Southern Automotive Journal June 2024

Page 1


The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) Welcomed Guest Speaker Lee Rush

I-CAR Recognizes Industry

Excellence with Chairman’s Awards Presentation

Vehicle Repair Costs

Increased Nearly 12% in the Last Year

CNN Article Focuses on Rising Complexity of Collision Repair


Genesis Gives Donates

$50,000 To Alabama State University To Support Stem Education

Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars are honored to present Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail – a breathtaking coach built masterpiece that celebrates its commissioning client’s cultural heritage, family legacy, and personal passions.

One of four unique expressions of the Rolls-Royce Droptail, Amethyst Droptail is a truly elevated expression of applied art, commissioned by a patron whose family business has grown from a gemstone boutique to a multinational corporation with diversified interests. Exceptionally welltravelled, internationally educated and truly global in their inspirations, the client is an established patron of the arts, whose collection of pre-

cious jewels, significant motor cars and contemporary artworks are housed in a specially commissioned private museum.

The patron tasked Coachbuild designers to create an elegant expression of Droptail inspired by the amethyst gem – the birthstone of their son and an enduring symbol of purity, clarity and resilience; themes that are explored throughout this exceptional motor car in extraordinary depth. The client’s passion for quiet artistry and subtle flourishes is what defines Amethyst Droptail – a projection of

A New Era of Dealer Training and Customer Service
Southern Automotive Journal 2701 SE OCEAN BLVD STUART FL 34996-2767 (770) 321-9920 Droptail Please To Turn Page 4
June 2024
Bronco Sport Heritage
The INFINITI Q50 Continues to Deliver a Bold Luxury Sedan Hyundai Ioniq 6 Characterized by Clean, Simple Lines With a Aerodynamic Form
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For the interior treatment, the client requested an elegant addition: the adornment of the rotary dials with rare amethyst gems.

true connoisseurship that rewards those who study it with beguiling details.

Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail was unveiled to the commissioning client, their family and friends at a private event in Gstaad, Switzerland – a region of particular significance for the patron.

A Flower In The Desert

The patron and co-creator of Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail expressed a profound desire to celebrate the cultural heritage of their home region. Rolls-Royce Coachbuild designers responded with an inspiration point that would define this Droptail’s exterior treatment: the Globe Amaranth wildflower, which blooms in the desert near one of the client’s homes.

The duotone exterior paint finish captures multiple stages of the flower’s bloom. The main body color is a soft purple hue with a delicate silver undertone, named Globe

Amaranth in tribute to the flower, and is enhanced with fine flecks of powdered aluminum that reflect the light and create a captivating iridescent finish. A deep purple Amethyst contrast paint, which is used on the motor car’s upper coachwork, contains a blend of red, blue and violet mica flakes that together create a unique mauve colour with a subtle metallic sheen.

In sunlight, the motor car also reveals a gentle hint of mauve paint on the inside of the 22-inch wheels, providing a subtle but elegant contrast to the mirror-polished aluminum surface, a touch that the client compared to the colorful lining of their favorite bespoke jacket.

The exterior is finished with a subtle but highly complex treatment of the carbon fiber used to construct the lower sections of the motor car. The result of two years of development, the marque’s craftspeople created a chevron pattern book-matched along two axes, which adds geometric decoration to Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail’s technical exterior surfaces. The carbon fiber itself is finished with

a fine layer of lacquer tinted with Amethyst pigment, which in most lights reads as the body color. This intricate and technically demanding detail is hidden until the motor car is closely scrutinised, speaking of the client’s passion for subtlety and restraint.

Depth Of Detail

The client’s trust in Rolls-Royce’s artisans to execute the most challenging flourishes is expressed in the Pantheon grille treatment. The exterior grille surround and ‘kinked’ vane pieces are partially hand-brushed and partially hand-polished with a precise line demarking each finish – a surface treatment that had never been attempted on this scale before. The concept was suggested by the commissioning client’s son, a collector of haute horlogerie who was inspired by the brushed hands of an historically significant piece in his archive. Achieving the perfect uniformity in the finishes, as well as the sharpness of contrast between the finish types, was the result of more than 50 hours of collective work.

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 4
Droptail From Front Cover

The exterior is finished with a subtle but highly complex treatment of the carbon fiber used to construct the lower sections of the motor car. The result of two years of development, the marque’s craftspeople created a chevron pattern book-matched along two axes.

The carbon fiber itself is finished with a fine layer of lacquer tinted with Amethyst pigment, which in most lights reads as the body color.

Beneath this extraordinary expression of contemporary craftsmanship is an intricate lower front air intake. This highly detailed piece was digitally designed and ‘printed’ in a lightweight composite and incorporates 202 hand-polished stainless-steel ingots, each of which has been painstakingly painted by hand in the Globe Amaranth hue.

The front end is resolved with a Spirit of Ecstasy figurine surrounded by amethyst cabochons. The cabochon treatment, whereby a gemstone is shaped and polished into a rounded form rather than faceted, was requested by the client in order to avoid a conspicuous sparkle. This subtle detail recalls the client’s early enterprise in the precious gemstone business.

Celebration Of Materials

Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail celebrates the materials and crafts personally curated by the commissioning client and his family. The material selection began with a sample of wood offered by the client – a stun-

ning Calamander Light open-pore wood, which has a complex texture and long bands of color.

The colors of the client’s initial wood sample served as the inspiration for the motor car’s leather treatment – the gently contrasting leather, in the aptly named Sand Dunes hue, was developed to perfectly match the caramel strands on the Calamander Light open-pore wood.  Following this, wood specialists were challenged to source material with bands in precisely the same color as the leather, a task that took more than six months to resolve, requiring specialists to review more than 100 logs before the perfect piece was discovered.

The primary leather hue, named Amethyst, complements the exterior surface and is finished with a subtle pearlescent lacquer, reminiscent of the brilliance of the precious gemstone after which the motor car is named.

For Amethyst Droptail, RollsRoyce has created the most extensive wooden surface area in its history,

with the material extending from the motor car’s fascia and doors to the shawl panel, cantilevered ‘plinth’ center armrest and onto the aft deck.

In applying wood to the aerodynamically functional aft deck, the marque’s aerodynamicists and wood specialists worked closely together to experiment with not just the form of the panel, but with different woodgrain textures and the precise angle of the placement of the veneer itself. The result is both an extraordinarily artistic piece and the world’s only ‘raw’ wooden surface that produces downforce on a new roadgoing motor car.

A completely new veneering process was developed specifically for Amethyst Droptail, with each veneer sheet placed upside down to expose the raw wood texture. Two techniques are combined: ‘bookmatching’ at 55 degrees, in which the sheets of wood mirror each other, and ‘slip-match-

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Southern Automotive Journal Mar June 2024 5

Genesis and Genesis Inspiration Foundation recently donated to local nonprofits in Savannah, Ga. to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, arts education, and youth sports initiatives. The Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club received a total of $65,000 from Genesis and Genesis Inspiration Foundation. Genesis also supported the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Savannah United, First Tee Savannah, and Girls on the Run of Coastal Georgia and the Lowcountry for their respective programs. Ceremonial checks were presented in Savannah, Georgia the week of April 22.

“At Genesis, we are focused on developing high performance, worldclass vehicles that exude athletic elegance. With this in mind, we seek to give back to the communities we serve by fostering this same innovation and

performance in future generations,” said Claudia Marquez, chief operating officer of Genesis Motor North America. “With our new manufacturing facility planned for the area, we are

thrilled to continue supporting local Savannah organizations that increase children’s access to high-quality STEM, arts, and sports programs.”

The donations are part of Genesis’ social responsibility initiative, Genesis Gives, which seeks to pave the way for the future generation by supporting STEM education

and youth sports programs, especially for children in need. As a company with a keen commitment to innovation and technology, Genesis views STEM education as a key ingredient for producing leaders and creators. With the company’s identity of athletic elegance and breaking boundaries, Genesis also seeks to help children push their own boundaries and engage in youth sports programs, which help teach important life skills in addition to providing important health and developmental benefits.

Genesis has been partnering with the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club since 2022 to support their STEM education programs. Additionally, Genesis Inspiration Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to support-

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 6
Genesis Inspiration Foundation donates $60,000 to the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club in Savannah. 800-476-0659 Toll Free Direct Infiniti of Birmingham • 1804 Montgomery Highway, Hoover, AL 35244 866-234-1017 Fax Jack Pearson 205.402.2207 Next Day Delivery to 740 Cities in 7 States! Call our Wholesale Parts Professionals Anthony Newton Genuine Infiniti Parts With The OPA Promise Our Promise • We deliver the next day • Dedicated professional delivery drivers • Expedient return policies • You can count on Special orders • Knowledgeable wholesale specialists • We strive for 100% accuracy on your order • We only ship quality parts • Competent and helpful sales people 205-402-2248 90 ROUTESDELIV E RING DAILYTO 80 0 C I TSEI SETATS8NI Genesis and Genesis Inspiration Foundation Contribute Over $100,000 to Savannah Community

ing education through the arts, has supported the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club since last year in 2023, specifically for its arts education programs that incorporate a variety of art classes for high-need youth in the community.

"Gratitude is the bridge that connects generosity to impact. With heartfelt appreciation, we extend our sincerest thanks to Genesis and the Genesis Inspiration Foundation for their unwavering support of the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club's STEAM program,” said Mark Lindsay, chief executive officer of Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club. “Their dedication to fostering innovation and nurturing the minds of our youth echoes far beyond the confines of our classrooms, shaping a future bright with possibility and promise."

Genesis has partnered with SCAD since 2022, providing funding

for scholarships to students who are from the Bryan County area—home to Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America.

Genesis has partnered with Savannah United since 2022, contributing support for soccer scholarships to children in need, allowing more children to learn and participate in youth soccer programs.

Genesis Gives

Genesis Gives is a corporate social responsibility initiative from Genesis Motor America. Expanding on the brand's commitment to the highest standards of performance and its athletic elegance design identity, Genesis Gives supports nonprofit organizations with the goal of improving access to, and performance in, youth sports and STEAM education in under resourced communities. Since 2022, Genesis has donated nearly $1.8 million to sup -

port communities across the country. For more information, visit www.

Genesis Inspiration Foundation

Genesis Inspiration Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to connecting youth to the transformative power of the arts. Our mission is to improve educational outcomes by providing access to arts programs that engage and inspire children in under-resourced communities. Since its inception in 2018, the Genesis Inspiration Foundation has donated $10 million to fund youth arts programming at museums, schools, and nonprofit art and cultural organizations nationwide. With the support of Genesis retailers and charitable donations, we are introducing children to a new world of the possible. To learn more about the Genesis Inspiration Foundation, visit n

Southern Automotive Journal Mar June 2024 7
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I-CAR Recognizes Industry Excellence with Chairman’s Awards Presentation

This year,I-CAR, the InterIndustry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, honored four industry leaders for their remarkable achievements and contributions to I-CAR's vision during the organization's 45thanniversary celebration at the I-CAR National Meeting. The event served to recognize and bring together I-CAR volunteers, instructors, and assessors, additionally 20 of our 57 Sustaining Partners participated in the weekend's activities.

I-CAR Chairman's Award pays tribute to an individual or organization whose contributions to I-CAR's mission have been significant or extraordinary. The Chairman's Award recipient is selected by the Executive Committee of the I-CAR Board of Directors. The award was presented to the following industry leaders:

•Lou DiLisio, President at Automotive Industry Consulting, Inc

•Nick Notte, former I-CAR Vice President of Sales & Marketing

•Tim O'Day, President & CEO, Boyd Group Services, Inc.

•Ford Motor Company

Lou DiLisio, has a long history of leadership including owning a collision repair center, a deep involve-

ment in industry organizations and associations, and chairing industry conferences. He eventually transitioned into consulting in the 1980s and continues to provide valuable services, including working with I-CAR. DiLisio's contributions to the collision repair industry have been recognized through numerous awards, including the Collision Industry Hall of Eagles and the SCRS Lifetime Achievement

Award. “His enduring dedication and expertise make him a beacon of leadership and innovation at I-CAR, and in the collision repair industry,” said Jim Guthrie, I-CAR Board Chair. “His extensive involvement in industry committees and organizations underscores his commitment to advancing the field.”

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Bronco Sport Heritage Fun and Retro Vide Bronco Sport Heritage Fun With Retro Vibe

The Bronco Sport Heritage models that feature signature Oxford White accents including a uniquely painted roof to mimic the original Bronco style. A unique Oxford White heritage grille features Race Red “BRONCO” lettering, while Oxford White 17-inch aluminum heritage wheels and bodyside stripes heighten the throwback appearance. Both Heritage and Heritage Limited models include interior touches such as plaid cloth seats and a Navy Pier instrument panel with Oxford White accenting the bin and door ring. Cloth seats feature heathered Navy Pier with plaid inserts and Race Red and Robin’s Egg Blue accent stitching. A unique Navy Pier microsuede center console and armrests include Race Red stitching. The Bronco Sport MOLLE strap storage system on the front-row seatbacks includes Navy Pier straps and Race Red zipper grips. The Navy Pier color was inspired by the cloth seats that were available in Bronco in the 1980’s.

Both Heritage and Heritage Limited models include interior touches such as plaid cloth seats and a Navy Pier instrument panel with Oxford White accenting the bin and door ring.

Like the full-size Bronco SUVs, the 2024 Bronco Sport Heritage Edition is built on the Big Bend series. Bronco Sport Heritage Edition is available in seven paint options including Robin’s Egg Blue, while Heritage Limited Edition is exclusively available in Robin’s Egg Blue, Yellowstone Metallic and Peak Blue.

Heritage Limited Edition models add metal “Bronco” script front fender badging and larger 29-inch all-terrain off-road tires with more aggressive, deeper treads that stretch

on to the sidewalls for improved off-road traction. Heritage Limited Edition models also upgrade to leather-trimmed seats and include Oxford White door inserts and unique center console badging.

The Ford Bronco Sport offroad vehicle signals for thrill-seekers a welcome return to roads and trails less traveled. With unmistakable Bronco™ styling and unrelenting Bronco capability, the smaller sibling of Bronco two- and four-door SUVs

Bronco Sport Please Turn to Page 34

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 10


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CNN Article Focuses on Rising Complexity of Collision Repair

A recent CNN Business article focused on the rising complexity of collision repairs, even for minor fender benders, due to the increasing use of technology in vehicles.

“The change that we’ve seen in the last five years is greater than we’ve seen, probably, in the last five decades,” said Todd Dillender, chief operating officer of Caliber Collision, in the article.

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) including automatic emergency braking (AEB), blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning can increase repair costs by up to 37.6% after a crash, according to a recent study by AAA.

“Even minor damage to systems such as front radar or distance sensors can result in additional repair expenses up to $1,540,” the study says.

The increase partly comes from the cost of replacing and calibrating sensors, it said.

While OEMs are adding more ADAS features, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

is also demanding it.

NHTSA recently finalized a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) that will make AEB, including pedestrian AEB (PAEB), standard on

all passenger cars and light trucks by September 2029.

AEB systems use sensors to detect when a vehicle is close to crashing into a vehicle or pedestrian in front and automatically apply the brakes if the driver doesn’t. PAEB technology detects a pedestrian in both daylight and at night.

Dave Gruskos, Reliable Automotive Equipment, Inc. president, told Repairer Driven News the evolution of technical advancements that started with companies, such as

Mercedes-Benz, 25 years ago used to take a decade or more to become industry-wide. He said now, similar advancements can be widespread within a year of introduction to the industry.

“Everything is evolving to the next level,” Gruskos said. “There is no simple vehicle.”

The CNN article talks about the importance of having the technology repaired correctly.

“You’re changing the way the sensor looks out in the world,” said Hami Ebrahimi, chief commercial officer at Caliber, in the article.

A misalignment can make a “big difference” in how the vehicle perceives where another vehicle or object is, the article says.

The article also explains how each OEM can have a different process for repairs. It adds this could even be different per model.

It further explains the difference between static and dynamic calibra-

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 12
(ADAS) including automatic emergency braking
blind spot monitoring,
can increase
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Hyundai Ioniq 6 Aerodynamic Styled , Cocoon-like Interior Crazy Efficiency

Inspired by Hyundai’s Prophecy EV Concept, IONIQ 6 is characterized by clean, simple lines and a pure aerodynamic form that Hyundai designers describe as Emotional Efficiency. IONIQ 6’s electrified streamliner typology and mindful cocoon-like interior embody a silhouette for the new era of electric mobility, while the overall design theme of Ethical Uniqueness reflects Hyundai’s customer-centric commitment to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

“IONIQ 6 connects an emotional convergence of functionality with aesthetics,” said SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Design Center. “The distinctive streamlined design is the result of close cooperation between engineers and designers, with obsessive attention to detail and customer-centric values at the core. We have created the IONIQ 6 as a mindful cocoon that offers personalized place for all."

The user-centric interior architecture is exemplified by an ergonomically designed control unit that is centrally located to reduce distraction and spur safe, intuitive driving.

IONIQ 6’s human-centric design is both ethical and unique

IONIQ 6 demonstrates ethical and unique design through energy efficiency and sustainable material usage. IONIQ 6 design was humancentric from the start, with the interior space developed simultaneously with the exterior form. Efforts were made to maximize and optimize the interior space, stretching it at the front and rear, resulting in a unique streamliner silhouette and spacious interior.

Like the award-winning IONIQ 5 before it, IONIQ 6 implements the Hyundai Look design strategy that gives each model a unique appearance, like chess pieces. By taking a customer-centric direction, Hyundai designs with diverse lifestyles in mind rather than with a onestyle-fits-all approach.

Single-curved streamliner with sleek yet functional aesthetics

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 14 IONIQ 6 Please Turn to Page 26
We StockEnginesCallandTransmissions usforaQuote! Ken Price 877.503.2118 205.458.4601 Moose Simmons 205-907-9068 • 1620 Montgomery Highway, Hoover, AL 35216 205-757-2968 Eric Smith 877.310.5532 205-380-6790 Doug Thomason Ext. 128 866.909.2128 205.909.2128 Kevin Sellers Ext. 131 888.757.2131 205.909.2131 Scott Moore 855.924.7559 205.824.7559 Mark Runyan Ext. 146 888.882.2146 205.909.2146 205.823.5428 800.239.5100 205.979.3048 800.239.8888 205.823.5237 800.633.4304 205.823.5238 888.815.5238 DIRECT TOLL FREE FAX TOLL FREE FAX Use these number for below ext. in red Outside Sales Team 205-533-5463 Steve Ashe Frank Sebert Ext. 145 888.399.2145 205.909.2145 Mike McCool 888.399.2196 205.909.2196 Tommy Parker 866-854-6639 334-514-7640 Andy Polk 877.310.5557 205.380.6789 Fred Patterson 855.924.7560 205.824.7560 Todd Jones 877.851.1141 205.380.6279 Rhonda Johnson Justin Love 844.442.6894 205.380.5355 Adam Benefiel 888.428.2190 205.909.2190 Barry Hogeland 877.276.2129 205.909.2129 Parts Manager Lynn Smith 855.924.2576 205.824.7576 Earl Harrs 877.310.5549 205.380.6796 mhill@ Melinda Hill 844.312.3832 205.380.3179 90 ROUTES DELIV ERINGDAILYTO 80 0 C I SEIT SETATS8NI 205-533-5463 Steve Ashe Rex Wilkinson 601.218.0144 Brian Colwell 205.603.8546 rwilkinson@opaparts.
Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 16 Local: 205-320-7320 Toll Free: 866-320-7320 Fax: 205-458-4452 • Knowledgeable wholesale specialists • Dedicated professional delivery drivers • Expedient return policies • We strive for 100% accuracy on your order • We only ship quality Subaru parts • Competent and helpful sales people • We deliver the next day • Special orders We Buy Obsolete Subaru Parts Call Jon, Parts Manager HALLMARK Subaru 1301 5th Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203 Where the Service Never Ends • The Same Knowledgeable wholesale specialists • The Same OPA Dedicated Delivery System • The Same Next Day Delivery • The Same Direct Phone Numbers Is Now 90 ROUTESDELIV E RING DAILYTO 80 0 C I TSEI SETATS8NI

ing’, in which the sheets of wood are aligned side by side in sequence, to create a repeating grain pattern for an organic, natural effect that gives the illusion of a single piece of wood.

To ensure Amethyst Droptail can be enjoyed by its commissioning client in a variety of climates around the word, the interior wood parts were tested to meet the same rigorous endurance standards as the exterior parts. Prior to its final construction, more than 150 samples underwent over 8,000 hours of testing. This included a full sunlight exposure simulation and rainfastness assessment, as well as testing for durability in temperatures ranging from +80°C to -30°C. The deck’s protective coatings, developed specifically for Amethyst Droptail, have been granted their own patent.

To complete the interior treatment, the client requested an elegant addition: the adornment of the rotary dials with rare amethyst gems. As with the gems at the base of the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine, they too are shaped in a convex cabochon style rather than faceted. The stunning depth and clarity of each stone is of a standard usually reserved for fine jewellery. Each stone was examined by experts within the client’s organisation before they were personally and individually approved by the client. The interior suite is resolved with woven leather

floormats – a subtle tribute to the traditional weaving crafts found for centuries in the souks of the client’s original home region.

Bespoke, Elevated

A removable hard top has been designed to give Rolls-Royce Droptail two distinct characters: without its roof, Droptail is a lithe, open-top roadster; with the roof installed, it is a formidable and dramatic coupé.

The roof incorporates electrochromic glass that allows the surface to change color and transparency instantly. The client challenged Coachbuild designers to develop a glass that would alter its hue in order to correspond with the colorway of Amethyst Droptail. In response, the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective developed a unique chameleon effect for its electrochromic glass: when deactivated, it is completely opaque and has a subtle purple tint, mirroring the motor car’s Amethyst exterior finish. Once the glass is activated at the touch of a button, it becomes translucent with a hue that matches the Sand Dunes leather colour used in the interior suite. The realisation of this extraordinary flourish required specialists to experiment with 60 iterations of glass colouring before a perfect match was found.

A Singular Timepiece

Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail fascia is graced with a unique timepiece commissioned by the client

from the renowned Swiss haute horlogerie maison, Vacheron Constantin. Handmade in Geneva, the piece, named ‘Les Cabinotiers Armillary Tourbillon,’ has an intricate handwound movement and is securely housed in a specially designed holder, enabling it to be removed and stored separately from the motor car if desired. The timepiece features a bi-retrograde display with instantaneous return of the hours and minutes as well as a bi-axial tourbillon.

Vacheron Constantin and RollsRoyce Motor Cars worked closely together to ensure the forms, materials and colours of the timepiece were in perfect harmony within the motor car. The instrument dials combine amethyst-coloured inserts with the partially brushed and polished finish of the timepiece’s hands. The timepiece is affixed to a white-gold baseplate with a hand-crafted sunburst guilloché pattern.

Amethyst Droptail: A Personal Place In Rolls-Royce History

This extraordinary expression of Rolls-Royce Droptail is a testament to the commissioning client’s passion for quiet detail, playfully but meticulously incorporated into one of the most historically significant RollsRoyces ever built. It also represents the marque’s capabilities, not just in realizing such a clear vision but in artfully harmonizing heritage, modernity, and soul. n

Southern Automotive Journal Mar June 2024 17 Quality Aftermarket Collision Replacement Parts 800-633-4304 TOLL FREE TOLL FREE FAX 888-815-5238 (205-823-5237 LOCAL • Dedicated professional delivery drivers • Expedient return policies • Special orders • Knowledgeable wholesale specialists • We strive for 100% accuracy on your order • We only ship quality parts • Competent and helpful sales people • We deliver the next day 9 0 R OUTESDELIVERING DAILYTO800 CIT I E S I N 8 SETATS
From Page 5

A New Era of Dealer Training and Customer Service Is Here

Wonderful fact about Ford is that our U.S. customers – in almost every corner of the country – are a stone’s throw from one of our 3,000 dealers that employ 164,000 salespeople, technicians, and service managers.

That sprawling footprint, however, can also add complexity when it comes to communicating an array of new products, software and services that we’re working hard to deliver for customers.

Ford's commitment to customer service isn't new; it dates back over 120 years to our first dealership in San Francisco in 1903, when customers still had a choice between an automobile and a horse for transportation.

The rapid expansion of our dealer network since then has been driven by our dedication to serving as guides in the automotive industry.

The automotive landscape is evolving through the adoption of electrification and software defined vehicles.

Customers want the shopping experience to be as transparent and simple as purchasing any other product, seeking specialized sup -

port on the latest vehicle technologies. Meanwhile, many dealers have expressed the challenge of managing the swift pace of new products and technology developments.

This mutual desire for specialized support and guidance has led to the inception of Ford University. Joining Ford from the tech industry a little over a year ago, my goal was to reimagine our customer purchase experience.

We've assembled a team of video producers, content creators, and training specialists dedicated to creating engaging content that reinforces complex topics and information. This helps with the goal of ensuring that our dealers are not just salespeople, but trusted advisors equipped with stories, insights, and the knowledge needed to make genuine connections with customers.

The traditional approach to training creates opportunities to enhance long-term knowledge retention, a challenge we're addressing head-on with Ford University.

Utilizing spaced reinforcement, we're helping to capitalize on those opportunities helping dealer employees retain what they learn

and can apply it effectively in their interactions with customers using a “teach, show, practice, reinforce” framework.

Ford University is a new digital and video-based dealer training platform, accessible anytime and anywhere.

It features a personalized, datadriven dashboard for each dealer employee, gamified learning experiences, 24/7 on-demand AI-supported virtual coaching, and a cinematicstyle content library produced by award-winning producers and creatives who have spent all or portions of their careers creating popular television shows and feature films across major networks and streaming services.

We're rolling out Ford University to Ford dealers across the United States starting May 1, with plans to expand further. This platform represents our commitment to providing customers with the even more knowledgeable and skilled dealers, enhancing the value of every customer experience. I'm excited for the positive changes Ford University will bring to our customers and dealers alike. It's a win-win for everyone. n

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 18
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The Parts You Need Are in Stock at Our New Dealership! Call the Wholesale Professionals Randall Webb 706.425.5319 Cesar Garcia 706.425.5281 Kenny Kanca 706.425.5327 Jim Pendley c:770-995-8431 email: Emily Shelnutt c:706-296-5591 email: Billy Kelley c:706-825-989 email: 706-549-7570 • 888-224-9812 Avery Shelnutt 706.425.5328 Commercial Billing Service OUTSIDE SALES TEAM:
Where the Service Never Ends Is Now • The Same Knowledgeable wholesale specialists • The Same OPA Dedicated Delivery System • The Same Next Day Delivery • The Same Direct Phone Numbers We Have New email address!

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Special orders are no problem Outside Sales Team candy@ 9 0 R OUTESDELIVERING DAILYTO800 CIT I E S I N 8 SETATS Brian Colwell 205.603.8546 bcolwell@ 205-757-2968 Rhonda Johnson rjohnson@ 205-533-5463 Steve Ashe sashe@ Rex Wilkinson 601.218.0144 rwilkinson@ Moose Simmons 205-907-9068 msimmons@

The INFINITI Q50 Continues to Deliver a Bold Luxury Sedan

The INFINITI Q50 continues to deliver bold luxury sedan appeal, with an alluring blend of a highly appointed cabin, athletic styling and an impressive array of available connected technologies.

Q50 has a generous level of standard equipment that includes leather-appointed seats; heated front seats; a heated, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel; powerfolding outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down; driver's seat power lumbar adjustment; and Bose® Performance Series audio.

The Q50 is available in three wellequipped grades: LUXE, SENSORY and RED SPORT 400. Each comes standard with rear-wheel drive and is available with INFINITI's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.

Honed exterior design

With classic sedan proportions, the 2024 INFINITI Q50 makes a visual statement with INFINITI's signature double-arch grille highlighted by chrome surrounds. LED headlights on all grades provide a dazzling appearance and impressive illumination, while in back, slim combination LED taillights produce a distinctive light signature at night.

The Q50 LUXE is equipped with 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Q50

The driverfocused cabin of the Q50 shows an impressive level of attention-to-detail, with highquality touches like standard textured aluminum trim and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

SENSORY and RED SPORT 400 grades pronounce the sedan's performance potential with 19-inch sport-design aluminum-alloy wheels.

The Q50 SENSORY and RED SPORT 400 grades wear a bolder appearance, with a lower, more angular sport design front bumper, adding to the sedan's aggressive stance. These models further sharpen Q50's sporty countenance with a black front grille, black-painted exterior mirrors, black window trim and a black finish strip on the trunklid.

Amplifying Q50 sedan's already striking look, RED SPORT 400 adds red "S" badging, and dual exhaust tips with a brushed satin finish. The

exhaust helps deliver a more powerful sound thanks to a revised midpipe, while also contributing to a more performance-focused appearance.

Returning for its second model year is the stunning Black Opal Edition, uniquely offered on Q50 RED SPORT 400. Inspired by the iridescent appearance of naturally occurring black opals, the Black Opal Metallic paint shimmers and shifts between blue, green and purple hues depending on lighting and viewing angle. It also recalls the iconic Midnight Purple paint color seen on other beloved

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 22 Q50 Please Turn to Page 24
At Your Door Customer Service Team • Dedicated professional delivery drivers • Expedient return policies • Special orders • Knowledgeable wholesale specialists • We strive for 100% accuracy on your order • We only ship quality parts • Competent and helpful sales people • We deliver the next day 800-633-4304 FAX 888-815-5238 205-823-5237 "We're With You Down The Road" Call our Benchmark/ OPA Parts Professionals Kevin Sellers 888.757.2131 205.909.2131 Frank Sebert 888.399.2145 205.909.2145 Tommy Parker 866-854-6639 334-514-7640 fax 334-514-7627 Mark Runyan 888.882.2146 205.909.2146 Ken Price 877.503.2118 205.458.4601 Mike McCool 888.399.2196 205.909.2196 Justin Love 844.442.6894 205.380.5355 Melinda Hill 844.312.3832 205.380.3179 Shane Birdyshaw Parts Manager 205.458.4619 Adam Benefiel 888.428.2190 205.909.2190 Michael Knowles 205.909.2172 888.547.2172 Ken Willis 205.909.2118 866.854.3842 AUTOMOTIVE 09 OR U T E S DELIVERING DAILY TO 800CITIES IN 8 S SETAT Moose Simmons 205-907-9068 205-757-2968 205-533-5463 Steve Ashe Rhonda Johnson Rex Wilkinson 601.218.0144 Brian Colwell 205.603.8546 Dusty Scott 866.909.2128 205.909.2128

The Q50 SENSORY and RED SPORT 400 further sharpen Q50's sporty countenance with a black front grille, black-painted exterior mirrors, black window trim and a black finish strip on the trunklid.

Japanese supercars. Along with the paint, the Black Opal Edition enhances the car's appearance with a black front grille with illuminated INFINITI emblem; black rear INFINITI, Q50S and AWD (AWD models only) emblems; and a carbon fiber rear spoiler. Highly appealing interior with convenience technology

The driver-focused cabin of the Q50 shows an impressive level of attention-to-detail, with high-quality touches like standard textured aluminum trim and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. In the Q50 LUXE and SENSORY grades, occupants enjoy leather-appointed seating surfaces with available Graphite, Stone or Saddle Brown color treatments. To match its enhanced exterior design, the 2024 Q50 RED SPORT 400 elevates the in-car experience with semi-aniline leather-appointed seats, finished in Graphite with red stitching. Completing the performancefocused visual transformation, RED SPORT 400 also adds aluminum pedals and genuine Matte Black carbon fiber trim.

Responsive, engaging performance

Meeting the expectations of luxury sedan drivers, the Q50 rewards with sharp handling and an energetic,

responsive powertrain. It employs a longitudinally mounted 3.0-liter VR-series twin-turbo V6 engine, with two different configurations so drivers can select the power output that best suits their driving style.

Q50 LUXE and Q50 SENSORY boast 300 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 295 lb-ft at 1,600-5,200 rpm. In the RED SPORT 400 grade, the V6 engine is further enhanced to match its naming with an impressive 400 maximum horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 350 lb-ft at 1,600-5,200 rpm.

Both versions of the V6 are equipped as standard with a 7-speed automatic transmission that enables even greater control for enthusiast drivers by way of Downshift Rev Matching and manual shift mode. Matching its even greater dynamic performance, Q50 RED SPORT 400 adds the additional engagement of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Q50 RED SPORT 400 complements its impressive power delivery with capable, confident control. The sedan features enhanced brakes, with four-piston front and two-piston rear calipers, which are painted red. Also standard is Dynamic Digital Suspension, with dampers that continuously vary damping for optimum ride and handling. RED SPORT 400 models with rear-wheel drive are

uniquely equipped with a staggeredwidth wheel configuration, with 0.5inch wider rear wheels, another nod to its high-performance talents.

Appealing to those who seek even more excitement and personalization in their vehicle are INFINITI Motorsports Parts. As shown on a uniquely customized Q50 RED SPORT 400 showcased at the 2023 SEMA Show, the parts are precisely designed and engineered to work with vehicles. They can be ordered to personalize a new car right off the showroom floor, or owners can return to the INFINITI Motorsport website to reinvigorate their passion for their vehicle with a fresh dose of excitement. Find more information at your local INFINITI retailer or at

All 2024 INFINITI models feature an extended complimentary trial of the INFINITI InTouch Services® Premium package, which now is included for three years from the date of vehicle purchase (an increase from one year previously). Benefits of the Premium package include enhanced connectivity, such as being able to remotely lock and unlock doors or start the vehicle's engine; security features including automatic collision notifications; realtime traffic, weather and navigation updates; access to vehicle health and maintenance reports; and convenient service reminders. n

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 24
Q50 From Page 22

tions and the difficulty repairers face with each. For example, repairers need specific conditions to test drive a vehicle for a dynamic calibration.

“If you’re in Chicago or L.A., good luck getting to that speed,” said Ebrahimi. “Or if you’re in Seattle or Chicago or New York with snow, good luck picking up all the road markings.”

The article also acknowledges the extra expenses repair shops face in needing advanced infrastructure and a specialized workforce.

“With a rapidly changing industry, qualified auto body repair technicians are in short supply, just as they are in the engine repair business,” the article says.

ADAS is not the only advancement causing more complex repairs, Gruskos said.

“Modern vehicles are increasingly incorporating advanced materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber, and high-strength steel to reduce weight and enhance fuel efficiency,” Gruskos said. “Repairing these materials requires specialized knowledge, equipment, and techniques compared to traditional steel body panels.”

For example, metal gigacast requires repairers to use a very precise technique to punch a hole for a rivet, Gruskos said. He said the cast can crack if done incorrectly.

Electric vehicles bring their own unique requirements including highvoltage systems and battery repairs, Gruskos said. He said both can be dangerous, and even deadly, for anyone who hasn’t received specialized training.

Technology also is being introduced to every component of vehi-

cles, Gruskos said.

“As vehicles become more technologically advanced, even seemingly unrelated components like air conditioning units and radios can pose challenges during repair,” Gruskos said. “Technicians may need to be trained in diagnosing and repairing issues with these systems, which may involve both mechanical and electronic components.”

Gruskos added that as the complexity increases, so does the cost to the repair shop.

“Adapting to these changes requires ongoing investment in training, equipment, and infrastructure to ensure that repair shops can effectively address the complex needs of modern vehicles,” Gruskos said. n

Reprinted Content: Copyright © 2024. DRIVEN COMMUNICATIONS INC. All Rights Reserved≈

Southern Automotive Journal Mar June 2024 25 Stivers Subaru 1950 Orion Dr. Decatur, GA 30033 Call our Subaru parts professionals We Stock All The Genuine Subaru Parts You Need Dale Way Parts Manager Richard Sabellona Parts Consultant Nik Argiro Parts Consultant
CNN From Page 12

IONIQ 6 is an electrified streamliner that realizes the idea of Emotional Efficiency by simultaneously satisfying the customer’s aesthetic and functional needs. The aerodynamically sculpted silhouette with simple yet sensuous curves offers a new typology for the EV mobility era.

IONIQ 6 has an ultra-low drag coefficient of just 0.21, assisted by its low nose, active air flaps at the front, wheel gap reducers, and optional slim digital side mirrors[2]. Further aiding IONIQ 6’s enviable aerodynamic aptitude is its elliptical wing-inspired spoiler with winglet, slight boat-tail structure, and separation traps on both sides of the rear bumper. Even underneath the car, the endeavor to achieve better aerodynamics is evident in the full cover of the undercarriage, optimized deflectors and reduced wheel-arch gap.

IONIQ 6 also integrates over 700 Parametric Pixels in various places, such as headlamps, rear combination lamps, front lower sensors, air vent garnishes and center console indicator, to reinforce the IONIQ brand’s identity throughout the vehicle.

The rear wing’s Parametric Pixel High-Mounted Stop Lamp

(HMSL) delivers an eye-catching light execution when the brakes are applied. To further highlight IONIQ 6’s uniqueness, the newly designed Hyundai ‘H’ badge is applied on the front and rear of the vehicle.

Cocoon-inspired interior accommodates a mindful personal space on wheels

IONIQ 6’s cocoon-shaped interior serves as both a comfortable hideaway and personal space, replete with practical features and sustainable materials to facilitate a mindful, eco-friendly mobility experience and lifestyle.

Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) enabled the designers to stretch the interior, front and rear,


6’s enviable aerodynamic aptitude is its elliptical wing-inspired spoiler with winglet, slight boat-tail structure, and separation traps on both sides of the rear bumper.

to create optimized legroom and spaciousness that lets passengers stay comfortable in the vehicle. The Platform also allows for a completely flat floor, giving expansive feeling.

The user-centric interior architecture is exemplified by an ergonomically designed control unit that is centrally located to reduce distraction and spur safe, intuitive driving. The modular touchscreen dashboard integrates a 12-inch full-touch infotainment display and 12-inch digital cluster. A bridge-type center console provides convenient and generous in-car storage.

Dual Color Ambient Lighting provides overall illumination for IONIQ 6 interior. Users can choose from a spectrum of 64 colors and

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 26
IONIQ 6 From Page 14
Wonderful Character.

The removal of buttons from the front doors provided more breathing room and more storage. Transparent accents on the crash pad garnish, door map pocket and console lower cover further accentuate the sense of spaciousness and uniqueness.

six dual color themes developed by color experts to help drivers and passengers feel relaxed and comfortable.

The 4-dot Interactive Pixel Lights on the steering wheel enable easy communication between the driver and vehicle.

The removal of buttons from the front doors provided more breathing room and more storage. Transparent accents on the crash

pad garnish, door map pocket and console lower cover further accentuate the sense of spaciousness and uniqueness.

Eco-friendly materials applied to various touchpoints for sustainability

In line with IONIQ 6’s Ethical Uniqueness theme and inspired by today’s eco-conscious consumers, the designers applied sustainable materi-

als to the exterior, including recycled pigment paint from end-of-life tires to the cladding and bamboo charcoal pigment paint to the body.

IONIQ 6’s interior is also trimmed in sustainable materials and colors. Depending on the trim level, these include eco-process leather (seats), recycled PET fabric (seats), bio TPO skin (dashboard), bio PET fabric (headliner), bio paint derived from vegetable oils (doors), and recycled fishing net carpet — the latter is a first for the IONIQ brand.

The dual-motor all-wheeldrive Ioniq 6 makes 320 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque. And with its 77-kWh battery pack, it gets 316 miles of range, so you can go pretty fast for a long time. But it is also inspiring to drive, with sporty steering and handling that inspires like European sedans.

The interior space is up there with its best distinction, as it’s unbelievable how roomy it is inside. Its spacey looks make it feel special, and interacting with it is interesting, which cannot be said for every EV out there.

The Ioniq 6 is a attractive car and a worthy entry in a small, lifestyle-oriented segment.n



Southern Automotive Journal Mar June 2024 27
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Genesis Gives Donates $50,000 To Alabama State University To Support Stem Education

Genesis Gives, the corporate social responsibility initiative from Genesis Motor America, recently donated $50,000 to Alabama State University (ASU) to provide scholarships to undergraduate students in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. This contribution marks the inaugural donation to ASU's Mechanical Engineering Program, launching this fall. Montgomery, Alabama is home to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA), which assembles the Genesis Electrified GV70 SUV.

“Providing resources that students need to thrive and be successful is at the core of Genesis Gives, which includes access to quality STEM education programs,” said Brandon Ramirez, director of corporate social responsibility and external relations, Hyundai Motor North America. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Alabama State University to bring more avenues to pursue careers in STEM.”

The Mechanical Engineering Program at ASU is poised to provide students with comprehensive academic and hands-on experiences, preparing them for successful careers in the field. The support from Genesis will also enable the program to offer state-of-the-art facilities, advanced

(left to right) Dr. Carl Pettis, provost and vice president of academic affairs, Alabama State University, Dr. Mary Grimes, assistant provost for academic affairs, Alabama State University, Scott Posey, public relations manager, HMMA, Dr. Tanjula Petty, vice president for institutional effectiveness, Alabama State University, Jimmy Morrison, board member, ASU Foundation, Judge Tiffany McCord, district judge for the state of Alabama, Robert Burns, vice president of human resources & administration, HMMA, Brandon Ramirez, director of corporate social responsibility, Genesis Motor America, Brenda Brown Dillard, board of trustees chair, Dr. Quinton T. Ross Jr., president, Alabama State University, Delbert Madison, board of trustees member, Dr. Audrey Napier, dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engine, and Math, Dr. Derek Dean, professor of engineering, Alabama State University, COL (Ret.) Gregory Clark, vice president of institutional advancement, Alabama State University, Dr. Jason Cable, director of athletics, Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. on May 2, 2024 (Photo/Genesis)

technological resources, and valuable industry connections.

"As President of Alabama State University, I am profoundly grateful for Genesis’ generous $50,000 donation, which will serve as a catalyst for our Mechanical Engineering program set

to launch this fall,” said Dr. Quinton T. Ross Jr., president of Alabama State University. “This transformative contribution will empower our students with cutting-edge resources and opportunities, fueling innovation and excellence in engineering education. n "

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 28 Century BMW 3800 University Dr. Huntsville AL 35816 OUR PARTS. YOUR PEACE OF MIND. Toll Free : 800.236.8456 Direct: 256.713.0145 FAX: 256.713.0179 NOW OPEN ON SATURDAY 8-1
Automotive Porsche of Huntsville 800.236.8456 256.713.0143 256-713-0178 fax Travis Letson 256.713.0143 tletson@ At Your Door Customer Service Team Century BMW 3800 University Dr. Huntsville AL 35816 Craig Langford 256-713-0179 clangford@ Tyler Beck 256-713-0145 tbeck@ Chuck Zeiher 256-713-0181 czeiher@ Savannah Jones 256-713-0154 sjones@ Call any of our BMW Parts Pros OUR PARTS. 800-236-8456 Toll Free Direct 256.713.0145 256.713.0154 FAX 256-713-0179 NOW OPEN ON SATURDAY 8-1 800.236.8456 • 256.713.0124 fax 256.713.0180 Dylan Rowe 256.713.0124 drowe@ VOLVO NOW OPEN ON SATURDAY 8-1 256.713.0209 800.236.8456 fax 256.713.0209 Jaguar / Land Rover NOW OPEN ON SATURDAY 8-1 Brian Napolitano 256.713.0209 bnapolitano@ Steve Flegal sflegal@ 256.713.0317 Zach Teal 256.713.0184 zteal@ YOUR PEACE ©2020 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trade marks. Terry Wilson 256-713-0210 twilson@ Moose Simmons 205-907-9068 205-757-2968 205-533-5463 Steve Ashe Rhonda Johnson Rex Wilkinson 601.218.0144 Brian Colwell 205.603.8546 rwilkinson@opaparts. 90 ROUTES DELI VERINGDAILY TO 8 0 0 CSETATS8NISEITI

The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) Welcomed

Guest Speaker Lee Rush Strategic Accounts Manager for Multiple Shop Operators / Auto Auctions at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes

The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) welcomed guest speaker Lee Rush to their March 2024 meeting held at the prestigious Governor’s Gun Club in Kennesaw, Georgia. Rush is the Strategic Accounts Manager for Multiple Shop Operators / Auto Auctions at SherwinWilliams Automotive Finishes. This was a homecoming of sorts for Rush who worked in the Atlanta market for years and the meeting was held just down the road from his Alma Mater, Southern Polytechnic State University.

With a packed room full of GCIA members Rush wasted no time getting down to the meat of his presentation: shops have to think about business differently. With the skilled labor shortage all across North America, it is more important than ever to have your team members focused on their jobs. Now more than ever shops need to consider optimization of work flows including eliminating work delays, maximizing available skills, refining processes, improving access to materials & information, organizing shops around technicians, and prioritizing training for existing staff.

One key theme was stated over and over: keep your tech on the metal. There needs to be a focus around supporting your technician in the bay. Anything that keeps a technician from working on a vehicle is an obstacle to the business, says Rush. To illustrate his point Rush showed an eye opening graphic tracking the “chainsaw effect” that occurs as a technician starts and stops production repeatedly.

On average technician repair ramp up time takes about 45 minutes to tool up, start the process and get in the “Zone” on the metal. But whenever the tech is interrupted they have to start over, ramp back up, where another issue crops up, work stops,



to think about business differently.

With the skilled labor shortage all across North America, it is more important than ever to have your team members focused on their jobs.

then has to ramp back up again. The result is a jagged tooth graph of productivity where the tech keeps getting interrupted and spends little time in their “Zone” of productive work. The goal is to remove those blockers that keep disrupting workflow, and that will likely mean change in how your shop does things.

Changing how a shop operates isn’t easy, but it is necessary to evolve. Simply organizing differently can yield significant productivity gains. “No more towers of parts, we don’t want to inventory parts or be a warehouse, '' emphasized Rush . That means no more piles of parts, boxes, or other junk on the floor. Another great organization solution is a parts cart system. Parts carts are the first step to any advanced utilization and allow for visual management across the shop. A parts cart is very deliberately organized for reassembly, not just a place to pile parts.

Shops need to consider having a separate inspection bay just for writing estimates. Rush explained it was a change in thought for how a shop sees a work bay versus an estimating bay saying “That’s where I fix cars, that’s where I find money”. By hav-

ing a dedicated bay with a dedicated estimator with all their equipment at hand, the process is simplified and streamlined. Rush also touched on the importance of a detailed prerepair inspection to make sure the repair order is as detailed as possible to prevent going back and forth for multiple supplements. It was a lot to take in, but Rush’s presentation gave attendees a lot to think about and try in their own shop.

In GCIA business news it was announced that board member elections had been held. Taking the helm as President is Chad Watkins. This year GCIA is looking at options for holding meetings outside of the Atlanta metro area. A survey was sent to members and locations are being considered for future meetings. The next GCIA meeting will be held June 18th, 2024 at a location as yet to be determined. If you want to find out what is happening in the Georgia collision market, becoming a GCIA member should be at the top of your list. With more than 40 members and growing, GCIA has its finger on the pulse of Georgia. For more information on joining GCIA visit n

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 30

Vehicle Repair Costs Increased Nearly 12% in the Last Year

Vehicle repair and maintenance costs continue to drive higher prices, per the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even as some consumer categories such as groceries have cooled, vehicle repair costs have increased by nearly 12% in the last year — more than tripling the overall inflation rate and fueling nearly a third of core inflation.

“The costs of owning a vehicle were a key reason why prices jumped last month … Average auto repair costs increased 1.7% from February to March and are up a sharp 8.2% from a year earlier,” reports the Associated Press.

Coupled with persistent labor and auto parts shortages, automakers’ unfair restrictions — such as design patent abuse and data restrictions — remain a key driver of high repair costs that are squeezing consumers and

independent repair shops alike.

A new report from the


Government Accountability Office (GAO) spotlights how vehicle data restrictions can “disadvantage” independent repair shops, leaving consumers with fewer choices, higher prices, and more inconvenience in car repairs.

The report acknowledges that modern vehicle technologies can create car repair barriers for independent shops as automakers restrict who can access necessary information, which is a trend that’s only likely to wors-

en as vehicles become increasingly data-dependent.

“Vehicles are becoming more technologically advanced and increasingly transfer data, including repair data, wirelessly directly to automakers. This trend may cause challenges for independent repair shops in conducting repairs as they may not have access to that data as automakers may not share it with them,” states GAO’s report.

The Car Coalition notes that it’s up to Congress to bring car owners and independent repairers relief by advancing the bipartisan REPAIR (H.R. 906) and SMART (H.R. 1707) Acts. With support from more than 60 members of Congress and nearly 80% of vehicle-owning voters, the bills would ensure that consumers have access to affordable repair options while preserving a vibrant repair market. n

Southern Automotive Journal Mar June 2024 31 1170 Center Point Pkwy. Birmingham, AL 35215 844-579-2021 205-725-5275 205-202-2017 FAX Adam alawrance@ josephm@ Joe The Nation's britney@ Britney kbradshaw@ Kevin jessica@ Jessica teresa@ Teresa Toll Free Direct Call Our Wholesale Parts Professionals Largest Kia Parts Supplier Parts Manager Parts Administration NEW 90 ROUTESDELIV E RING DAILYTO 80 0 C I TSEI SETATS8NI

Nick Notte has over 30 years of experience across the collision repair industry and served on multiple boards, including NABC, and earlier I-CAR's Board, where he served as Board Chair. Before retiring in 2023, Notte was also the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at I-CAR for nine years, where he oversaw crucial business development and industry relations efforts. “Many of you here today had the privilege of working alongside him, witnessing his sincerity for the work we're doing. His professionalism, candor, and down-to-earth character enabled him to connect with all corners of the organization and the industry as a whole,” said Guthrie. “His illustrious career is marked by unwavering dedication to advancing the industry and fostering growth across various sectors.”

Tim O'Day, who currently serves as CEO & President of Boyd Group Services, began his journey in the collision repair industry in 1998. He joined

Gerber Collision & Glass from Midas, where he was VP of their Western Division. O'Day then assumed the role as Chief Operating Officer for Boyd's U.S. Operations before he was elevated to his current position in January 2020. O'Day also served the industry through his participation on industry boards, serving on the I-CAR Board where he was Chair for three years and earlier on the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) Board. “He is a true champion of I-CAR, across the industry, in his business and as a past highly engaged Board member,” said Guthrie. “Tonight, we celebrate his outstanding achievements and unwavering commitment to ensure the safety of drivers and their passengers on the road.”

Ford Motor Company is the first organization to receive the Chairman's award in recognition of their commitment to excellence and progressive collaboration with I-CAR. As the first OEM to join I-CAR's Sustaining Partner program when the program launched in 2018, Ford holds a distinct position

in I-CAR's 45-year history of serving the industry. Ford's dedication to professional development exhibits the effectiveness of an I-CAR and OEM partnership designed to advance education within a repair network via customized solutions. Through this integrated partnership, I-CAR now offers multiple Ford vehicle-specific courses covering advanced materials, technologies, and repair methods, all available at I-CAR. com/Ford. “Ford Motor Company has demonstrated its unwavering support for ongoing training, ensuring that automotive professionals are equipped with the knowledge, skills and information needed to meet the evolving challenges of repairing their vehicles to the highest standards,” said Guthrie. “Together, we are driving industry-wide initiatives aimed at enhancing safety, quality, and sustainability in auto repair, while also addressing talent attraction.” Jim Guthrie presented the award to Chris Wallace, Collision & Global Brand Protection Manager at Ford Motor Company, who received the Chairman's Award on Ford's behalf. n

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 32 800-633-4304 FAX 888-815-5238 Collision 205-823-5237 of Birmingham FIAT ALFA ROMEO MASERATI of Birmingham of Birmingham 800633-4304 FAX 888-815-5238 The Benchmark Automotive Group • Dedicated professional delivery drivers • Expedient return policies • Special orders • Knowledgeable wholesale specialists • We strive for 100% accuracy on your order • We only ship quality parts • Competent and helpful sales people • We deliver the next day 205-823-5237 • 800-633-4304 • FAX 888-815-5238 cal collision 205-823-5237 Local mechanical 205-957-1314 Just call your OPA rep. 97 R O U T ES DELIVERING DAILY TO 800CITIES IN 8 S T SETA TwiceADay deliveries to63cities 1595 Montgomery Highway • Hoover, Alabama 35216
I-CAR From Page 8
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offers standard 4x4 and is engineered to handle whatever weekend fun its owner has in mind.

Bronco Sport is smartly designed to transport two mountain bikes standing up in its cargo area* – and two cyclists up front. Seven available accessory bundles – in addition to more than 100 factory-backed standalone accessories – let owners easily make the vehicle their own by outfitting it to transport kayaks, skis, camping equipment or whatever gear propels their adventure. Two new available themed bundles – Dog and Off-Road – join the previously available Bike, Snow, Water, Camping and Cargo offerings.

Four trim levels are available, including the Base, Big Bend™, Outer Banks™ and Badlands™ models**. Built Wild™ 4x4 confidence

Like the larger Bronco, the Bronco Sport SUV delivers the 4x4 offroad capability that made the original Bronco a legend. With off-road performance at its core, all Bronco Sport models provide solid footing on the trails.

For maximum off-road capa-

bility, Badlands models pack an advanced 4x4 system with a twinclutch rear-drive unit with a differential lock feature to allow greater off-road performance – similar to a traditional mechanical locking differential. The system can divert virtually all rear axle torque to either wheel.

The Bronco Sport HighPerformance Off-Road Stability Suspension (H.O.S.S.) system can take on rugged terrain and is complemented by Ford trail technologies.

The small SUV’s Terrain Management System™ with up to seven available G.O.A.T. Modes™ helps drivers “go over any type of terrain” and in various conditions. Standard modes include Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand; Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl modes are available on Badlands models.

All models feature an independent front and rear suspension engineered and performance-tested in demanding environments across North America. The suspension is optimized to help drivers confidently maintain vehicle composure while aggressively taking on rugged terrain.

Trail Control™ technology furthers the vehicle’s off-road prowess. The available feature enables a cruise control-like setting up to 20 mph forward and 6 mph in reverse for vehicle-controlled throttle and braking, letting the driver stay focused on navigating the trail.

For thrill-seekers taking on rough and rocky terrain, the small SUV’s design includes made-forthe-trails departure, approach and breakover angles. An available front 180-degree camera with lens washer serves as a spotter and helps provide better visibility of the trail ahead, displaying the image on the center stack-mounted touch screen.

In Rock Crawl mode, the electronic power steering assist system is uniquely calibrated to provide more precise control and help reduce steering wheel disturbance during low-speed maneuvers over rocky terrain.

Thrilling performance borne of Bronco DNA

Staying true to the DNA of the first-generation Bronco, the Bronco Sport SUV pays it forward with modern, heritage-inspired style,

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 34
Bronco Sport From Page 10

agile off-road architecture and optimized suspension for impressive control in various environments.

The Badlands model is powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine that produces 250 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque for high-speed off-road performance††. Base, Big Bend and Outer Banks models feature the proven 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine with a 181 horsepower and 190 lb.-ft. of torque**.

Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while Badlands adds SelectShift® with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to help drivers maximize control both on- and off-road. A cooling system with additional transmission and rear-drive coolers keeps 2.0-liter models running strong over tough terrain.

The Bronco Sport SUV’s design inspiration is directly linked to the Bronco halo model. Its rugged design attributes include signature encapsulated cartridge grille, round headlamps, clean, flat bodysides, and timeless proportions that enable the short front and rear overhangs required for off-road maneuvers. Tough unpainted finishes smartly cover exterior contact points, so the vehicle is ready for almost anything the rough and tumble outdoors can throw at it. The Badlands series comes standard with 28.5-inch all-

terrain tires.

Ready for fun to venture into the wilderness

Human-centered design led to special Bronco Sport features such as liftgate LED floodlamps – because out in the wilderness, there are no streetlamps – available MOLLE straps to carry extra gear, available zippered seatback pockets for additional stowage, and even a built-in bottle opener in the cargo area.

Its upright design and safaristyle roof contribute to the vehicle’s silhouette, treating occupants to outstanding first- and second-row headroom. The cargo area has enough height to accommodate two standing 27.5-inch-wheel mountain bikes with the available Yakima dealerinstalled interior bike rack accessory. Other features include a flip-glass rear window, low-load floor cargo area, versatile roof rack with capacity to make available roof-top tent camping easy, and front fender peaks that allow the driver to see the corners of the vehicle easily from behind the wheel.

Bronco Sport can quickly help with basecamp setup thanks to an innovative slide-out working table, part of the available five-way configurable Cargo Management System, plus a 400-watt inverter and liftgate floodlamps that illuminate up to 129 square feet for when the

adventure ends after sundown. To make post-outing cleanups painless, the Badlands series offers washable rubberized flooring throughout the cabin and cargo area, easy-to-clean cloth seating surfaces and silicone-sealed control switches. For stowage of wet, icy or muddy gear, an available storage bin is located below the second-row passengerside seat.

Smart in addition to being rugged, the vehicle features a SYNC® 3 system with an 8-inch touch screen and compatibility with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility¶. Other available technology features include Ford+Alexa and SiriusXM™ satellite radio.

The Ford Co-Pilot360™ suite of advanced driver-assist technologies is standard across the lineup, including Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking featuring Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, LaneKeeping System, Auto High Beam Headlamps and a rearview camera. Available Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ technology includes Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stopand-Go, Lane-Centering and Speed Sign Recognition, Evasive Steering Assist and voice-activated touch screen navigation.n

Southern Automotive Journal Mar June 2024 35
GCIA membership is open to anyone involved in the collision repair industry Become a member of GCIA and enjoy the following perks: • Be actively involved in the GCIA. • Receive job search assistance. • Foster education and training opportunities for members. • Advance relationships with insurance companies. • Monitor and report on state and federal legislation which is of interest to our industry and businesses. • Inform members of new technology and techniques. •Promote I-CAR education and training • Work with other industry groups like SCRS

CIF Seeking Donations for Tornado Disaster Relief

Following the recent tornadoes in the Midwest and Southwest, the Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is taking donations to help those in the collision repair industry who were impacted.

CIF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides emergency relief by collecting and distributing donations to collision repairers who have experienced significant losses due to natural disasters or other catastrophic events.

According to a State Farm news release, 5,500 home and auto claims had been reported as of April 30 across nine states from the string of storms.

Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Texas were hit with dozens of tornadoes and other severe weather in April. CNN reports powerful storms brought flooding rainfall that swept away vehicles and triggered evacuations, delivered hail the size of softballs, and resulted in at least one

damaging tornado in Texas on May 2.

Dozens of tornadoes have touched down since early April from the Panhandle to the Gulf Coast and months of rain have fallen in East Texas causing rivers to rise to levels not seen since the devastating floods of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, according to CNN.

USA Today reports 373 tornadoes hit the U.S. in April compared to the annual average of 1,200.

“Our greatest concern is for the safety of everyone in the area,” State Farm said in the release. “State Farm catastrophe claim response team members are responding to assist customers, and local State Farm agents also are available to help customers with their claims. Our priority is taking care of our customers’ needs as quickly as possible as we begin the recovery process.”

To provide the best possible service and response to customers who

have experienced property damage from the tornadoes, State Farm says it has sent catastrophe claims adjusters and support members to the areas affected by the storms to provide initial claim-handling efforts, focusing on the most severe losses first.

State Farm policyholders who have damage can file claims by calling or emailing their State Farm agent, calling 1-800-SFCLAIM, through the mobile app, or online at statefarm. com/claims, according to the release. Customers can also text “Claim” to 62789 to receive a link to file a claim.

Those in the collision repair industry who would like to request disaster relief assistance from CIF can do so by calling 1-855-4CIFAID or filling out an online form. To donate, follow this link.

According to preliminary information from the Storm Prediction Center, six other states were hit with tornadoes Monday. n

Southern Automotive Journal June 2024 36
Mopar® Genuine O.E. Parts: Fully Stocked and Available. THERE’S ENOUGH TO GO AROUND. If you need it, we’ve got it. Genuine Mopar® O.E. Parts are always stocked and available, so you can get the job done well and on time. No need to worry about waiting on inventory. Just call your local FCA US LLC dealer. Only Mopar has got the parts you need whenever you need them. ©2022 FCA US LLC. All Rights Reserved. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Wagoneer, Mopar and SRT are registered trademarks of FCA US LLC. See your local FCA US LLC dealer for complete warranty details. SEE US FOR ALL THE PARTS YOU NEED! COLLISION CONOUEST Order Hot Line: (706) 549-7570 Mon.–Fri. 7:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Sat. 7:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 4145 Atlanta Hwy. Athens, GA 30606 Visit for complimentary resources, promotions and technical information. 44443_GEN12_F_SAJ.indd 1 6/14/22 4:19 PM

Thieves Break Into Service Bay With Rock, Steal $1.2M Worth

Arab, Ala.—Eight cars, including a rare 2023 Dodge Challenger Demon SRT 170 valued at $158,000, were stolen from the North County Ford dealership in Arab, Ala., according to an news report. Two of the vehicles, a Jeep Wagoneer and Ford Bronco Raptor, have since been recovered.

While dealerships have security measures in place, it’s not uncommon for a large dealership such as North County Ford to have millions of dollars in inventory on its lot at any given time.

According to the report, at 12:28 a.m. on April 9, the thieves used a rock to break a window in the service bay to enter the main building. Once inside, they found the security camera hub, turned off all the cameras and erased several hours of footage.

The dealership said the thieves plugged a laptop into the key safe, hacked it open, obtained 330 keys and

of Cars Using Laptop

Eight cars, including a rare 2023 Dodge Challenger Demon SRT 170 valued at $158,000, were stolen from the North County Ford dealership in Arab, Ala.

made off with eight vehicles with a combined value of $1.2 million. The only physical evidence left behind was broken glass from the window found by the cleaning crew in the later morning hours.

North County Dodge was in the

process of reprogramming replacements for all the keys that were stolen but have taken to Facebook to appeal to the thieves for their return. They are offering a $10,000 reward for the return of the keys “no questions asked.”n

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