 cheque in the process, thanks to a new initiative by Plug’n Drive. Offered in tandem with the company’s Used EV Incentive, which offers Canadians $1,000 toward the purchase of a used EV, the scrappage incentive program can get you up to $2,000 in incentives for buying a used EV or plug-in hybrid car. The scrapping process is performed by the Automotive Recyclers of Canada, who provide the infrastructure for vehicle collection and processing.

EV batteries could soon have a second life in sports stadiums.

SETTING THE STANDARD In January, Thorold Auto Parts owner Frank Serravalle beamed with pride when he opened up his mail. The auto recycling facility had received plaques celebrating the wins of several readers’ choice awards from the St. Catharines Standard, in 2019. The paper’s readers has named Thorold Auto Parts as the diamond winner in the auto parts and accessories, and oil and lube service categories, as well as the gold winner in the auto service centre and tire sales and service categories. It’s not the first maThorold Auto Parts won several jor award Serravalle’s business readers’ choice awards in 2019. has won, either—in 2018, the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce celebrated Thorold Auto Parts committment to the environment with an environmental leadership award. The business was also shortlisted for a similar award in St. Catharines Standard in 2017. FEBRUARY 2020 COLLISION REPAIR  87


CAFFEINATED CAR PARTS Competitive Green Technologies is waking up the world with its innovative recycling solutions BY ALLISON ROGERS


ord’s headlights could get a little brighter—and a lot more sustainable—this year with some help from everyone’s favourite morning pick-me-up—coffee. Competitive Green Technologies, a biomaterials company headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario has developed a patented technology that will allow Ford to convert coffee waste into resin for car parts—specifically, headlamp housings and other resin-based products. Rather than relying on the traditional process to create resins and polymers, Competitive Green Technologies uses coffee chaff—the dried skin of coffee beans, removed during the

roasting process—to create small odourless biocarbon pellets that can be moulded to form a variety of car parts. Partnering with McDonald’s, which has said it will donate “a significant portion” of its North American coffee chaff to the cause, Ford plans to use the

The company says its headlight housings are up to 23 percent lighter than traditional models.


Coffee chaff produces much lighter car parts, says Competitive Green Technologies.

The compnany says its engine beauty covers can come up to 11 percent lighter than your typical covers.

Competitive Green Technologies says its drip trays are seven percent lighter than others.


fast-food chain’s coffee waste to make headlight housings for several models, including the Lincoln Continental and the Mustang. Competitive Green Technologies says its process can reduce a part’s weight by up to 23 percent in some applications. The pellets can be also be used to create parts that use talcfilled polypropylene or nylon components. The technology was developed and patented at Ontario’s University of Guelph, where researchers were searching for organic alternatives for polymers used in plastics. Prior to the breakthrough, coffee chaff was typically thrown on fields as fertilizer—or burned. While Ford has, in the past, made its headlights from plastic and talc, the automaker has reportedly been working to identify potential upcycled ingredients for its manufacturing processes for more than a decade. Ford has been using soy-based foam in its seat cushions since 2011. It has also tried materials like wheat waste, tomato, coconut and other plants in its sustainability endeavours.





CHINS UP, EMPLOYMENT IS ON THE RISE The outlook for 2020 may not be as bad as you think

3M Automotive ...........................4 AkzoNobel ............................... 21 Arslan Automotive ................... 24 Assured Automotive .................54 Audatex | Solera .......................70 Autel ..........................................53 AutoQuip .................................. 38 Axalta ........................................92 E-Sheets....................................67 Car-Part.com ............................85 Carcone’s Auto Recycling ....... 89 Cardinal Couriers .....................10 CARSTAR Canada ......................7 Color Compass ........................69 Elite Bodyshop Solutions .........74 Equalizer ...................................72 Fix Auto Canada .......................56



t may still be the dead of winter, the birds may not be singing and the cold may still be biting, but one thing is for sure—2020 is here and a new decade is upon us. It would be too easy to make a thousand ‘2020 vision’ puns here and optimistically drone on about the potential of the decade that lay before us—but a new year doesn’t equal a clean slate when it comes to Canada’s auto repair landscape. The truth is, even with the 2010s behind us, industry disruptions delivered by the decade are still ringing in the ears of repairers far and wide. When you ask any member of the collision repair sector what challenges they expect to face in the coming years, they say one of three things:

was up one percent as of the third quarter. In the first three quarters of 2019, 691,400 Canadians entered the automotive workforce. For comparison, the first three quarters of 2018 saw about 684,000 new employees entering the industry. Canadian industry employment is up by one percent. It may not seem significant, but treat it as a glimmer of hope emerging from the storm cloud overhead. If that isn’t enough to convince you of the silver linings on the horizon, the recent Canadian Collision Industry Forum in Toronto outlined its initiatives for 2020, featuring $3,000 worth of new scholarship opportunities for techs-intraining. At each of its upcoming conferences

Formula Honda .........................55 Fuyao ........................................36 Garmat ......................................73 Hail Specialist ...........................46 Impact........................................91 KIA ........................................... 28 LKQ ......................................42,43 Max Flow Maintenance Inc. .....47 Nitroheat ...................................49 Opus ...........................................9

When you ask any member of the collision repair sector what challenges they expect to face in the next few years, they often say one of three things: continuing to wrestle with advancing technology, the push toward OEM certifications or the dreaded skills shortage facing Canada as we speak.

PPG Canada ...........................2, 3 ProSpot .................................... 37 SATA Canada ............................19 Sherwin-Williams......................50 Simplicity ..................................11 Spanesi .................................... 30 Steck ....................................... 66 Symach .................................... 51 Thorold Auto Parts....................75 Titanium Tools...........................65 WD CO-Auto..............................32 Wurth........................................ 22

continuing to wrestle with advancing technology, the push toward OEM certifications or the skills shortage facing Canada as we speak. As the industry tries to dissect the cause of the technician shortage, the finger-pointing has spread like wildfire. At this point, finger-pointing is futile. The problem needs to be solved and, regardless of the cause, one thing remains true—there are more cars on Canadian roads than ever before. I’m not afraid to be an optimist here, so I will say it; despite the reported doom and gloom of the sector, it appears 2020 may bring some much-needed relief to the collision repair industry’s skills shortage—and there are reports to back up my bold claims. In mid-November, a DesRosiers Automotive Consultants report said the sector’s employment


in Montreal, Vancouver and next year’s Toronto forum, CCIF will bestow one student with a $1,000 scholarship. CCIF also announced a series of instructor training seminars to be pursued throughout the year, as well as recruitment and retention programs at Canadian colleges. The problem is being taken seriously—and, if these initiatives hold true, 2020 could bring some much-needed relief—and talent—to the industry’s skills shortage. Allison Rogers is the associate editor of this issue of Collision Repair. She can be reached at 905-370-0101 or allison@mediamatters.ca.

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