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2017 Buick LaCrosse

8Th Annual Atlanta I-CAR Golf Tournament April 2017

COLLISION NEWS Florida Auto Body Shops, Vehicle Owners Meet With State Consumer Services Head

April 26

Toyota Concept-i Makes the Future of Mobility Human

PartCycle Disrupts Auto Parts Industry with Used OEM Marketplace Auto Care Association Urges Congress to Stop Border Adjustment Tax

DEALER NEWS AutoNation Indicates Own Parts Line to Be Mechanical — at Least for Now Benchmark Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram One of 387 FCA US Dealerships to Earn Customer First Award for Excellence Daimler And Uber Join Forces To Bring More Self-Driving Vehicles On The Road

Imagine if the vehicles of the future were friendly, and focused on you. That’s the vision behind Toyota’s Concept-i. Announced recenlty at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the groundbreaking concept vehicle demonstrates Toyota’s view that vehicles of the future should start with the people who use them. Designed by Toyota’s CALTY Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., and with user experience technology development from the Toyota Innovation Hub in

San Francisco, the Concept-i was created around the philosophy of “kinetic warmth,” a belief that mobility technology should be warm, welcoming, and above all, fun. As a result, the concept was developed with a focus on building an immersive and energetic user experience. What’s more, Concept-i leverages the power of an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) system to anticipate Concept -i Please Turn to Page 4

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ages advanced automated vehicle technologies to help enhance driving safety, combined with visual and haptic stimuli to augment communication based on driver responsiveness. While under certain conditions users will have the choice of automated or manual driving based on their personal preference, Concept-i seamlessly monitors driver attention and road conditions, with the goal of increasing automated

Concept-i From Front Cover people’s needs, inspire their imaginations and improve their lives. “At Toyota, we recognize that the important question isn’t whether future vehicles will be equipped with automated or connected technologies,” said Bob Carter, senior

vice president of automotive operations for Toyota. “It is the experience of the people who engage with those vehicles. Thanks to Concept-i and the power of artificial intelligence, we think the future is a vehicle that can engage with people in return.” Built around the Driver Vehicle Relationship At the heart of Concept-i is a powerful AI that learns with the driver to build a relationship that is meaningful and human. More than just driving patterns and schedules, the concept is designed to leverage multiple technologies to measure emotion, mapped against where and when the driver travels around the world. The combination gives Concept-i exceptional ability to use mobility to improve quality of life. What’s more, the AI system lever4

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driving support as necessary to buttress driver engagement or to help navigate dangerous driving conditions.

Designed from the inside out to foster a warm and friendly user experience, Concept-i's advanced artificial intelligence learns from and grows with the driver. April 2017

Designed to Help Make Technology Human To help ensure that even the most cutting-edge vehicle technology remained welcoming and approachable, CALTY designers built Concept-i from the inside out, starting with a next-generation user interface that serves as a platform for the vehicle’s AI Agent, nicknamed “Yui”. The

interface begins with the visual representation of Yui, designed to communicate across cultures to a global audience. With Yui’s home centered on the dashb o ard , Concepti’s interior emanates a r o u n d the driver and passenger side and throughout the vehicle in sweep-

rear deck project views onto the seat pillar to help warn about blind spots, and a next-generation head up helps keep the driver’s eyes and attention on the road. Even the exterior of the vehicle is designed to enable Concept-i to engage with the world around it. Yui appears on exterior door panels to greet driver and passengers as they approach the vehicle. The rear of the vehicle

The Concept-i was created around the philosophy of “kinetic warmth,” a belief that mobility technology should be warm, welcoming, and above all, fun.

ing lines, with interior shapes designed to enhance Yui’s ability to use light, sound and even touch

shows messages to communicate about upcoming turns or w a r n about a potent i a l h a z ard. The front of the vehicle communicates whether the Concept-i is in automated or manual drive.n

to communicate critical information. In fact, Concept-i avoids screens on the central console to reveal information when and where it’s needed. Colored lights in the foot wells indicate whether the vehicle is in automated or manual drive; discrete projectors in the

April 2017

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PartCycle Disrupts Auto Parts Industry with Used OEM Marketplace PartCycle Technologies sets new industry standards for accessibility, streamlined search and usability for quickly purchasing quality used auto parts on any device through its trusted e-commerce platform: "My search was going nowhere until a friend told me about PartCycle," says Melissa Bain, customer. "I pulled up the site, found used transmission options for my car, and felt empowered. I made the purchase and shipped it directly to my mechanic. He was impressed with the quality and installed it without issue. PartCycle made the whole thing super easy: I saved a ton of money and got back on the road!" [Watch Melissa's full success story here.] The three most common complaints for sourcing used auto parts online have been: search is confusing,

purchasing is difficult, and quality is unknown. Until now, even if a search was conducted online, a phone call was usually required to confirm the part was actually available and then complete the purchase. Too often customers haven't received the quality they need (or paid for) once the part arrives. PartCycle disrupts this "norm" by making it easy to search, compare, and purchase quality used parts in a single, simple-to-use, platform. No phone call needed. "We focus on quality, so not every used part makes it onto our platform," explains Andy Alonso, PartCycle Co-Founder. "We are transparent with our quality standards, dedicated to developing powerfully-simple technology and providing serious customer service. People to find what they need and can trust what they buy. It's that simple."

Through its national network of trusted professional salvage yards, PartCycle offers only the highest quality recycled Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts—meaning each part listed on PartCycle matches the automakers' requirements for fit, reliability and safety. Because PartCycle Sellers are professional automotive recyclers who pride themselves on quality and customer service, their parts could never be confused as having come from "junkyards." Good news for customers whose vehicles require collision or mechanical repair. "We know people need an easy, trustworthy solution for top-quality used parts, so that's all they'll find on," says Alonso. "There is no question they have come to the best source for recycled auto parts online."n

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Seeking Alpha: AutoNation Indicates Own Parts Line To Be Mechanical — At Least For Now By John Huetter Though a company spokesman didn’t answer our inquiries on if AutoNation’s new branded aftermarket parts business will extend to collisionrelated items, the company’s statements to investors suggest the No. 1 dealership chain will sell bread-and-butter mechanical parts for now. Seeking Alpha transcripts of the past two earnings calls — one the same day, Oct. 28, 2016, as the company announced it would sell its own brand of replacement auto parts — describe both the parts planned for the near term and a confidence that AutoNation Precision Parts (and an AutoNation Auto Gear line of accessories) will pull in tens of millions of improved margins. According to a third-quarter transcript provided by the financial research and analysis website, CEO Mike Jackson told analysts that the company had started with batteries, wipers and filters. “So, what are the extensions that have immediate benefit to the company?” he said, according to Seeking Alpha. “Parts, because these parts, these AutoNation parts, are going to be available in our franchise stores, as well as the AutoNation USA stores, the benefit is immediate. We have significant batteries, wiper blades, filters already in there, and we are in negotiation with supplier for hundreds of more parts that will be available both in our franchise business and in the AutoNation USA


“The benefit of that is immediate, both for the customer and for AutoNation. Of course, we will continue to offer OEM parts, and, of course, we will use them for all warranty work or all customer care work that the manufacturer pays for, but beyond that, we will offer our customers choices. And we think there’ll be a high adoption rate, just like we saw in the service contract. And, oh, by the way, we will then be able to have this supply of parts on a much better cost basis for our reconditioning in our USA stores and in the customer care aspect of our USA stores.” Eventually, the parts could number in the thousands, he said, though he didn’t say if these would extend to collision components. The company in October said it plans to add 18 collision facilities through openings or acquisitions within the next two years. “And then step by step, we’re in discussion with all the various suppliers where we lay the market opportunity, the value creating of what the consumer wants,” Jackson said in the 3Q transcript. “And you can see that expanding into hundreds of parts or it could be thousands of parts. But that’s going to be something that develops over the next several years, and it’s a little bit difficult to say how we’re going to structure all that from an operating and distribution point today, but we’ll find the optimal line and pursue it.”

Jackson also bristled at the term “aftermarket” to describe the company’s non-OEM offerings. “I resent the aftermarket term or whatever it is, it’s going to be AutoNation parts from outstanding suppliers with a brand that the consumer can trust,” he said. The company in October characterized the parts as “a high quality, competitively priced line of maintenance and repair parts.” “The new product line will be integrated into the Company’s reconditioning operations, as well as enable improved customer retention for retail service, wholesale parts and collision repair business units, including AutoNation USA,” the chain continued in the news release. “AutoNation Precision Parts was launched in the third quarter of this year in the Company’s existing stores, with the introduction of AutoNation branded batteries that feature an industry-leading free lifetime replacement guarantee. “AutoNation Auto Gear, the Company’s branded automotive accessory line, will offer auto accessories for lifestyle, appearance, protection, and vehicle security. AutoNation Auto Gear was also launched in the third quarter in the Company’s existing stores and will be available at each AutoNation USA AutoNation Please Turn to Page 29

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April 2017

Southern Automotive Repair Conference Returns in Biloxi Jammed Packed with Workshops, Speakers, Discussions and Classes

By Mary Welch Attendees at the April Southern Automotive Repair Conference (SARC) will be able to get the latest and most important updates on the collision repair industry as well as visit exhibits, learn about new vehicle technologies, promote consumer safety and get tips about succeeding in the marketplace. The conference will take place Friday, April 21, and Saturday April 22 at the IP Casino, Resort & Spa in Biloxi, MS. Among the event’s themes include OEM Perspective, Status of Independent Shops, Training in a Hi-Tech Age and Innovative Resources. Conference hosts are the state auto body associations of Alabama (ALARISE), Georgia (GCIA), Louisiana (LACIA), Mississippi (MSCRA), and Tennessee (TCRA). They will have tables at the conference to provide information and help exhibitors and attendees get the most out of the experience. The conference’s master of ceremonies will be Robert McKenzie of Refinish

Distributors Alliance. The facilitator will be Mike Anderson of CollisionAdvice. The conference is jammed packed with workshops, speakers, discussions and classes all designed to cover everything from the latest technology to marketing, employee relations and maximizing a relationship with an OEM. In addition, Brad Mewes with Supplement will present a look at the current state of the industry, the role of Wall Street financiers, other industries that have consolidated, the future of collision repair, and strategies that smaller operators can use to compete in this environment. Mike Jones, a dynamic and inspiring presenter, promised to motivate and inspire levels utilizing tools to develop untapped potential. Mike, who is the conference’s keynote speaker, served six years in the U.S. Coast Guard, is an accomplished TV host and radio personality. He flew a helicopter for the Houston police, and was a four-time recipient of the Houston

Police Officer of the Year. He currently runs Discover Leadership Training in Houston, TX. Attendee check-in and registration starts at 11 a.m. on Friday with the conference and exhibits opening at 12:30 p.m. and closing at 9 p.m. There is a reception in the exhibit area from 6 to 9 p.m. In addition, there will be pre-sessions with Assured Performance and Sumach starting at 8 a.m., prior to registration. On Saturday the conference will begin at 8 a.m. with exhibits, demos, class offerings, conference presentation and prize giveaway. A continental breakfast will be served and lunch will be provided. General Admission is $40 online and $50 at the door and includes entry to the event, classes, and sessions as well as food and beverages, including drink tickets for the reception. All classes are included in the fee, except where noted.

SARC Additions Turn to Page 24

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Buick Introduces All-New 2017 LaCrosse, Leaner and sleeker with effortless technology

The all-new 2017 Buick (33 mm) in the front and LaCrosse introduces the new 1.1 inches (28 mm) in the face of Buick, influenced rear, while the car’s width by the dramatic cues of the has grown only 0.4-inch (10 award-winning Avenir concept mm), creating a wheels-atunveiled at the 2015 North corners stance intended to American International Auto convey road confidence. Show in Detroit and inspired “It’s a sleeker design by a Buick concept from the that looks confident and mid-20th century. purposeful,” said Holt The LaCrosse features a Ware, exterior design direcnew grille design with a large tor. “Stretching the wheelopening distinguished by base, lowering the rooflithe return of a three-color – ne and making it slightly red, silver and blue – Buick wider creates a dramatic tri-shield insignia, accented effect that is enhanced by by wing-shaped elements set the design’s supporting against darkened waterfall elements such as the swept grille bars inspired by the 1954 headlamps.” Wildcat II concept. The signature sweepThe new LaCrosse’s expressive exterior design creates “The new LaCrosse is spear body-side design a new proportion for a more dramatic road presence. drop-dead gorgeous and sigelement has been reinnals the next phase of Buick’s terpreted in a modern international momentum,” fashion, enhancing the said Duncan Aldred, vice presicar’s sculpture. The split dent of Global Buick. “Its quietdesign gives the body ness, comfort and connectivside a greater perception ity were developed to set new of depth, while picking up standards in the segment, supadditional body lines for ported by technologies not an elegant, uninterrupted offered on competitors such flow from the front fenders as the Lexus ES.” to the rear. Offering greater efficienThe 2017 LaCrosse’s cy and more responsive hanbody lines are reinforced dling, the longer, lower and by a longer “daylight openwider 2017 LaCrosse is built on ing” – the portion of the a stronger yet lighter structure. upper body between the city and 29 highway for those models It is about 300 pounds lighter A- and C-pillars. They’re with AWD. Standard Stop/Start technolthan the current LaCrosse – largely due ringed with chrome, intended to add a ogy improves efficiency in stop-and-go to the use of press-hardened and hightastefully restrained premium accent to driving. strength steels. the body side. The new LaCrosse’s lower weight Other details blend form and funcNew face of Buick is also due in part to new lower mass tion. Outside mirrors are mounted on The new LaCrosse’s expressive sound-absorbing materials including a pedestals on the doors rather than the exterior design creates a new proportion lightweight dissipative dash mat in place corners of the front side windows. The for a more dramatic road presence. The of heavier noise-blocking pads that result design offers a greater field of view while front wheels have been pulled forward in a new threshold for Buick’s signature the mirror housings were shaped in the and the wheelbase stretched 2.7 inches QuietTuning. wind tunnel to help reduce wind noise. (65 mm), while the overall length is only The balance of the efficiency Aerodynamic considerations also 0.6-inch longer (15 mm). The dynamequation comes from a technologically drove the dynamic sweep of the decklid, ic proportion is further enhanced by a advanced, second-generation 3.6L V-6 which acts as a spoiler to make the most roofline that’s 1.6 inches (40 mm) lower engine paired with a new eight-speed of airflow over the LaCrosse. Deflectors in than the current model. automatic transmission offering an EPA The longer wheelbase is matched LaCrosse Please Turn to Page 27 estimated 21 city and 31 highway for by wheels pushed outward 1.3 inches FWD vehicles and an EPA estimated 20 10

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April 2017

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I-CAR®’s Josh Mcfarlin Named To ATMC Board Of Directors Recently, ASE (Automotive Service Excellence), announced the new slate of board members for the Automotive Training Managers Council (ATMC). Josh McFarlin, I-CAR’s Director, Curriculum and Product Development, has been named to the Automotive Training Managers Council’s Board of Directors. McFarlin will be serving his first threeyear term and bringing his automotive and technical training experience to the ATMC board. ATMC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of training and professional development within the transportation service industry. The addition of McFarlin to the ATMC board allows the organization to benefit from his experience driving innovation in I-CAR’s collision repair education and knowledge programs. McFarlin has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry and is in his fourth year as I-CAR’s

Director, Curriculum and Product Development, where he leads the product development team in the creation of all training materials and works with the rest of the I-CAR leadership team to develop and refine growth strategies for the organization. Prior to joining I-CAR, McFarlin was Curriculum Manager at Raytheon Technical Services Company for eight years, and has served as a Service Engineer for both Audi AG and Ford Motor Company, and as Heavy Line Technician and Team Leader at Greenway Ford in Orlando, Florida. “I have been a member of the ATMC organization for a number of years and I have watched the membership grow to nearly 200 members strong,” McFarlin said. “I am excited to bring my experience to the table and contribute to the growth of the organization for the betterment of automotive training in our industry.” Chris Chesney, Senior Director,

Customer Training, Advance Auto Parts – CARQUEST Technical Institute is the new chair of the ATMC Board. Other officers of the eleven-member board are Treasurer Ron Kato, Technical and Body Training Manager, Toyota Motor Sales North America; Secretary Tim Zilke, President and CEO, ASE; Past Chair, Holly Gerke, Director of Technical Training, Penske Truck Leasing, and David Milne, President of ATMC. Jim Boyd, Manager of Fleet Technical Services, Southeastern Freight Lines; Jim Geopfrich, Manager, North American Market, NAPA AutoTech; Ken Benson, Training Field Ops Manager, Subaru of America Training; Laura Lyons, President, ATech Training, and Glenn Dahl, Manager, Technical Operations, Bridgestone Retail Operations round out the board. For more information about the Automotive Training Managers Council visit, and for more information on I-CAR visit or (i need oem parts)

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Benchmark Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram One of 387 FCA US Dealerships to Earn Customer First Award for Excellence FCA US LLC announced that 387 Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram and FIAT dealerships including Benchmark Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Birmingham have earned certification as 2017 Customer First Award for Excellence winners. These 387 dealerships succeed the inaugural group of 124 dealerships who earned their certification in 2016. By achieving this elite status, these FCA US dealerships will be recognized by consumers as leaders in customer sales and service experience. The winning dealerships touch 24 percent of FCA retail sales volume in the U.S. "Our dealers are striving to not just improve the customer experience in their facilities, but to become the industry leaders in customer satisfaction on both the sales and service sides of the business," said Al Gardner, Head of Dealer Network Development, FCA – North America. "We now have triple the amount of winning dealerships that may proudly market themselves as Customer First Award for Excellence achievers. Consumers will know that they are in a Customer First dealership from the logos, but more importantly, they will experience the evolution of these elite stores." FCA US created the Customer First

Award for Excellence with its dealer partners and J.D. Power to improve customer satisfaction with Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT dealerships in the United States with a specific focus on the sales and service experience, employee training and facility condition. Mopar congratulates Customer First dealers who have demonstrated an elite commitment to serving customers throughout the entire life of their vehicles," said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar). "Mopar shares their unwavering commitment to their customer-first philosophy, and we'll continue to support them through an extensive portfolio of authentic parts and accessories, innovative service lane technology, such as wiADVISOR, and the full dedication of our technical and training staff." All 2,600 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT dealerships are eligible to pursue and earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. Dealerships must

achieve stringent goals in five core "pillars" to earn the coveted Customer First Award for Excellence designation: • Facility Certification – Facility provides a clean, comfortable environment for customers • Per formance Measures – Dealership has achieved highest levels of customer-oriented sales and service goals • Training Certification – Employees have received the highest level of required FCA-certified training • Employee Surveys – Completed to promote the voice of your employees and a customer-driven culture • Process Validation – Certified sales and service processes that support excellence in customer handling The Customer First Award for Excellence initiative was rolled out to dealerships in October 2015. Dealership staff participated in cross-country workshops where they learned of award requirements and dealership best practices. Some have worked with independently contracted Customer Experience Specialists in order to seek the highest levels of process and procedure improvements to ensure an increase in customer satisfaction.n

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Florida Auto Body Shops, Vehicle Owners Meet With State Consumer Services Head By John Huetter A group of Florida auto body shops and two vehicle owners recently described to the state’s Consumer Services commissioner some of the safety and financial concerns they saw in various collision repair and insurance practices. “It was a great meeting,” Gunder’s Auto Center owner Ray Gunder said Monday of the more than hour-long discussion with Republican Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam. “… We had shops from all over the state.” Topics included recycled and aftermarket part quality, short-pays, and shops taking shortcuts and “leaving dangerous repairs,” Gunder said. Two consumers shared their stories of “very poorly repaired” vehicles, according to Gunder, which helped reinforce that the issues were legitimate, not complaints from “a bunch of crybaby shops.” “He was very interested in hearing

To l l Fr e e

what they had to say,” Gunder said of Putnam, a former U.S. and state representative whose job now includes “safeguarding consumers from deceptive business practices,” according to the Agriculture and Consumer Service website. Gunder said Putnam seemed “very surprised” to hear that aftermarket parts weren’t crash-tested and was informed of potential airbag and fit issues raised by the components — or shops flat-out altering parts to fit. An email early Monday afternoon seeking comment from the agency had not yet been returned. One of the larger concerns Gunder said he’d like to see Putnam address in the future was the ramifications of insurance company policy language. Gunder said state authorities had already approved, apparently without taking a hard look, contracts that allowed at least two carriers to pay no more than the lowest price in an area — a value



determined by the insurer. “We’re really concerned” about customers receiving a policy without knowing “exactly what they’re buying,” Gunder said. Gunder said his shop has traditionally resolved payment disputes by obtaining power of attorney and pursuing legal action against a carrier for breach of contract. “We’re dead in the water” if customers sign their rights away like that, Gunder said. “Everything is contractual.” “They can determine what they pay and get away with it,” Gunder said. “… There’s no way for a shop to attack that at all.” Gunder said the meeting was made up of “local quality shops,” as no major trade association remained in Florida. “We just continue to pound the rock,” Gunder said, trying to overcome the perception by some in the industry that “unsafe cars on the road is OK.”n





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Georgia Power Makes Driving Electric More Convenient Than Ever In 2017 Company offers expanded public EV charging infrastructure, rebates and incentives available

Georgia Power continues to advance electric transportation in Georgia through innovative programs that make driving an electric vehicle (EV) more convenient than ever in 2017. To accommodate the growing number

of EVs on Georgia roads and highways, the company installed 25 new public EV charging locations last year in 25 cities across the state, with more to come in 2017. Since launching its Get Current, Drive Electric™ initiative in 2015, Georgia

Power estimates that approximately 2,500 EV chargers have been installed statewide by the company and its customers. From Savannah to Rome, Georgia Power public charging islands feature multiple options for EV drivers including a DC fast charger (CHADeMo/SAE combo plugs) as well as a dual port Level 2, 208/240-volt charger. The charging islands accept either a Georgia Power Card, powered by ChargePoint and available at G e orgiaPower., or an existing ChargePoint card. Both business and residential customers continue to realize the benefits of driving electric with Georgia Power. The company has issued more than 1,700 rebates to residential and business customers through the Get Current, Drive Electric™. The company also continues to encourage EV-driving customers to consider its special Plug-in Electric Vehicle charging rate (PEV), which helps them save even more just by making simple changes like setting a timer to charge their EV at night and shifting electricity usage as seasons and demand times change.n

April 2017

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Conference M/C Robert McKenzie SPONSORED BY RDA

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April 21 & 22

New & Returning Exhibitors! Additional Presenters! New Sessions!

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Presenter I-CAR ‘Safety Shield Technologies’Conference class requires pre-pay & registration Clifton Lambreth Aaron Schulenburg Robert McKenzie Mike Anderson for test & credit. Or sign-in for free audit (no credit) if space permits. SPONSORED BY SPONSORED BY SPONSORED BY at door SPONSORED BY RDA



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More Time! New & Returning Exhibitors! New Sessions! 1. OEMs—Mike Anderson with HONDA, GM, &Additional NISSAN Presenters! reps $35 online by credit card or $45 cash or check at the door 2. Success for Independent Shops— Mike Anderson, Luehr, BradDrawings Mewes, Jake Rodenroth All Exhibitor Access—Every Class &Dave Session—Prize NEW THIS YEAR! GREAT PANEL DISCUSSIONS ! Friday Reception & Drink Tickets—Saturday Breakfast—Saturday Lunch 3. I-CAR News & Panel— Bobby Kennedy, German Mejia, Caleb Mills, Tony Nethery, Patrick Porter, Dave Robinette & Terry Ticel

• More space! Vehicles & demos in the exhibit area! • OEMs—Mike Anderson with HONDA, GM, & NISSAN reps! EVENT REGISTRATION link HOTEL RESERVATION link WEBSITE link • Multiple classes & sessions—Register online! • Success for Independent Shops—Mike Anderson, $35 online by credit card Rates start at $149 All links & Agenda Dave Luehr, Brad Mewes, Jake Rodenroth! • PRESENTATIONS & CLASSES focusing on the Industry! Access all links online at: • I-CAR News & Panel—Bobby Kennedy, German Mejia, SU I-CAR ‘Safety Shield Technologies’ class requires Caleb Mills, Tony Nethery, Patrick Porter, Dave Robinette pre-pay & registration for test & credit. Or sign-in at & Terry Ticel theTHIS doorYEAR for free audit (no credit) if space permits. NEW

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TITAN's Legendary Innovation Leadership Continues with Cutting-Edge Towing, Utility and Driving Aids In 2016, the Nissan TITAN XD shook up the highly competitive fullsize pickup segment in the United States and Canada with a bold design and capabilities that staked out a unique position in the segment between traditional heavy-duty and light-duty entries. Aggressive Style, Smart Utility The 2017 TITAN halfton builds on the foundation of design innovation established by the original Titan full-size pickup, including bed and cab features that are now industry standard, and the rugged workhorse sensibility of the new TITAN XD. The TITAN half-ton has the same aggressive style of the TITAN XD, but is built on a completely separate chassis and is about a foot shorter in wheelbase (139.8 inches versus XD's 151.6 inches). At 228.1 inches in length, it is 14.7 inches shorter than the larger TITAN XD (242.8 inches). TITAN and TITAN XD share the same cabs, and both offer similar ruggedness, durability and innovative interior, bed and driving aid features. The TITAN half-ton's exterior design was created at Nissan Design America in La Jolla, Calif. The design's focus on improved aerodynamics (an approximate 10 percent reduction versus the previous-generation Titan) incorporates a front spoiler, roof and tailgate spoilers, front tow hook hole cover, underbody covers, rear tire wind deflectors and a seal between the cab and bed. The TITAN half-ton also includes an Active Grille Shutter, which helps reduce drag by closing the grille opening behind the radiator when a large amount of airflow is not needed (based on coolant temperature, vehicle speed and air conditioning system pressure). Available exterior features include LED headlights and taillights, signature Daytime Running Lights, puddle lamps, and step rails for cabin and bed entry/ exit.

TITAN's 390-horsepower 5.6-liter EnduranceÂŽ V8 gasoline engine along with 7-speed automatic transmission offers bet ter acceleration, handling and braking than leading competitors.

Nissan's popular Utili-trackÂŽ Bed Channel System, which made its industry-first debut on the original Titan, features four heavy-duty aluminum alloy cleats that move and lock anywhere along the walls, as well as bed floor and header tracks that give the user endless tie-down possibilities. Available as an accessory on TITAN Crew Cab Platinum Reserve are dual lockable in-bed "TITAN Box" storage boxes that sit sight-unseen at street level and can hold a wide range of essential work and recreational equipment. Unlike other pickup bed storage boxes, the TITAN XD units are accessible from inside the bed without having to remove a camper top or tonneau cover. The boxes are watertight (and drainable) and can be used as a cooler for picnics or tailgating. They are also easily removable for times when extra bed capacity is required. Other TITAN bed features include the popular spray-on bedliner, flush-mounted LED bedrail lighting, cargo and tailApril 2017

TITAN Please Turn to Page 33 Southern Automotive Journal


Daimler And Uber Join Forces To Bring More Self-Driving Vehicles On The Road Daimler and Uber recently announced an agreement on their intent to cooperate on the supply and operation of self-driving vehicles. Under the terms of the cooperation Daimler plans to introduce self-driving vehicles also on Uber's global ridesharing network in the coming years. Daimler is the first auto company to join with Uber as it opens up its platform for manufacturers to introduce their own self-driving cars. With its new corporate strategy entitled CASE – which stands for "Connected", "Autonomous", "Shared & Services" and "Electric" – Mercedes-Benz Cars is marking out the cornerstones for its future success and the reshaping of mobility. This agreement is the next step into the future of shared and autonomous driving. Daimler is a pioneer when it comes to self-driving vehicle technologies. The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the world's first series-production vehicle to be awarded a

test licence for autonomous driving in the US state of Nevada. With its Highway Pilot system, Daimler Trucks is now the world's first truck manufacturer with plans to develop an autonomous driving system for use in commercial vehicles. Uber has assembled a strong self-driving engineering group with its Advanced Technology Group, which is testing self-driving vehicles on the road in the US. Uber's Otto division is also working on self-driving trucks. And Uber has valuable experience that comes from running a ridesharing and delivery network across 74 countries. Each company will benefit from the other's industry-leading capabilities in research and development of autonomous driving and network operations. "As the inventor of the automobile, Daimler aims to be a leader in autonomous driving – one of the most fascinating aspects of reinventing mobility," said

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "Mobility service providers offer an ideal platform for autonomous driving technology and Uber is a leading mobility platform company. The real revolution in future mobility lies in intelligently linking the four major trends we call CASE: connectivity, autonomous driving, sharing and electric mobility. And we will certainly be the driver of these changes." Travis Kalanick, CEO and Co-Founder of Uber, said: "Self-driving technology holds the promise of creating cities that are safer, cleaner and more accessible. But we can't get to that future alone. That's why we're opening up the Uber platform to auto manufacturers like Daimler. By combining Daimler's and Uber's technological strengths, more people can get access to reliable transportation at the push of a button."n or (i need oem parts) Check out our Website for - Association Information • OEM Repair Information • News and Trends • Back Issues 22

Southern Automotive Journal

April 2017

Troncalli Parts Professionals Starting Line-Up

Hugh Blake

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Southern Automotive Repair Conference Returns in Biloxi Discussion Panels and Classes Discussion Panels

Panel 1 OEM Perspective Industry Panel with Mike Anderson ofCollisionAdvice and representatives from AsTech, GM, Honda, and Nissan discuss topics important to distributors, shops, and consumers Panel 2 Successful Shops discussion with Mike Anderson of CollisionAdvice, David Luehr of Elite Body Shop Solutions, Brad Mewes of Supplement, and Jake Rodenroth with Collision Diagnostics Panel 3 I-CAR 2017 presentation and discussion with I-CAR instructors and staff, including German Mejia, Caleb Mills, Tony Nethery, Patrick Porter, Dave Robinette, and Terry Ticel

Classes include: I-CAR: ‘Safety Shield Technologies’ a brand new one hour class module that will be presented to attendees. Individuals must register with I-CAR to receive credit. Assured Performance: Special pre-conference session! Attendees will learn how to maximize benefits of being an OEM Certified Collision Care Provider and also learn about tools to improve business. AsTech: AsTech Remote Diagnostic Device – Jake Rodenroth of Collision Diagnostic Services presents the innovative AsTech tool and process that remotely diagnoses vehicle issues and codes. Management Success: ‘Super Charge Your Profits’ Learn the importance of having the right employees on your team, how efficiency and numbers make the difference, and what key ingredient sets you apart. CollisionAdvice: ‘Positioning Yourself’ with Mike Anderson focuses on sales and marketing, production, accounting and financing, and human resources for both shops and jobbers. All members of your team can learn and apply this material. Mitchell: Content to be announced shortly. GM: ‘Supplemental Restraints: Service and Repair’ covers the servicing of supplemental restraint systems. Topics include replacement of the SDM, inflators, passenger presence sensor, SIR coil, seat belt retractors and wire repair strategy. Dave Luehr Discusses his new book, “Secrets of America’s Best Body Shops” and presents hope to shops, along with tips on how any shop with the right attitude and resources can excel and succeed. Symach: Fix Line information session presented by Osvaldo Bergaglio and Chad Seelye covering innovative equipment and processes that cure paint in seconds and yield significantly reduced touch times for all repairs. Discussion includes methodology used to develop new body shops worldwide. For more information, visit

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and inspire.” It also offers greater, more practical storage space and easier access. The rear doors, for example, open wider and offer easier entry/egress. The trunk offers approximately 7

front of the tires help reduce drag. It is the first Buick with a single cockpit design aesthetic, characterized by a horizontal form that sweeps across the instrument panel and into the doors. It also incorporates a “floating” center console that positions the controller for the new Electronic Precision Shift high and close to the driver, while creating storage space below the console for items such as a handbag or tablet. “There is fluidity in the interior forms – a seamless ambience that flows throughout the cabin,” said Liz Wetzel, interior design director. “Like the exterior, there is “There is a handcrafted essence that is inviting and sculptural beauty in the interior’s functionality, rewarding,” said Liz Wetzel. interior design direccomplemented with high- tor. “It is a clean environment designed to refresh quality, authentic materi- and inspire.” als and exceptional attenpercent more storage space than the tion to detail.” current model, and was configured to That attention to detail includes soft accommodate four golf bags. materials for practically every touch point; French stitching on the seats, instrument Sophisticated, intuitive technologies – panel and more, aluminum sill plates and including phone integration wood decorative trim, depending on the As one of the segment’s most techmodel. nologically advanced vehicles, the new “There is a handcrafted essence that LaCrosse offers a host of communication is inviting and rewarding,” said Wetzel. “It and convenience features designed for is a clean environment designed to refresh

effortless connectivity. The central technology is the latest edition of Buick IntelliLink, which is displayed in a new, frameless 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen located at the center of an ergonomically optimized instrument panel. Along with the climate system and other features on the “center stack,” it was designed with fewer buttons and controls for more intuitive use. Phone integration technology is paired with IntelliLink and is designed to display phone features users would want while driving and put them on the 8-inch display via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The features allow customers to use select smartphone apps through the touchscreen interface. Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering LaCrosse Please Turn to Page 34


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April 2017

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PartsTrader and Nexsyis Integration Simplifies the Workflow for Collision Repair Users Nexsyis and PartsTrader have released an integration between the two platforms that significantly streamlines the workflow for collision repair facilities using both applications. Nexsyis users should contact Nexsyis Support ( or 888-222-7008) to enable the PartsTrader integration. “Consolidating the PartsTrader parts procurement activities within Nexsyis Collision is a major time saver for us, and has helped us to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time,” said Wade Snook, shop manager at Car Craft in Bethany, OK. “The integration has made managing the administrative aspect of day-to-day business so much

easier.” The integration between the Nexsyis and PartsTrader platforms provide several significant benefits to collision repair facilities, including: Streamlined workflow saves time with fewer emails to manage – Because the integration synchronizes both platforms in real-time, users of both systems can get job status updates quickly and easily in the Nexsyis Collision platform. Notifications from PartsTrader can be turned off, leading to fewer emails to manage each day. Improved accuracy with fewer keystrokes – Data synchronization between the two platforms eliminates the need to re-key data. Users will have increased accuracy and reduce the risk

of error and fewer returned parts. Increased estimator productivity – The purchase order is automatically generated based on the parts ordered through the PartsTrader platform and sent to the supplier via the Nexsyis system. The reduction of administrative work allows estimators to manage more jobs in the same amount of time. Simplified order verification – Validating part pricing on an invoice is made significantly easier for a repair shop. The prices quoted by a supplier in the PartsTrader platform are automatically pushed to Nexsyis system in the purchase order via the integration. A simple check of the invoice to the purchase order is all that is needed to verify pricing when the parts are received.n

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store. The Company will be expanding both AutoNation Precision Parts and AutoNation Auto Gear product lines in phases as their product portfolios are developed.” New President Bill Berman said Feb. 3 that the company anticipates that the parts branding will “provide meaningful contribution to customer care profitability in the next several years,” including “at least $100 million of incremental gross profit in 2018,” states a fourth-quarter 2016 earnings transcript on Seeking Alpha. Jackson later clarified this for an analyst as margin improvement instead of revenue growth. Jackson described “customer acceptance” of the AutoNation parts as “extremely high” and talks with parts manufacturers going “extremely well,” according to Seeking Alpha. He said during a discussion of a proposed border tax that the company was buying the AutoNation parts from domestic distributors. “We’re as American pie as you

get, all our employees live and work in America, they’re all U.S. citizens or at least on a green card and everything we buy is U.S.-sourced,” Jackson said, based on the transcript. But that doesn’t mean the AutoNation parts were necessarily made in America, just bought there, according to the transcript. Asked what percentage were manufactured in the U.S., Jackson replied, “No. I couldn’t tell you.” Jackson also was unapologetic for competing with his partner OEMs on parts, arguing that automakers had backed the company up against the wall: I would say that, first, we still offer all the OEM parts, and we still use all the OEM parts for all warranty repairs or for any of the certified pre-owned programs. So we meet all the requirements, of course. What I’ve said to the manufacturers is if I go back 10 years ago, we had very nice front end gross margins on new vehicles and my costs were significantly less. And I actually made money selling a new car. Now, today, I got a front end gross

margin of around 5%, I got costs of around 5%, I’m not making anything selling a new car. And I really don’t think it’s the transparency of the digital world at all. I really think it’s the structure of the incentive programs and the push from the manufacturers that’ve gotten us here. So I say to them, I say, look, you’ve changed the basic contract between us which is, I build an exclusive facility for you and I can make money selling your cars and doing some other things … I got to make all my money elsewhere than in selling new cars. And there is a certain understanding that that’s what the industry has come to. And I’m not going to sit here naively and think that new vehicle frontend margins are going to recover. I can improve used vehicle front-end margins, but the new vehicle listing is bigger than me. And therefore, I need a strategy to deal with this new place that the automotive retail industry finds itself in, hence AutoNation brand extension. So there is a certain understanding on the other side that I didn’t change the world, you changed the world, I have to react to it.n




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2016: A Year Of Progress For I-CAR® In 2016, I-CAR® achieved doubledigit growth in shops and technicians trained, rolled out new products and services, and forged new industry partnerships, all in an effort to better serve the collision repair inter-industry. The not-for-profit organization, which delivers education, knowledge and solutions across the industry ecosystem, saw its total numbers of Gold Class® recognized shops rise to 4,277, a 16.5 percent increase over 2015. The total number of Gold Class shops and those on the Road to Gold™ increased 22.7 percent over the previous year, and I-CAR trained 70,706 students in total, up 12.8 percent. “None of this happened by chance,” said I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne. “We have listened closely to the industry, our customers and our volunteers and instructors. Five years ago, we built a robust strategy with the objective to improve all we do, to grow, and to increase our relevance. The increasing impact we are having across our industry shows that our strategy is working.” The new Vehicle and Technology Specific Training™ curriculum was launched in 2016, with 26 existing courses rebranded to form the initial portfolio at mid-year, and seven additional new courses were recently launched. More model-year specific courses will be

released in the fall of 2017 and each year thereafter. I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support (RTS) portal continues to grow. RTS puts solutions for technicians, appraisers, shop owners and managers at their fingertips. Just two years after its launch, a survey by Collision Advice/ CRASH Network found that RTS is the number two source used for collision repair technical information, behind only ALLDATA. RTS also rolled out the first-ever OEM Calibration Requirements Search portal at the end of 2016. I-CAR’s Welding Training and Certification™ also saw dramatic increases in 2016. The number of welding events increased 71.6 percent and the number of welding students increased 60 percent in 2016. The I-CAR Professional Development Program™ - Education Edition (PDP-EE) saw dramatic growth in 2015. The curriculum package provides the latest in training materials for schools and students. Launched in 2012, PDP-EE is now used in 604 schools around the country, up 51.9 percent from 2015. In 2016, I-CAR announced a number of high-impact joint initiatives with ASE for the benefit of technicians, students, schools and the industry. ASE now recognizes I-CAR

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ProLevel® 2 or 3 Platinum™ status to satisfy the requirements for ASE collision repair and refinish work experience. I-CAR now grants two credit hours towards Platinum annual training requirements for technicians who hold an ASE Collision Repair certification. I-CAR is offering training classes at the ASE Industry Education Alliance Instructor Training Conference each year, and presented the first-ever I-CAR Collision Repair/Refinishing Technician of the Year Award at the ASE Fall Board Meeting. The two organizations also worked to clarify the alignment between PDP-EE and the NATEF Collision Repair and Refinish Standards task list and update the “curriculum crosswalk.” Students can now graduate from NATEF accredited programs with I-CAR’s Platinum™ recognition and the ASE Collision Repair and Refinishing Student Certifications. “In addition to what we accomplished in 2016, we have a number of initiatives in the works for 2017 and beyond,” Van Alstyne said. “All are designed to address needs the industry has expressed, and all are expected to contribute to the ongoing transformation and success of our industry as we face the impact of the ‘Technical Tsunami’ and growing repair complexity.”n



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Southern Automotive Journal

April 2017

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Autologic Diagnostics Joins ASA as Corporate Member The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has announced one of its latest corporate members: Autologic Diagnostics. Corporate membership provides an opportunity for companies to expand their relationships with ASA and its leaders in the collision repair and automotive

service segments of the industry. Autologic Diagnostics, based in the United Kingdom and the United States, is a worldwide provider of the first and only fully integrated, cloud-connected aftermarket automotive diagnostic system, Autologic Assist, which helps technicians and automotive service facilities

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quickly identify faults in vehicles and repair cars faster. “The members of ASA are precisely the audience that stands to benefit the most from learning more about the many advances of our Assist solution and how it could change the way they do business and improve productivity and efficiency, while also increasing both profitability and annual revenue,” said Kevin Finn, director of strategic partnerships. “While partnering with ASA allows Autologic to share its expertise with the industry, it also affords the company the ability to learn significantly more about the changing dynamics of the automotive repair marketplace and allows us to stay on top of the cutting edge of change and advancement occurring industrywide. This is very valuable to our growing global enterprise.” Tony Molla, ASA vice president, welcomed the partnership with Autologic and said, “We are pleased to add Autologic to our growing list of corporate members and look forward to working with them to help our members stay abreast of the latest technology, as it relates to improving productivity, accuracy and diagnostic capabilities within their individual repair and collision shop enterprises.” To learn more about ASA’s corporate membership program, contact Dan Risley, ASA president and executive director, at danr@asashop. org.n

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TITAN From Page 21 gate lamps, 110-volt in-bed access and a damped tailgate that is light to lift and smoothly damped when lowering. Towing and Hauling – Informed and In Control Like the TITAN XD, the TITAN halfton offers cutting-edge available towing, utility features and driving aids, includ-

ing an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Tow/Haul Mode with Downhill Speed Control and a Trailer Light Check system that allows one-person hook-up operation – including checking turn signals, brake lights and running/clearance lights. It offers an available maximum towing capacity of 9,740 pounds and maximum payload capacity of 1,950 pounds when properly equipped. Also assisting trailer hook-ups is the

RearView Monitor with Trailer Guides. The available Around View® Monitor (AVM)6 provides a virtual "bird's eye" view of the surrounding area from front, rear and side cameras to help with parking and pulling in and out of tight spaces. The system also includes Moving Object Detection (MOD), which helps alert the driver to detected moving objects such around the vehicle when backing out via an on-screen notification and warning chime.n

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April 2017

Southern Automotive Journal


LaCrosse From Page 27 wheel, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. The Active Fuel Management system temporarily deactivates two of the 3.6L’s cylinders in light-load driving conditions to enhance fuel efficiency and seamlessly reactivates them when full power is needed. With the efficiency-enhancing Stop/Start system, the engine shuts down in certain driving conditions such as at a stop light to reduce fuel consumption. It automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake pedal. An all-new noise-reducing cam drive system contributes to the LaCrosse’s

benchmark quietness. The 3.6L is General Motorsestimated at 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 268 lb-ft of torque (363 Nm); and it’s matched with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2017 LaCrosse also features extensive active and passive safety including: Ten standard air bags – including two knee air bags for front passengers Front Pedestrian Braking, which alerts drivers to and can automatically apply the brakes for pedestrians detected directly ahead in some driving conditions Lane Keep Assist, which provides gentle steering wheel turns – and Lane Departure Warning alerts, if necessary – to help drivers avoid crashes due to

unintentionally drifting out of their lane Automatic Park Assist, which helps the driver parallel park/perpendicular park by automatically steering the vehicle into a detected parking space while the driver applies the brakes Adaptive Cruise Control Forward Automatic Braking Forward Collision Alert Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert Rear Vision Camera Safety Alert Seat. “We’ve blended sophisticated technologies and advanced safety systems to offer a more enjoyable and engaging driving experience,” said Aldred. “It’s a rewarding sedan for those who seek luxurious appointments, style and quality.”n Connects Military Veterans to Auto Care Industry Jobs For military veterans who have returned to civilian life and are deciding which career path to follow, a career in the auto care industry may be the answer. The Auto Care Careers online resource center at www.autocarecareers. org helps connect military veterans with available job opportunities in the thriving $356 billion auto care industry. Comprised of over 500,000 businesses, including manufacturers, distributors, parts stores and repair shops, the auto care industry employs over 4.5 million people in a wide variety of roles from engineering, sales and finance careers to manufacturing, supply chain and technician positions.

"Veterans have proven their commitment, drive and skill through their honorable service to our country. They bring valuable military experience to the workforce and the auto care industry is always looking for qualified leaders to help keep Americans on the road," said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. "We salute our veterans and invite them to join our dynamic industry. It's easy to create a free account on the Auto Care Careers job board and there's the option to indicate military status." Auto Care Careers is an easy-tonavigate, centralized career website that features a robust job board with a wide

range of career options. It also includes a resource center with a variety of useful information, videos and tools for candidates and employers. Job seekers can upload a resume, choose to make it confidential, designate military status and receive email alerts of new job postings. Employers will find easy online job management, a downloadable recruitment guide and resume searching access with email notifications when new resumes are posted matching select criteria. To learn more, visit or follow Auto Care Careers on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.n

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April 2017



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April Issue 2017  

Southern Automotive Journal provides news trends and perspectives to professionals in the automotive collision industry including, independe...

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