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Toyota Avalon

• • • •

COLLISION NEWS I-CAR Warns of ‘Phishing’ Emails from Impersonator

April 2018



April 20-21

INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept

Intrepid Direct Seeks to Insure Shops Doing ‘Quality Repairs’ CCC: Demand to Stay High for Insurers, Body Shops for ‘Several Years’; Total Losses Likely to Rise

DEALER NEWS BMW Manufacturing Doubles Size of BMW Scholars Program Universal Technical Institute Launches Free High School Summer Program Hyundai Showcases World's First Self-driven Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

Previewing a new generation of INFINITI vehicles, the Q Inspiration Concept proposes how an innovative VC-Turbo powertrain, next-level autonomous drive technologies, and a unique human-centric interior could enrich the experience for drivers of luxury sedans. The car was revealed for the first time at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. The Q Inspiration

Concept is meant to demonstrate future technologies and will not be available for sale. Presenting the next stride in INFINITI design, the exterior of the Q Inspiration Concept features a concise design with dynamic and confident proQ Inspiration Please Turn to Page 4

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Q Inspiration From Front Cover portions. It is the first manifestation of INFINITI's new form language, for an era of advanced powertrains. The concept eschews classical sedan forms with coupe-like proportions and an elongated silhouette, demonstrating INFINITI's design vision for vehicles in this segment. The cabin follows a minimalist approach, enveloping the driver and passengers in a serene and comfortable environment. The intelligently-packaged four-cylinder VC-Turbo has liberated INFINITI's designers from the constraints of powertrain architecture to realize a spacious interior. "As a new wave of technologies begins to take shape, our Detroit concept car heralds a new generation of INFINITI. A seamless and stunning new design philosophy demonstrating INFINITI artistry in the new age of autonomy and breakthrough drivetrains. In Detroit, shown alongside Prototype 9, INFINITI aims to showcase a new elegance, one that strikes harmony and simplicity in a complex world," said Alfonso Albaisa, SVP Global Design. Powered by INFINITI's breakthrough VC-Turbo technology – the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine – the Q Inspiration boasts a revolutionary powertrain combining turbocharged gasoline power with the torque and efficiency of a hybrid or diesel engine. VC-Turbo continually transforms, adjusting its compression ratio to optimize power and fuel efficiency, resulting in the smart application of power for greater driver control. As a mid-size sedan concept, the Q Inspiration previews other nearfuture applications for INFINITI's variable compression ratio VC-Turbo engine technology. New ProPILOT functionality liberates the driver from mundane and stressful driving situations. Realizing the next stage in vehicle autonomy for INFINITI, ProPILOT enables drivers to delegate 4

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"As a new wave of technologies begins to take shape, our Detroit concept car heralds a new generation of INFINITI. A seamless and stunning new design philosophy demonstrating INFINITI artistry in the new age of autonomy and breakthrough drivetrains."

more stressful driving tasks to the car and enjoy an enhanced ability to respond to hazards. With the system acting as a co-pilot, the driver always retains ultimate control. "The premium sedan segment has become rather conservative. The INFINITI Q Inspiration previews something that could appeal to a younger audience, who seek modern design and new technologies to inspire and empower them," said Christian Meunier, INFINITI Global Division Vice President.

Exterior design - The manifestation of a new form language for an era of advanced powertrains "The new INFINITI concept car will take the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution. A shift towards smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains; we were able to create an alternative form with flowing gestures, more engaging in character and more enriching in experience. With its long cabin, balanced proportions and muscular stance, the concept herApril 2018

Alfonso Albaisa, SVP Global Design alds in a new era for INFINITI models," Karim Habib, INFINITI Executive Design Director said. The Q Inspiration Concept represents the first manifestation of INFINITI's new form language, characterized by advanced powertrains and a shift toward lower emissions. More technical in execution than existing INFINITI production cars and concept vehicles, the brand's new design language adopts straight lines, concise graphics and clean surfaces. The result is a pure and simple – yet muscular – design execution inspired by modern powertrain technologies.

The impending adoption of more advanced forms of propulsion has allowed INFINITI's designers to propose a new architecture for the midsize sedan. The Q Inspiration eschews classical sedan forms in favor of more coupelike proportions and an elongated silhouette. Its short hood segues into a long cabin, made possible by the powerful yet compact VC-Turbo engine under its hood. The front of the car is dominated by a large doublearch grille, echoing the signature design of existing INFINITI vehicles, yet exhibiting a more obsessive and technical level of execution. The appearance of the grille is matched with sharp louvers running up the sides of the hood, and "The Q Inspiration interior is blade-like vents fore and reduced to a minimalist expresaft of the wheels. INFINITI's sion of wellbeing and comhallmark human-eye headlamps have evolved to fort, and strives to create a accommodate precise LED warm and uncompromisstrip headlamps. ingly modern atmosphere" Extending rearward from the slashes on the bonnet, precise shoulKarim Habib, der lines blend into the smoother bodywork of the INFINITI Executive Design Director mid-section of the concept, across the car's piluncompromisingly modern atmosphere, larless rear-hinged doors. The shoulder like one so often finds in Tokyo residenreappears toward the rear of the car, tial architecture. The purpose being to exhibiting a sensual, curved quarter and enable users in a new era of connectivwheel arches, accompanied by a graceity, while simultaneously enriching the ful, arcing roofline flowing into the rear driving experience with materials of the deck. These lines culminate in a single best quality, crafted by the hands of the rear light strip beneath a clearly-defined artist." trailing edge. The Q Inspiration's cabin follows a minimalist approach, wrapping occuMinimalist interior design - Efficient pants in a serene, spacious and comfortvehicle packaging, merging technology able environment. Concise and clean with craftsmanship in its execution, the concept explores a Karim Habib said, "The Q modern aesthetic, delivering a calming, Inspiration interior is reduced to a minienjoyable space for passengers. malist expression of wellbeing and comWhile minimalist, the humanfort, and strives to create a warm and

April 2018

centric cabin remains innately comfortable. This approach reduces the noise of the interior, helping the driver to rediscover their enjoyment of driving, focusing entirely on the road ahead without unnecessary distractions. The car integrates passengers into the cabin with a human-machine interface. With wellbeing and relaxation at its core, the Q Inspiration's human-machine interface – a touchscreen for each passenger – offers a meditation-regeneration mode. This minimizes the level of information displayed, and offers guided meditation to help occupants leave any stress behind when they start a journey. The car can also monitor passenger biometrics. Drivers and passengers can call up digital content on their independent Q Inspiration Please Turn to Page 34 Southern Automotive Journal


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I-CAR Warns of ‘Phishing’ Emails from Impersonator I-CAR warned the collision repair industry Tuesday not to open hyperlinks or attachments from “suspicious” emails purporting to come from the educational organization. “Some of our clients have received e-mails from ‘I-CAR’ requesting you to review and approve an invoice,” I-CAR warned. “I-CAR did not send or autho-

rize this or any other similar communications.” It stated that “multiple ‘phishing’ emails” had reached I-CAR customers and staff over the past few days. “These emails are intended to have you click through a link that can infect systems with malware, viruses and the like or send along a file that compro-

mises sensitive data,” I-CAR warned. To see if an “I-CAR” email is legitimate or a scam, call 800-422-7872. I-CAR suggested those seeking more information about email safety review this video posted by technology consultant Jess Stratton (Solace Learning) on LinkedIn’s Lynda:

Universal Technical Institute Launches Free High School Summer Program Universal Technical Institute (NYSE: UTI) is launching "Ignite," a free summer program to train high school juniors in fundamental transportation technician skills. Participating students receive intensive, hands-on training and are prepared for testing to receive UTI course credit once enrolled. Ignite will be offered at each of UTI's 12 campuses nationwide. During the program's two 3-week courses, Ignite participants are given a glimpse into the world of automotive, diesel, collision repair or motorcycle train-

ing – an introductory sample of the programs completed by traditional UTI students. The Ignite curriculum emphasizes the high-tech nature of today's transportation industry. Students explore career opportunities in the transportation field while meeting UTI graduates and local employers. In 2017, UTI successfully piloted the Ignite program at three campuses: Avondale, AZ; Houston, TX; and Orlando, FL. Each of the programs had strong interest among students, a large percent-



of Birmingham

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age of whom also indicated their intention to return to UTI as a full-time student upon graduating high school. Best of all, these students were prepared for testing to receive credit toward future UTI coursework – enabling them to complete a UTI education and begin a career in the transportation sector faster than ever before. The Ignite program is now accepting applications across UTI's 12 campuses. For more information or to enroll, visit

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April 2018

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New SCRS Corporate Member Intrepid Direct Seeks to Insure Shops Doing ‘Quality Repairs’ By John Huetter The Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ latest corporate member offers a one-stop comprehensive suite of insurance lines for businesses like collision

repairers. Intrepid Direct seeks auto body shops doing “quality repairs to OEM standards,” according to David Willett, auto aftermarket general manager for the new corporate member.

“Our services and coverage offering are designed for the better shops,” he said in a statement, “which allows them to qualify for more favorable terms.” Intrepid Please Turn to Page 25

Missouri House Considers Anti-Vehicle Safety Inspection Legislation ASA Calls for Opposition to HB 1444 On Feb. 7, the Missouri House Transportation Committee held a hearing to address House Bill (HB) 1444. HB 1444 would repeal Missouri’s vehicle safety inspection program. During the hearing, proponents of HB 1444 cited consumer expense and overall inconvenience as justification for the legislation. They also claimed a lack

of evidence as to the program preventing accidents, injuries and deaths. Ben Steinman, ASA-Midwest member and owner of Ben’s Auto Body in Mexico, Mo., gave testimony supporting the program, along with representatives from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, AAA and other organizations. Following the hearing, Steinman said, “There is no doubt that this bill would increase the safety risk of driving

in Missouri. I see vehicles in my shop daily that are unsafe to operate on the highways. If this bill passes, I would be very concerned about the safety of my family and, for that matter, all motorists on our roadways.” ASA continues to oppose HB 1444 and encourages all interested parties in Missouri to visit and click “Alerts” to contact their state representatives in opposition.n

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Southern Automotive Journal (ISSN: 1092-6321) is published monthly by Southern Automotive Journal Inc. P.O. Box 675097, Marietta, Ga 30006-0009.SAJ accepts no responsibility for the opinions, views statements of the authors or for claims made by advertisers. Views expressed by writers are not necessarily those of the publication. Subscription: $12.00 per year. No representation is made as to the accuracy or the completeness of the information provided by this publication. Entire contents copyright 2013. All rights reserved. 8

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Innovation Meets Tradition: Rarely Required Parts Created Using Modern Manufacturing Processes

"No longer available" – for collectors of rare classic cars, the unavailability of spare parts can quickly lead to problems. In the worst case scenario, the car may even be forced out of action. Porsche Classic, the division of Porsche dedicated to classic vehicles, has come up with a solution to this problem: namely, producing extremely rare parts that are only needed in small quantities using 3D printers. All parts that are produced using the 3D printing process meet the requirements in terms of absolute fidelity to the original specifications – both from a technical and a visual perspective. The Porsche Classic range currently includes some 52,000 parts. If a certain spare part is no longer in stock or stock is dwindling, it is reproduced using the original tools. For larger quantities, production may require the use of new tools. However, ensuring the supply of spare parts that are only required in very limited numbers sometimes poses a major challenge, even for the experts. Producing small batches using new tools would be largely ineffi-

cient. Before embarking on a project to produce a particular component, Porsche Classic always evaluates various manufacturing processes. As the quality of “additive” manufacturing processes continues to improve with generally decreasing costs, this form of manufacturing presents an economic alternative for the production of small quantities. Say, for example, the release lever for the clutch on the Porsche 959 is no longer available. This component made from grey cast iron is subject to very high quality requirements, but is in very low demand – not least because only 292 of these super sports cars were ever produced. The only manufacturing process worth considering would be selective laser melting. To manufacture the release lever, a layer of powdery tool steel less than 0.1 millimetres thick is applied to a processing plate in a computerised process. In an inert atmosphere, a high-energy light beam then melts the powder in the desired locations to create a steel layer. Thus, the complete three-dimensional component is

produced, layer by layer. Both the pressure test with a load of almost three tonnes and the subsequent tomographic examination for internal faults were passed by the printed release lever with flying colours. The practical tests with the lever installed in a test vehicle and extensive driving tests confirm the impeccable quality and function of the component. Due to the consistently positive results received to date, Porsche is currently manufacturing eight other parts using 3D printing. The parts in question are steel and alloy parts produced using the selective laser melting process, and plastic components manufactured using an SLS printer. SLS stands for selective laser sintering, a process where the material is heated to just below melting point and the remaining energy is applied through a laser to fuse the plastic powder at a selected point. All parts are subject to the quality requirements of the original production period as a miniRare Parts Please Turn to Page 13

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All-New Lexus LC Performance Coupe Opens New Chapter in Brand History

The 2018 LC represents the most passionate expression of the brand’s design direction. The grille itself features a unique mesh texture that changes visual tension as it spreads across the front of the car. The emotional designs and highperformance models issued by Lexus in the last few years prefaced a new chapter for the brand, one that begins now with the arrival of the 2018 LC flagship performance coupe. A concept car come to life, the Lexus LC combines stunning design, scintillating performance, long-distance comfort and premium craftsmanship to join an elite group of international grand touring coupes. The Lexus LC 500 makes the strongest statement yet about the brand’s future direction. Previewed by the LF-LC concept in 2012, the Lexus LC debuted as a production model at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This spring it arrives in Lexus dealerships as the V8-powered LC 500 with an MSRP of $92,000 and the LC 500h with a new Multi Stage Hybrid powertrain at an MSRP of $96,510. Toyota Motor Corporation president, Akio Toyoda, who is also Chief Branding Officer and master driver for Lexus, inspired development of the LC. Focused on offering

more emotional and exciting vehicles for global markets, he called for a flagship production coupe echoing the spirit of the hand-built Lexus LFA supercar and delivering the visual impact of the Lexus LF-LC concept. Provocative, Elegant and Purely Lexus Debuting at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Lexus LF-LC was a true concept, not a thinly disguised pre-production prototype. The LF-LC won the EyesOn Design award for Concept Car and stirred many to question whether Lexus would build it. Turning the LF-LC concept into a production model while remaining faithful to its visual excitement required nothing less than a new development process, combining design and engineering disciplines as never before at Lexus. The process yielded an entirely new platform for the LC, called GA–L (Global Architecture – Luxury), which also forms the foundation April 2018

for the all-new 2018 LS flagship sedan and will underpin future front engine/ rear-wheel drive Lexus models. The platform was designed with a lower center of gravity to aid agility and driving pleasure and to enable more alluring vehicle designs. The production LC preserves the concept’s adventurous appearance, and the design itself helped achieve performance targets, especially with regard to low center of gravity, aerodynamics and high-speed stability. It’s also a trophy winner, having won the EyesOn Design awards for Design Excellence - Production Car and Interior Design. LC 500: High-Output V8 with Sound and Fury The Lexus LC offers a choice no other premium coupe does: the LC 500 with a high-performance V8 or LC 500h with a new-generation Multi Stage Hybrid LC500 Please Turn to Page 26 Southern Automotive Journal


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Industry Veteran Launches Book Promotion Web Site Industry veteran, former OE program administrator, and now a freelance collision industry journalist, Gary Ledoux, is pleased to announce the launch of his new website, Created and managed by Optima Automotive of Batavia, IL, the new website is designed to support Ledoux’s forthcoming book, “YesterWreck: The History of the Collision Industry in America.” Ledoux’s book will cover the history of the collision repair industry in America from the advent of the automobile to the present day. Presently, the website is arranged to capture input from any and all people in the industry who have a story or photo to contribute to the book. It also feaRare Parts From Page 9 mum, though they usually meet higher standards. Accuracy in terms of size and fit is ensured by performing tests with the part installed. Depending on the area of

tures excerpts from the book and updates on the book’s development. Body shops, especially those that have been in continuous operation since the 1940’s and before, are encouraged to contribute stories or photos for consideration. Suppliers, those companies that provide goods or services for the industry, are encouraged to contribute information including company history or the history of key products. Insurers are encouraged to provide information on company history or to highlight key products or initiatives. “A lot of books have been written about various facets of the automotive business,” said Ledoux. “There are books about

the history of car makers, books about key industry leaders, the history of gas stations, car dealerships and some classic cars. But no written history exists about an entire industry; thousands of professionals whose job it is to help people get their life back together after a car accident. It’s about time the industry, and these professionals are recognized.” The website will remain in its present configuration to collect historical information and provide book development updates until approximately Q2 2018 at which time it will change to take orders for the book. The book is expected to be ready for sale in Q4 2018.n

application, plastic parts made of various materials as in the original must be resistant to oils, fuels, acids and light. Porsche Classic is currently testing whether 3D printing is suitable for the production of a further 20 components. The

benefits: Three-dimensional design data or a 3D scan of the component is a sufficient basis to commence production. The components can be produced on demand if needed, thereby eliminating tool and storage costs.n

Parts Managers - We Buy Obsolete NISSAN Parts - Call Jon

April 2018

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Registration Now Open for ASA’s Annual Meeting, Conference

Check out our Website for Association Information • OEM Repair Information • News and Trends • Back Issues or


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Reception & Illumination Fireworks show at Epcot Center, will be sponsored by AutoZone. The advanced registration fee is $149 by April 2. The fee includes: Thursday continental breakfast, open Board of Directors meeting, ASA Luncheon, all AMi-approved training, Welcome Cocktail Reception,

Celebration of Excellence and AMi graduation and the Epcot Center Dessert Reception & Illumination Fireworks. Registered attendees may also purchase a guest pass for $50. Housing and transportation arrangements are the responsibility of attendees. A link to housing is available at

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The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has opened online registration for its 2018 Annual Business Meeting, which will be held May 2-5 at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort Hotel in Orlando. All ASA members are invited to attend this year’s event. Information about the meeting, schedule of events and online registration are available at The event will feature the 2018 Celebration of Excellence and AMi Graduation Ceremony Friday, May 4. In addition, attendees can expect a full slate of AMi-approved seminars covering current and future trends in the industry led by popular trainers, Richard Flint, Bob Greenwood, Maylon Newton and Jeremy O’Neal. A continental breakfast will kick off events Thursday, May 3, followed by an open Board of Directors meeting that all members are welcome to attend. An ASA Luncheon and AMi training sessions by Newton and Flint will round out the afternoon. In the evening, a Welcome Cocktail Reception will be sponsored by Federated Insurance. On Friday, May 4, there will be additional AMi training sessions by Greenwood and O’Neal in the afternoon. In the evening, the Celebration of Excellence and AMi graduation will take place, followed by a cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres sponsored by Advance Auto Parts. The evening’s entertainment, with a can’t-miss Dessert

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Wadsworth International to Launch Subaru Certified Collision Network Wadsworth is pleased to announce the recent partnership with Subaru of America, Inc. [Subaru] to launch their official certified collision program. Wadsworth is impressed with the company’s unique approach in the designing of their collision network solution. The automaker’s continued focus on the owner and brand experience was instrumental in ensuring the collision program had neutral partnerships, allowing the branding to remain indicative of the Subaru experience. “Wadsworth is honored to have been selected by Subaru to develop and launch their Certified Collision Program,” said Rick Miller, President of Wadsworth International. “Our team appreciates Subaru’s approach to a results-driven, customer focused program, which earns a facility the true “certified by the manu-

facturer” badge of honor on their wall.” Wadsworth partnered with the Solera group, an industry leading data company, for the use of AutoWatch, for repair process monitoring and customer communication in the Subaru Certified Collision Program. The customization of the program allows us to give users a specific brand experience, aligning it with Subaru of America’s aftersales initiatives. “Solera is excited to extend our partnership with Subaru by introducing AutoWatch in North America,” said Roy Duplantier, Sr. National Sales Manager. “We are committed to helping Subaru deliver on their customer commitment, ensuring transparency and driver satisfaction. AutoWatch allows Subaru drivers to stay informed with real-time status notifications for body repairs provided by the certified repair shops.”

Wadsworth International [WI] is an automotive aftersales custom solution supporting vehicle manufacturers [OEMs] through a transparent extension of the individual OEM brand by the use of dedicated program management resources. Wadsworth International represents transparency and neutrality which provides integrity in the brand. With integrity comes consistency and accountability. These values are an absolute requirement when working on behalf of an OEM which has allowed the company to be called upon to assist in the development and the deployment of many OEM certified programs. If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Wadsworth International at 877-257-0046 or email at n

Mitchell Announces Secure Blockchain Solution for Sharing Information Among Collision Industry Partners ent, verifiable and self-administered by mechanism to protect information saved Mitchell International, Inc. (Mitchell), the community. As a trusted partner, a everyday on local computers across the a leading provider of technology, concompany will be able to validate and add industry. Blockchain is an ideal solution, nectivity and information solutions to to the chain. one where stakeholders enroll to become the Property & Casualty (P&C) claims “The ideas of a single entity contrusted partners and agree to share data and Collision Repair industries, will soon trolling the data and a single server through an open and secure framework. release a secure solution for sharing data system being used to ensure among users within the collisecurity are outdated and do sion repair and insurance claims not fit the distributed environindustry. Mitchell’s new soluMitchell is proposing a collision-centric blockchain ment of vehicle repair and collition will promote and foster the sion claims,” added Ravi Nemani, flow of collision data among community that is a secure yet simple way to share data Senior Vice President of Product trusted industry partners, using Delivery at Mitchell. “Blockchain, among trusted industry partners. blockchain technology to proon the other hand, is a modern vide a highly secure, distributed and more robust method for and advanced encrypted-data enabling efficient data exchange exchange between stakeholdin a highly secure environment.” We are working with industry partners, ers. Mitchell’s Freedom Experience suppliers, repairers, OEMs and insurance “Data security has never been more event will be held at the Palm Springs carriers to encourage the adoption of this important than it is today, and given the Convention Center and is open to technology across our industry.” large number of existing systems and Mitchell partners, customers and othBlockchain is a continuously growpartner dependencies, limited efforts ers attending the Collision Industry ing list of records, referred to as blocks, have been made to address the risks Conference Annual Meeting. Members which are linked and secured using crypassociated with estimating information of the media are welcome. Please reach tography (source: Wikipedia). By design, saved in either EMS or BMS formats and Jeff Monford at jmonford@ppmgcorp. blockchains are inherently resistant to stored in thousands of decentralized locacom for registration information. modification. Mitchell is proposing a coltions,” explained Olivier Baudoux, Vice For further collision repair and proplision-centric blockchain community that President of Global Product Strategy at erty casualty industry updates and perspecis a secure yet simple way to share data Mitchell. “Although data have been transtives, follow Mitchell on Twitter @Mitchell_ among trusted industry partners. The mitted over the network through secure Intl, @MitchellClaims, @MitchellRepair, @ technology allows for a simplified, open protocols for many years, EMS and BMS MitchellPBM and LinkedIn.n and distributed ledger that is transparstandards have no inherent encryption 16

Southern Automotive Journal

April 2018

CCC: Demand to Stay High for Insurers, Body Shops for ‘Several Years’; Total Losses Likely to Rise

By John Huetter

“From a claim frequency perspective, the industry will likely not see significant decline in automotive claims in the near term,” she predicted. Severity contributors on non-comprehensive claims include increased parts per repair and labor hours, as well as higher prices for parts and hourly labor rates. All of these statistics rose in the year ending Sept. 30, 2017, with the exception of average labor hours, which held steady at 23.6 hours, according to CCC. The average cost of repairing noncomprehensive claims rose 1.8 percent year-over-year, according to CCC. The average repair in the year ending Sept. 30 came in at $2,870, up from $2,546 in 2012.

Collision frequency and severity are likely to grow over the “next several years” based on national trends, CCC Director and analyst Susanna Gotsch said last month. Despite increasingly intelligent vehicles, the next few years will “continue to see conditions suggesting strong demand for both the auto insurance and collision repair industries,” Gotsch said on the January installment of CCC’s monthly “Industry Trends” videos. Trends fueling the frequency include increased miles driven and congestion, low gas prices, and high employment, Gotsch said.

Total losses The real trend to watch next year might be total losses, based on Gotsch’s presentation. Gotsch predicted the percentage of non-comprehensive total losses would rise to 18.6 percent in 2018 — up more than half a percentage point from 2017’s 18 percent and way up from the 14.8 percent proportion in 2013. Vehicles might also total at slightly lower values than in the past. Gotsch said 2017 had been predicted to be the year when vehicles ending their leases drove up the used car supply and drove down prices, but used car prices “softened Total Loss Please Turn to Page 26

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New BMW and UTI Program Prepares Service Members for Civilian Careers as BMW Automotive Technicians A first-of-its-kind training program for veterans celebrates its opening on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The BMW MSTEP (Military Service Technician Education Program) will provide new career opportunities for service members transitioning from military service to civilian life. Created by BMW of North America, LLC, in partnership with Universal Technical Institute, this is the first time a premium automotive brand has opened a workshop and training program for military service members directly on a U.S. military base. "BMW is honored to be working with the Marine Corps and helping provide service members with great professional opportunities to support their transition to civilian life," said Bernard Kuhnt, President and CEO of BMW of North America. "The skillset these men and women will bring to our dealerships is invaluable. Aside from their unwaver-

To l l Fr e e

ing team spirit and discipline, many are already highly specialized in some of the most sophisticated technologies, giving them all the right foundations for a successful automotive career. It is now our turn to serve them with MSTEP." Classes for the first pilot group of nine students officially began on Feb. 26, 2018. The 16-week, BMW-specific technical education program features a specialized on-base curriculum and hours of hands-on technical training in a workshop setting. Students receive training on diagnostic paths and service technologies unique to the BMW brand. "We're extremely proud to continue our support of the brave men and women who serve this country. We're also excited about this new chapter of our more than 20-year partnership with BMW," said Kim McWaters, president and CEO of Universal Technical Institute (UTI). "With the transportation industry's



strong demand for highly skilled and trained talent, there has never been a better time to be an automotive technician. BMW has always been an innovative leader and MSTEP is a powerful example of how UTI and our partners are working to bring quality hands-on education directly to students." The program opens the door for transitioning service members to a promising future with the brand. Upon graduation, BMW assists the new technicians with employment at authorized U.S. dealers. There are currently more than 14,000 BMW technicians across the network and more are needed every year, especially those trained by the company itself. "We are proud to host this unique transition opportunity for our service members," stated Brig. Gen. Kevin J. MSTEP Please Turn to Page 32





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BMW Manufacturing Doubles Size of BMW Scholars Program For more than seven years, BMW Manufacturing has offered the BMW Scholars program, an apprenticeship program that educates and trains students to work in the highly-technical environment of advanced manufacturing. Today, BMW Manufacturing announced that it will expand the number of apprentices in its BMW Scholars program to 200, doubling the size of the program. With this increase, BMW will add a fourth education partner in Piedmont Technical College. “Technology is constantly changing in the automotive industry,” said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “Now more than ever, we must invest in highly-skilled workers who can solve problems. Investing in BMW Scholars allows us to develop a pool of talented men and women who will help sustain the future of BMW.” BMW Manufacturing first announced the Scholars program in 2011, partnering with three area technical colleges: Spartanburg Community College,

we need all those skills in one person. With advanced manufacturing and the new economy, that’s what the market demands.”

Greenville Technical College and TriCounty Technical College. In the program, students attend class full-time and work at the BMW plant for 20 – 25 hours per week. BMW covers the cost of tuition and books, provides healthcare benefits and pays students for their work at BMW. “Working with our education partners we are able to build the skilled workforce that BMW needs,” said Ryan Childers, department manager for talent programs at BMW. “Ten or more years ago, you might have a mechanic, an electrician and a robotics person all employed in a manufacturing environment. Now

Additional Education Partner With the expansion of BMW Scholars, the company will add Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, South Carolina, as its fourth education partner. “Teamwork and collaboration between BMW and our education partners have been the key to the success of BMW Scholars,” said Childers. “I’m confident that adding Piedmont Technical College will only enrich our program. It’s through this great public-private partnership that the next-generation of BMW associates are being developed.” Since the Scholars program began, there have been six graduating classes and 138 BMW Scholar graduates. Every Scholar has been offered a full-time position at BMW. BMW Scholars Please Turn to Page 29


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April 2018

Hyundai Showcases World's First Self-driven Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle A fleet of Hyundai Motor Company's next generation fuel cell electric cars have succeeded in completing a self-driven 190 kilometers journey from Seoul to Pyeongchang. This is the first time in the world that level 4 autonomous driving has been achieved with fuel cell electric cars, the ultimate eco-friendly vehicles. Until now, autonomous driving has been demonstrated at a limited speed on some sections of domestic roads, but this is the first time autonomous cars have driven such a long distance at 100 km/h-110 km/h, the maximum speed allowed by law on Korean highways. Five Hyundai vehicles completed the journey. Three vehicles are based on Hyundai's next-generation fuel cell electric SUV NEXO, scheduled to be released in Korea next month, and the other two are Genesis G80 autonomous vehicles. All vehicles are equipped with level 4 self-driving technology, as defined by the SAE international standards, and 5G network technology. The vehicles used for the demonstration are "futuristic vehicles" that closely represent Hyundai's three visions for future mobility: connected mobility; freedom in mobility; and clean mobility.

The demonstration started in Seoul on Feb. 2 with the 'CRUISE' and 'SET' buttons being pressed on the autonomous-driving steering wheel of each vehicle, at which point the cars immediately switched to self-driving mode and began the 190 km journey to Pyeongchang. Entering the highway, the vehicles moved in response to the natural flow of traffic. They executed lane changes and overtaking maneuvers, and navigated toll gates using Hi-pass, South Korea's wireless expressway payment system. Building on the successful demonstration of Hyundai's vehicles which drove autonomously in Las Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) early last year, these cars featured

a number of advanced technologies that enabled them to recognize surrounding vehicles more accurately and make better judgments at junctions and at branching roads, navigate through toll gates by accurately calculating the toll gate's width and position, and precisely pinpoint the vehicle's position on a map by using external sensors fitted for situations when the GPS signal was interrupted, such as going through long underground tunnels. Hyundai conducted a significant number of highway test drives amounting to hundreds of thousands of kilometers traveled, which enabled them to accumulate a vast amount of data that helped enhance the performance of its self-driving vehicles. "Hyundai's philosophy for developing autonomous driving technology is to provide the highest level of safety combined with a high standard of convenience that our customers expect," said Jinwoo Lee, head of the Intelligent Safety Technology Center at Hyundai Motor Group. The exterior and interior of selfFuel Cell EV Please Turn to Page 32

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2018 Toyota Avalon: Luxurious Style, Performance, and Cabin Appointments

(Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm. Teamed with a 6-speed automatic transmission, the V6 offers both impressive performance and EPA-rated 24 mpg combined fuel economy (21 city/30 highway). The Avalon possesses a luxurious ride, yet also has sporty tendencies, especially when drivers utilize the standard steering wheel paddle shifters on the gas model and driving mode selector (Eco, Normal and Sport modes). Sport mode extracts the Avalon’s inner sportiness, quickening throttle response, enhancing electric power steering feel, and raising transmission shift points. Downshifts “blip” the throttle, as the driver of a stick-shift sports car might do, to maintain power through a curve, for example. Selecting Eco Mode gives the Avalon a more parsimonious personality, prioritizing fuel efficiency by balancing driving dynamics and climate control functionality. Normal mode yields the best balance of everyday performance and comfort.

As Toyota’s flagship midsize sedan, the Avalon brings premium style, performance, interior amenities, and presence to the masses – without a first-class price. It’s this exceptional blend of highquality characteristics that has been key to the Avalon’s multiyear success since it first rolled off the assembly line at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) in February 1994. Avalon offers V6 and hybrid powertrains, the latter delivering an EPA-estimated 40 mpg combined. Standard on all grades is advanced Toyota Safety Sense-P (TSS-P) suite of technologies. The safety collection equips the Avalon with Automatic High Beams (AHB), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA). The available Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear CrossTraffic Alert (RCTA) help identify vehicles that drivers may not see when changing lanes or backing out of a parking space and will then warn the driver by illuminating a signal on the corresponding outside mirror. Quiet Power in Two Forms The Avalon remains unique in its segment for 2018 with the choice of powerful V6 or hybrid powertrains – one of eight Toyota hybrid models available for 2018. The Avalon’s 3.5-liter, DOHC V6 with Dual VVT-i

The Avalon brings premium style, performance, interior amenities, and presence to the masses – without a first-class price. April 2018

Fuel-Conscious Luxury Avalon Hybrid doesn't discount performance to deliver an amazing EPA-estimated 40 mpg combined fuel economy (40 city/39 highway). Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system combines output from a 2.5-liter Toyota Avalon Please Turn to Page 31 Southern Automotive Journal


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Southern Automotive Journal

April 2018

Intrepid From Page 8 “The industry conversations have all focused quite a bit on repair procedures, approach and the impact of our decisions as businesses charged with restoring safety and consumer’s confidence in their vehicle after a loss,” SCRS Chairman Kye Yeung (European Motor Car Works) said in a statement accompanying Thursday’s announcement of Intrepid Direct’s status. “As the challenges and complexities of the vehicles we work on expand, it’s important to have options to protect our businesses and allow us to work with peace of mind. Knowing that that companies understand the dynamics we are facing, are prioritizing supporting the industry, and delivering greater protection at more affordable rates is really a fantastic thing. We are appreciative of the support from Intrepid Direct, and look forward to watching their intended disruption benefit the collision businesses

the country’s largest auto aftermarket insurers. “Given my experience in the industry with other more traditional companies in this space, I knew that joining SCRS was a priority,” Willett said in a statement. “We believe repair facilities deserve well-supported national advocates, and Intrepid Direct wanted to become an active member of SCRS because we believe that it stands for quality in the collision repair industry. SCRS’ brand and membership promote professionalism in the collision repair industry, and that is what we want to align with. Our team wants to help those professionals overcome business challenges and walk through quotes, claims, risk management and policies. Intrepid Direct is dedicated to the collision repair industry and to uphold the ‘Repairer Driven’ commitment.”n

we serve.” “Like SCRS, Intrepid Direct is committed to improving the industry and promoting excellence for our customers,” Willett said in a statement accompanying SCRS’ Thursday announcement. “We know the increasing complexity and liability the members of this industry face to meet OE vehicle repair standards, attract and train new talent, stay up with technology and grow margins. Understanding all those challenges was actually a big influence in our focus in developing a completely disrupted model for business insurance, intended to save those same businesses money and time. I absolutely believe we can help collision repair businesses through our factory-direct pricing model; creating an easier and cost-effective solution for a personalized, tailored insurance policy.” Willett has more than 25 years in the automotive aftermarket and insurance fields, including working at one of

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LC500 From Page 11 powertrain. In both, the focus is driving excitement, with the LC 500h offering higher fuel efficiency associated with the world’s luxury hybrid leader. Upon startup, exhaling through the variable Active Total loss From Page 17 only moderately,” and only in certain segments. Total loss values rose 1.7 percent in the year ending in September 2017 — but Gotsch cautioned this was an “anomaly,” as all vehicle age groups except for current-model cars saw their total loss values decline. Gotsch’s presentation noted that the spread in total cost to repair between the newest and oldest vehicles (which appeared to be a reference to cars aged at

Exhaust, the 5-liter naturally aspirated V8 issues a clarion call to driving enthusiasts. Based on the engine in the Lexus GS F an RC F high-performance models, the LC 500 version raises the output to 471 hp and 398 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The LC 500 can sprint from zero to 60 mph in

less than 4.5 seconds. It’s a well-proven performance engine, with a low-mass reciprocating assembly using lightweight forged connecting rods, along with titanium intake and exhaust valves to allow a 7,300-rpm redline. The 32-valve cylin-

least 7 years) had grown from 47 percent to 69 percent between 2012 and 2017. A continued influx of off-lease vehicles will continue to push down vehicle value retention in 2018 and 2019, according to Gotsch. That seems as though it would trigger the total-loss threshold a little earlier than in the past. Vehicles are also hanging around a lot longer, which is intensifying an interesting “Bookend” total-loss phenomenon. In 2002, only 7.9 percent of cars totaled had reached their 16th birthday

or were older, according to Gotsch. In the year ending Sept. 30, 2017, 15.4 percent of vehicles were at or past Sweet Sixteen. Meanwhile, the proportion of cars 6 years or younger had spiked to 32.4 percent, up from 29.2 percent the previous year. “Many older-model-year vehicles remain,” Gotsch said.n

LC500 Continued on Next Page

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April 2018

The LC’s exclusive seats feel as good as they look, with a new two-part construction technique

LC500 From Page 26

The body’s substantial, “planted” look stems from prominent quarter panels that flare away from the center of the car and door panels that are pulled inward. der heads, equipped with performancetuned Variable Valve Timing (VVT-iE), take full advantage of the engine’s low internal friction and aggressive valvetrain specs. The D-4S injection system uses direct fuel injection that allows a high compression ratio (12.3:1), augmented by port fuel injectors to enhance low-speed response. Under acceleration, the LC 500 V8 reveals its character in a continuously rising power curve, with the 471 hp developed at 7,100 rpm and the torque peak sustained from 4,800-5,600 rpm. The fastrevving V8 issues a stunning soundtrack amplified by a special resonance tube connecting the intake to the firewall, plus a standard Active Exhaust that rumbles and roars like a high-performance GT should. The driver can adjust the natural exhaust sound level via the Drive Mode Select system. The V8 is a good citizen, too, switching to the Atkinson cycle to enhance fuel efficiency at cruising speeds and Otto cycle for higher performance levels when accelerating. The (Light) Material World The LC 500 exhibits razor-sharp reflexes, exceptional handling balance and rock-solid stability. Rock solid could also describe the stiffest unibody Lexus has ever produced. The strategic use of lightweight, high-strength steels yield a structure that is more resistant to twisting forces than even the exotic, carbon fiber-intensive LFA supercar. The combination of high-strength steels, aluminum and CFRP, along with deleting a spare tire in favor of run-flat tires and moving the 12v battery to the trunk area, helps

yield 52:48 weight distribution (LC 500h). Perhaps more critically than that figure alone reveals, the engineers followed an “inertia spec” to locate as much mass as possible toward the center and lower in the chassis to improve the center of gravity. The drivetrain mass is located behind the front axle line to create a front mid-ship layout; the driver hip and heel points are lowered, and wheels are pushed to the corners. The low center of gravity enabled Lexus to reduce the LC 500’s roll angle without making the suspension too stiff, which would hurt ride comfort. Aluminum is used for the hood, front fenders and door skins, with the inner panels of the doors and trunk made from CRFP sheet-molding compound. Only the rear fenders are steel. To produce the optional carbon fiber roof with its twill weave effect, Lexus employs a new, high-speed resin transfer molding process, developed at the Motomachi factory from a technique originally used in production of the LFA supercar. Raw carbon fiber material is inserted into a mold and clamped in place before the injection of the resin, a process that enables volume production. Another new technique is used for combining aluminum with steel to help save weight in key areas, notably the front suspension towers. The use of selfApril 2018

piercing riveting allows these different metals to be securely joined where traditional welding methods are unsuitable. Details help make the LC an exemplary driver’s car. For example, the steering wheel cross section changes around its circumference to allow for variations in grip and twisting of the wrist, and large, substantial feeling magnesium alloy paddle shifters are easily hooked by the fingertips. The front passenger has not been ignored; the side of the center console rises to form an integrated grab handle. With function, there is also beauty and impeccable craftsmanship. The flowing lines of the door panels serve as an extension of an exterior line that flows from the hood and through the windshield to build a sense of continuity between the exterior and interior. Available interior color schemes for the LC include new Bespoke White and Toasted Caramel, together with Rioja Red and Black finishes seen in other Lexus models. The quality and finish of the upholstery, trim materials and detailing reflect the Takumi craftsmanship and fine attention to detail for which Lexus is renowned. It can be seen and felt in the hand stitching of the leather-wrapped gearshift lever and the draping treatment of the Alcantara door panel trim, among numerous other details. n Southern Automotive Journal



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BMW Scholars From Page 20 BMW Scholar Success Story After spending nine years in the U.S. Army – including two combat tours in Iraq – and four years in law enforcement, Joel Pridmore decided he needed a career change. Pridmore, a 2004 graduate of Dorman High School, said he wasn’t sure what career path to take until he read about the BMW Scholars program on the Spartanburg Community College website. “I watched the BMW Scholar recruitment video on my phone one day and saw all the robots welding cars,” Pridmore said. “I love technology and that really piqued my interest.” Pridmore applied through Spartanburg Community College and became a Scholar in 2016. For nearly two years, he’s attended classes full-time and worked at BMW about 20 hours per week. He will graduate the program in May with an associate’s degree in mechatronics.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity BMW has given me to learn and to apply my skills on the job,” he said. “This program has been a blessing to me and my wife, and I’m excited to see where my career goes in the future.” To Apply As A BMW Scholar Persons interested in the BMW Scholars program should apply at one of the four education partners: Spartanburg Community College – Jennifer Little, 864-592-4808, littlej@sccsc. edu Greenville Technical College– Susan Gasque, 864-250-8105, susan.gasque@ Tri-County Technical College – Cheryl Garrison, 864-646-1573, Piedmont Technical College – Chris Lipp, 864-682-3702, Charles Dixon, 864-941-8656, dixon.c@ Students must study in one of the

following areas: automotive technology, robotics/mechatronics/industrial maintenance, mechanical or electrical engineering, logistics/supply chain management, or production associate technology or other related manufacturing fields. Students must maintain a minimum 2.8 GPA while in the program. BMW Manufacturing currently produces 1,400 vehicles each day, exporting 70 percent of these models to 140 global markets. The model portfolio includes the BMW X3, X4, X5 and X6 Sports Activity Vehicles and Coupes (and their variants). The all-new BMW X7 will debut in late 2018. Last year (2017), the Spartanburg plant produced 371,284 vehicles. The plant has a production capacity of 450,000 vehicles and employs 10,000 people. In June, the BMW Group announced it will invest an additional $600 million in the Spartanburg plant from 2018 through 2021 to support manufacturing infrastructure for future generations of X models. An additional 1,000 jobs will also be added through 2021.n

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Toyota Avalon From Page 23

Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and a high-torque electric motor. The resulting combined 200 horsepower gives the Avalon Hybrid strong, responsive acceleration along with seamless and quiet road manners. The hybrid system can switch between the gas engine and electric motor, or combine output from both, channeling torque through a unique planetary gear-type continuously variable transmission. An EV Drive mode enables the Avalon Hybrid to drive solely on the electric motor for a short distance at speeds under about 20 mph. Like all Toyota hybrids, Avalon Hybrid augments the conventional brake system with Toyota-pioneered regenerative braking. The system cap-

tures the kinetic energy of the wheels when braking or decelerating, storing it in the hybrid battery. That same kind of hybrid intelligence permeates the Avalon Hybrid. Because the air conditioning and power steering systems are driven electrically, both continue to operate normally when the car is operating under electric power alone or when the auto start/stop system shuts off the gas engine. A Hybrid System Indicator in the 3.5-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) color multi-information display shows power output and regeneration. With the compact nickel-metal-hydride battery located in the trunk area, the Avalon Hybrid maintains a generous 14 cu.-ft. of trunk space, just two less than the gasoline

Proficient in Premium The Avalon certainly looks the part of a premium luxury sedan, with a coupe-like profile, bold grille and discrete chrome trim. Even with the sweeping roofline, Avalon provides ample rear seat head room. Interior design and appointments also live up to the premium promise. Avalon’s cabin – one of the roomiest in the segment – offers a choice of three interior color themes including Almond, Light Gray, and Black. Serenity on the road is assured by strategically placed sound-absorbing and sound-insulating materials, including acoustic-type glass used for the windshield and side glass, plus foam injected into the A-, B-, and C-pillars, and rocker panels. Even the smallest of cabin details have been paid attention to. The power windows, for example, slow down as they approach the top of the window frames, and the coin box features a damper for smooth opening and closing. The steering column tilts and telescopes, and elegant smoke chrome trim surrounds the center panel, while glossy trim frames the shifter. For drivers wanting more sportiness, the Avalon Touring provides a dynamic and responsive driving experience with sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch dark gray painted alloy wheels. Standard LED headlights and LED daytime running lights give the Touring grade a unique styling signature as well as cutting-edge illumination.n

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MSTEP From Page 19 Killea, the commanding general for Marine Corps Installations West - Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. "Programs such as MSTEP help our transitioning service members prepare for a successful career outside of the military, and we are excited to see them progress through the program and find employment as BMW technicians." BMW MSTEP is an expansion of the company's existing efforts to address the technician shortage. With nearly five Fuel Cell EV From Page 21 driving vehicles used for this demonstration look similar to Hyundai's other mass-produced models, but they are equipped with various cameras and LIDARs. Adding a small number of sensors to mass-produced vehicles has enabled the realization of fully autonomous driving technology, and thus brings the company a step closer to the commercialization of self-driving technology. Autonomous driving processes a high volume of data, which requires a lot of power. The fuel cell electric model is able to produce electricity through a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in the fuel cell stack, making it the optimal vehicle model choice for this test. The NEXO fuel cell electric SUV can drive more than 600 km on a single charge, which takes approximately five minutes. The model boasts worldclass system efficiency of 60%, durability equivalent to internal combustion engine-driven vehicles and a load space of 839 liters. Utilizing the 5G network of KT Corp., a Korean mobile service provider, the vehicles deliver five new advanced

million BMW Group vehicles on the road in the U.S. and access to skilled technicians still limited, BMW has invested in several initiatives designed to engage, attract, and find technicians for its network including the original technician education program known as BMW STEP. BMW STEP is the most comprehensive BMW technician development program in North America taught in nine locations across the country, producing graduates that are preferred by dealers nationwide. The program chooses the finest talent from post-secondary

automotive trainings and colleges. More than 3,500 STEP technicians have graduated from the program to date and represent part of the current BMW network technician total. Because of the growing demand for qualified candidates, the company plans to increase the number of STEP students it graduates every year from almost 450 in 2018 to about 800 graduates in 2020. BMW is furthering its efforts to sourcing the critical technician talent it needs while helping provide promising career opportunities for those who are looking.n

information technologies, all accessed through a user interface (UI) that provides an intuitive user experience. Passengers in the rear seats can use "Home Connect," a car-to-home technology which enables the user to access and control IoT devices installed in their smart home. They can view home camera images in real-time, control the lighting, remote door lock or TV, and even manage home energy systems. Hyundai plans to phase in the home-to-car and car-to-home technology to its vehicles from the first half of 2018 and from 2019, respectively. "Assistant Chat" is a technology that allows users to ask questions to a Chat Bot with simple voice commands and receive answers in the form of text or images. "Wellness Care" can monitor health information of passengers seated in the rear of the vehicle, such as their stress level, heart rate, and mood state. They can also access relaxing therapeutic services, and they can be connected with a health consultant through a realtime video call. In addition, the vehicle also provides "Noise-Away" cabin noise reduction technology, and "Mood Care" which

provides rear door mood lighting when the music player or Wellness Care is active. The Korean karaoke application "Everysing" also allows passengers to sing along to music on their journey, and it's possible to stream video to the rearseat entertainment system. Lastly, users can receive real-time traffic information notifications, supported by multiple languages, including Korean, English and Chinese. These advanced infotainment features enable drivers to make the best use of their time spent in autonomously driven vehicles, making them more than a simple means of moving from one location to another. Hyundai Motor Group, which includes flagship units Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, is preparing for the commercialization of the SAE standard Level 4 compliant autonomous-driving system in smart cities by 2021. To this end, the company announced plans at CES 2018 last month to jointly develop self- driving technology with Aurora Innovation, a U.S. based autonomous driving startup. Hyundai also plans to commercialize the technology for fully autonomous driving by 2030.n

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Q Inspiration From Page 5 touchscreens. Passengers in different seats can enjoy a favorite film or show, catch up on the day's news, or sit back and stream music as the world goes by – without distracting others in the cabin. As in all INFINITI cars, the cabin remains sufficiently isolated from the outside world to enable easy conversation when the screens are off. The intelligently packaged fourcylinder VC-Turbo has liberated INFINITI's designers from the constraints of traditional high-powered engine architecture. With a more compact engine under the hood, designers have realized a spacious cabin within the same footprint of a mid-size sedan, with a shorter hood and A-pillars pushed further forward than is typical of the segment. The arcing roofline liberates valuable headroom for front and rear occupants. Inside, efficient interior packaging creates space for four passengers to relax in total comfort. While the Q Inspiration is similar in size to existing mid-size sedans, interior space for each passenger is on par with larger luxury sedans. Each seat features a floating touchscreen, positioned to allow occupants to freely cross their legs in comfort. The floating center console maximizes leg room, paired with thin-frame zero-gravity seats, designed to minimize fatigue on long journeys. Pillarless rearhinged doors and low sills make it easy for passengers to get in and out. The driveshaft providing power to the rear wheels is positioned to create a flat cabin floor, offering additional space. Merging technology and craftsmanship The Q Inspiration Concept marries cutting-edge technology with modern twists on traditional craftsmanship, creating a cabin with a bespoke, minimalist appearance. The dashboard is trimmed in carefully treated kabazakura wood, with an authentic, highly tactile matte finish whose grain is still detectable to the touch, thanks to a delicate application of clear-coat protection. Kabazakura is a member of the birch family. As the wood extends rearward from the front of the cabin, along the top of the doors, 34

Southern Automotive Journal

it merges with slashed white leather. The seats, center console and doors are trimmed in soft white leather, finished with INFINITI's own patented dot-quilting, for an informal, unbuttoned twist on the traditional buttoned-down diamond patterns of a Chesterfield sofa. The white leather of the seats is lined with a flash of coral orange leather, matching the coral highlights of the aluminum alloy wheels. Black leather extends to the floor and over the far reaches of the digital dashboard. The hand-crafted interior of the Q Inspiration is matched with unobtrusive technologies for a contemporary overall appearance. The dark gray of the cabin's birch wood trim disguises the digital black of the flowing human-machine interface running the width of the dashboard. Metallic trim lines the trailing edges of the dashboard, while soft, subtle lighting illuminates certain elements of the cabin, such as the armrests, steering wheel and ProPILOT controls. Autonomous drive technologies New ProPILOT autonomous technologies liberate drivers from mundane and stressful driving situations "The INFINITI Q Inspiration reveals the next stage of development for the brand's ProPILOT autonomous drive technologies. The new, near-future technologies previewed here seek to both empower and liberate drivers," said François Bancon, Vice President, Product and Programs. April 2018

ProPILOT is the umbrella term under which all future INFINITI autonomous drive support technologies will be based. Drawing on inputs from radar and camera to read the road ahead and monitor the position of other vehicles, the system allows the driver and car to react accordingly. Central to INFINITI's strategy for developing ProPILOT is a commitment to allow drivers to retain ultimate control over their vehicle, in keeping with INFINITI's focus on driver engagement. The Q Inspiration's ProPILOT autonomous drive technologies support drivers in identifying and responding to other road users and potential hazards. Acting as a co-pilot, these autonomous drive technologies enhance drivers' capabilities and enable them to delegate more onerous driving tasks to the car. When the driver does not require the individual performance and engagement afforded to them by their INFINITI, ProPILOT frees them from mundane or stressful driving situations. ProPILOT empowers drivers with end-to-end autonomous driving, providing autonomous multi-lane highway driving and intersection auto-navigation functionalities. These near-future technologies work alongside existing ProPILOT Assist technologies, such as the capability to navigate stop-start highway traffic and monitor the positions of surrounding vehicles. ProPILOT helps drivers complete their journeys more safely and more efficiently.n

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April 2018 Southern Automotive Journal  

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

April 2018 Southern Automotive Journal  

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