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2019 BMW X5

Built at BMW Plant Spartanburg, SC.

COLLISION NEWS AudaTarget's Predictive Analytics Steer Vehicles to the Optimal Shops for Repairs

2019 Volkswagen Passat

December 2018

designed for the American lifestyle

The All-electric I.D. BUZZ CARGO

Honda transitioning to CCC Parts Certified Collision Group™ and PPG Create Strategic Alliance Volvo To Demand 100% Oem Parts From Network, Restrict Some Components

DEALER NEWS NADA Chairman Wes Lutz Injects Dose of Reality Into Mobility Debate Nearly 1,000 Dealers and Repair Facilities Enrolled GM Collision Repair Network

The original Volkswagen Transporter is the most recognizable light commercial vehicle of all time. With the world premiere of the new I.D. BUZZ CARGO, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is showing how an electrically powered and completely redeveloped Transporter might change the world of LCVs. This innovative zero-emissions panel van could be launched as early as 2021. Meanwhile, the concept vehicle offers a glimpse into the mid-

dle of the next decade with its alternative, fully-automated "I.D. Pilot" driving mode (Level 4). A new generation of fully connected electric vehicles delivering long ranges, a futuristic design-DNA and impressive space. Another key unique selling point of the I.D. Family is the scalability of its batterI.D. BUZZ CARGO Please Turn Page 4

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Rear view mirrors are a thing of the past in the I.D. BUZZ CARGO, with cameras projecting images onto small screens in the cab.

I.D. BUZZ CARGO From Front Cover ies. The models can be delivered with different battery sizes according to the vehicle’s purpose and budget. This also applies also to the future I.D. BUZZ CARGO, which like all models in the I.D. Family is based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). With the MEB it is possible—dependent on battery size and the model concerned—to achieve ranges between about 200 and 340 miles, as defined by the WLTP cycle. This concept vehicle shows how Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is launching into the new era of electric mobility. Back in August, the company already presented the brand's first all-electric van with the world premiere of the new e-Crafter. While the e-Crafter launched as a panel van with an overall length of 235.7 inches and a maximum payload of 1.75 tons, the I.D. BUZZ CARGO concept is positioned a size below the Crafter. The payload (maximum load) of the concept vehicle is 1,760 pounds. The I.D. BUZZ CARGO is 198.7 in long, 77.8 in wide and 77.3 in tall, with a wheelbase of 129.9 inches. Since the rear overhang was extended by about 4 inches, the cargo version of the I.D. BUZZ is significantly longer than the vehicle shown in Detroit. Outside, the I.D. BUZZ CARGO concept is differentiated from the I.D. BUZZ by a new solar roof, wide-opening rear wing doors and a new rear bumper. With a view towards optimizing cargo space via a shelving system, there is no sliding door on the driver’s side, typical of LCVs. The front doors and sliding door open electrically. Unlocking the vehicle from the outside is activated via a sensor. The I.D. BUZZ 4

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CARGO recognizes authorized persons via a digital key which is sent to the van from a smartphone. Instead of the 22-inch wheels of the Detroit concept vehicle, new 20-inch wheels are used with 235/55 tires. The solar module on the roof fits into this picture. The photovoltaic system generates so much energy that it is able to extend the range of the I.D. BUZZ CARGO by up to 9.3 miles a day. So the longer the concept vehicle stands in the sun, the further it can drive later. The interior has also been tailored for commercial use, down to the smallest detail. From the driver's cab to the rear, the I.D. BUZZ CARGO is a unique concept. Instead of two single seats, the concept vehicle is equipped with the driver's seat and a double bench-seat on the front passenger side. The middle seat can be folded down. This opens up a workplace, at which the driver can take care of organizational matters via an integrated laptop. In the automated "I.D. Pilot" mode this can even be done on the move. The driver activates the Level 4 autonomous mode by simply pushing on the steering wheel for a few seconds. It then retracts into the redesigned instrument panel. Thereafter the driver's seat can be turned 15 degrees to the right in order to enable the on-board computer to be operated from the ideal ergonomic position. Key information is projected onto the road in 3D via its Augmented Reality (AR) head-up display. This positions the information precisely in the driver’s lineof-sight, allowing the driver to concentrate fully on road traffic. Other information is displayed on a tablet, which also controls features such as infotainment and climate December 2018

control functions. The main controls for driving, meanwhile, are located on the steering wheel. Rear view mirrors are also a thing of the past in the I.D. BUZZ CARGO, with cameras projecting images onto small screens in the cab. The cargo compartment begins behind the first seat row and a bulkhead. Like the rest of the vehicle, it was "re-thought." Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is bringing the "Internet of Things" on board in this van. In cooperation with the German equipment specialist Sortimo, a new shelving system has been developed for the cargo area and fitted with sensors and a lighting system. This shelving system is connected to the intelligent I.D. BUZZ CARGO via a customer-specific function control unit and a CAN interface. The data is transferred by WLAN to tablets in the cargo space and cockpit. By means of a mobile radio network, the functional control unit might communicate with a company’s job or order-management system, theoretically making it possible to track all articles on the shelves. This enables precise online management of the type and quantity of freight and equipment in this futuristic Transporter. Further data is provided by the already available ConnectedVan fleet management system. During autonomous driving it is possible to accept, schedule and process orders from the driver's workplace. Thanks to the connected shelving system's data it is also possible to perform order-related stock checks while on the move. It is also possible to perform optimum, flexible route planning taking customer appointments into account. Thanks to the Safety

Check function, any unsecured tools or missing parts are indicated before the start of the journey. Last, but not least, any components taken out get automatically registered, working times recorded and invoices issued. A large light (0.8 m2) integrated in the roof makes access to the items even easier and quicker The new shelving concept has been thought through in minute detail and yet is surprisingly simple in its construction: the entire system can be adapted individually to the cargo compartment of the I.D. BUZZ CARGO, enabling optimal space utilization. This is why the I.D. BUZZ CARGO concept has "only" one sliding door on the passenger side; the space on the opposite wall of the load compartment is needed as a storage area and for shelving systems like the Sortimo. Like all members of the I.D. Family, the I.D. BUZZ CARGO is characterized by an exceptionally large interior, thanks to the packaging advantages brought by the

MEB architecture. The battery is integrated into the vehicle floor, lowering the vehicle's center of gravity and significantly improving handling. The transporter's axles have been shifted outwards, because no space is required for a combustion engine at the front, and the compact electric motor with its gearbox is mounted on the rear axle. This creates additional space (up to 0.2 m3) in the front of the concept vehicle. The electric motor drives the multilink rear axle. As an alternative, an electric all-wheeldrive version with improved traction and performance can be implemented—as in the I.D. BUZZ. Rear to reduce the turning radius, which is perfect for maneuvering in tight city spaces. Driving up to loading ramps is made easier by the wide-opening, symmetrical rear wing doors. When the wing doors are opened, a workbench can be folded out. Even high-performance work tools can be supplied with power there from 230V electrical sockets (16A) via the battery. This has

been implemented to ensure that the I.D. BUZZ CARGO is not just a means of transportation, but also a standalone mobile workshop. The electric drive system of the I.D. BUZZ CARGO consists mainly of the electric motor with power electronics and single-speed transmission integrated into the driven rear axle. The flow of high-voltage energy between the motor and the battery is controlled by the power electronics. Here, the direct current (DC) stored in the battery is converted into alternating current (AC). A DC/DC converter supplies the on-board electronics with 12 volts. As noted, it is possible to equip the I.D. BUZZ CARGO with different size batteries according to the vehicle's use profile. If the transporter covers fairly normal distances in the city on a daily and weekly basis, a lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 48 kWh is recommended. If greater range is needed, the energy capacity can be increased up to 111 kWh.n

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Heading: Clock is Ticking for Honda OEConnection’s CollisionLink Honda Transitioning to CCC Parts in 2019 By: Brian Medford Starting in 2019 American Honda Motor Co., will transition its online collision parts solution to CCC Information Services. Back in 2009 Honda partnered with OEConnection’s CollisionLink program to bring their OEM parts to the collision industry. In October of 2017 Honda announced that it would transition away from CollisionLink as its

main vendor, with support ending on 12/25/2018. But that time is now here, and shops need to get on-board before their direct line to OEM Honda and Acura parts goes away. We spoke with Parts Manager P.J. Maher at Gwinnett Place Honda. “We have one of the largest collision centers in the state, with over $1.2 million worth of inventory in stock.” say P.J. They sup-

ply a large number of local collision repair centers thanks to their vast inventory and ability to deliver parts sameday in most instances. “Honda has done a really good job putting new parts on price matching.“ add P.J. We asked P.J. a few questions about the upcoming transition and what are the benefits to the various stakeholders involved:

Question: What are the benefits for collsion repair centers switching over to CCC? Answer: If they are already using CCC, it is easier to write an estimate. You can see what Honda parts are in inventory locally, your pricing for those parts, and if the part is in stock. CCC helps you do everything on one website. Before with OEC you had to meet criteria such as certain funds per month. CCC there is no funds per month ceiling. The single website solution also speeds up estimating, you can order the part right from the estimation screen. Once the estimate is written, just put the items in the cart, hit the order button and send the order right then. P.J. added that there is a manual option with CCC for those who are not yet part of the program. “Collision shops can call in with a VIN and CCC will tell us what we can sell the part for in order price match. This is a big deal for us because we can answer a call, use the CCC OEM promo lookup, enter a VIN, put in part number, and get an instant price. We do a lot of that.” P.J. Maher Parts Manager Gwinnett Place Honda.

Question: What are the benefits to car owners? Answer: With more parts to price match, Honda has stepped up with more funds to price match and supply OEM parts for repairs to help discourage using aftermarket parts. Only rarely do we ever use an aftermarket part on a car at our shop. Question: What are the benefits to insurance companies? Answer: The repair is done using OEM parts that fits right the first time with quality that match the OE. The pricing is also an advantage, at is the same price as an aftermarket piece. “If you have an aftermarket part that you don't’ want to use, give us a call to see if we can price match that aftermarket part for you.” Question: What are the benefits to collision technicians? Answer: Using the OEM part saves time, which can get their cycle time down. They spend less time fighting with a part that doesn't fit. For shops thinking of switching over to CCC, P.J. has this to say: “In the end the customer gets their car put back together with original factory parts, just like when they first bought it.” Being able to deliver OEM parts for the same price as aftermarket is a huge benefit.

December 2018

Southern Automotive Journal


AudaTarget's Predictive Analytics Steer Vehicles to the Optimal Shops for Repairs determine if a vehicle involved in an accident is repairable or not, and if so, which shop is the best choice to make the repair, all based on historical data. "AudaTarget is unique in the marketplace. It brings together historical data with predictive analytic models to accurately predict costs for repairs and enable insurers to make the most informed decisions about the claims journey," says Ramon Suarez, Regional Managing Director of North America. "This solution uses a data-driven, analytic approach to optimize insurance claims routing, from determining if a vehicle is repairable to analyzing normalized repair index to selecting the most qualified shops." Currently, most insurers rely on average repair costs when estimating

More than half of all vehicles involved in an accident end up going to a sub-optimal shop for repairs, according to Audatex, a Solera Holdings, Inc. company. Insurance companies spend more on repairs when they send customers to shops that do not specialize in the type of vehicle being repaired or the type of fix required. These shops may also cost more than competitors. Insurance companies need a solution that intelligently sources the best shop to send their customers to. That solution? AudaTarget. The next-generation, online decision-support platform from Audatex integrates and analyzes two years' worth of vehicle and repair data. The solution provides real-time information to insurers to help them

the price of repairs and evaluating shops' performance. However, this method does not evaluate the make, model and year of the vehicle as well as other essential information. The same repair, for example, will cost more for a new luxury sedan than an older economy car. AudaTarget uses a normalized score to understand which repairs came in under, at, or over the estimation. "AudaTarget analyzes two years of historical data to allow insurers to make fact-based decisions about repairs," Suarez says. "This solution enables insurers to drive efficiencies and improve customer service at every step of the claims process while controlling cost when they choose the right repair shop. It's a win for insurers, customers and quality repair shops."n

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NADA Chairman Wes Lutz Injects Dose of Reality Into Mobility Debate NADA Chairman Wes Lutz on Tuesday injected a dose of reality into the conversation about the future of mobility, directly challenging media narratives suggesting that ride-hailing will replace personal vehicle ownership, that self-driving vehicles will be immeasurably safer than human drivers, and that dealers are reluctant to sell electric vehicles. “Each one of these narratives might sound right,” Lutz said in remarks to the Automotive Press Association. “But the truth is that each one is built on false or unproven pretenses. And these narratives are put out there by stakeholders that have an obvious incentive for them to be true – even if they aren’t.” Lutz said one of the biggest false narratives is that ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are less expensive that personal vehicle ownership. Yet in August, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study finding that the cost of relying on ride-hailing services as a primary mode of transportation in 20 of the biggest metro areas in the U.S. was, at minimum, more than twice as much as the cost of owning a personal vehicle. “I have to tell you, I think this was one of the biggest auto industry stories of 2018,” Lutz said. “Why? Because it disproves one of the central pillars holding up the argument that people are going to stop buying cars, which is that it’s cheaper to use ride-hailing services. But this study

shows exactly the opposite of what we are being force fed. It shows that ride-hailing is substantially more expensive than personal ownership, even of a new car.” “And if Uber and Lyft are dramatically more expensive than personal vehicle ownership, then people aren’t going to stop buying cars, and the auto industry isn’t doomed,” Lutz said. “Instead, people are going to continue doing exactly what they’re doing now: Owning a car or truck for day-in and day-out personal transportation, and using ride-hailing services when it makes more sense than driving. That’s not a revolution. That’s an evolution.” Similarly, Lutz said that the case for autonomous vehicles is built upon the premise that self-driving vehicles will be safer than humans. “The conventional wisdom that has taken hold is that humans aren’t good drivers,” he said. “But the reality is that humans are phenomenally good drivers.” “Yes, there were 37,000 fatalities on the roads last year,” Lutz explained. “But Americans drove more than 3.2 trillion miles. That means nearly 90 million are driven in the U.S. for every motor vehicle death. That’s 342 years of driving – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year – between traffic deaths.” “So here are the questions you should be asking automakers, regulators, and safety advocates right now: What technologies are coming online in the next

five years that will reduce driving fatalities, and that don’t involve removing steering wheels, and brake pedals, and humans?” Lutz said. Lastly, Lutz refuted the narrative that franchised dealers aren’t enthusiastic about selling electric vehicles by questioning the assumption that dealers stand to lose out on service revenue. “First, let me make it abundantly clear: I want to sell anything my customers want to buy. Period,” Lutz said. “If there’s demand for it, I want it in my showroom. In fact, there is nothing I would want to do more than sell every American a new electric vehicle… And NADA is not aware of a single study or data set out there that can substantiate the theory that EVs require less maintenance over the long term. And that’s because there just aren’t enough real-world EV miles out there to study, let alone draw any meaningful conclusions from.” Lutz challenged the automotive press to be more skeptical and probative when reporting on these topics. “I get it. You can’t go to an automotive or a tech conference these days without hearing about the end of personal vehicle ownership,” he said. “But I’m asking you: Question the hype, ask for proof, and find out what they’re not telling you. The future will work itself out regardless. I just want us to be informed in the meantime.”n


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2019 BMW 4th Generation BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle BMW launches the all-new 4th generation 2019 BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle with two variants, the X5 xDr40i and the X5 xDr50i. Since its introduction almost 20 years ago, the BMW X5 has been built exclusively in Spartanburg, SC. To date, more than 2.2 million X5’s have been sold worldwide, one third of those sales being in the U.S. The all-new 2019 BMW X5 will again be built at BMW Plant Spartanburg, SC. This center of competence for BMW X models also handles production of the BMW X3, BMW X4, BMW X6 and will soon add the BMW X7. New design language exudes confidence and authority. A wheelbase that is 1.6 inches longer than its predecessor’s, a 1.1 inches increase in vehicle length, an extra 2.6 inches of width and a 1.0 inches increase in height give the all-new 2019 BMW X5 both a muscular appearance and a more generous level of space for passengers and their luggage. The latest X5 retains the hallmark proportions of an SAV, but the pared-back design language – clean surfacing and precise lines accentuating elegant poise and authority – is new. A sculpted hood a short front overhang, lightly hexagonal wheel arches and the dynamic sweep of the roofline exemplify the sporty yet rugged character of the allnew 2019 BMW X5. “The BMW X5 embodies the origins of the BMW X family and, in its fourth generation, sends out its most powerful message yet in terms of presence and modernity,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “It defines a new X design language – robust, clear and precise.” The most striking feature of the front end is the large BMW kidney grille with single-piece surrounds. The all-new BMW X5 comes standard with Adaptive LED headlights, while BMW Laserlights are available as an option and feature blue x-shaped elements, which split up the hexagonal light sources inside the familiar BMW twin headlights, make a distinctive visual statement. The precise character line in the X5’s flanks, rise up at the rear door, con10

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The all-new 2019 BMW X5 will again be built at BMW Plant Spartanburg, SC. This center of competence for BMW X models also handles production of the BMW X3, BMW X4, BMW X6 and will soon add the BMW X7. tributing to the modern appearance of the all-new BMW X5. It defines the car’s powerful shoulders and feeds into the rear lights, which extend well into the flanks. At the rear, all lights feature LED technology. xLine and M Sport model variants, options from BMW Individual. Distinctive design features differentiate the xLine and M Sport model variants of the all-new BMW X5. The standard xLine model uses exterior cues including kidney grill bars finished in matte aluminum, underbody protection, roof rails and side window surrounds in satin Aluminum, plus other accents in Pearl-effect Chrome, to accentuate the off-road character of the all-new 2019 BMW X5. Interior design and controls Modern and elegant surfacing radiates a feeling of space inside the all-new 2019 BMW X5. The front and rear occupants all enjoy generous accommodation amid an exclusive ambience. The instrument panel is broken up by sweeping horizontal lines, which combine with December 2018

electroplated trim elements to emphasize the width of the interior. And with its large trim finisher and surrounds likewise made up of electroplated elements, the center console – rising up to the instrument panel – contributes to the handsome overall impression. Innovations conceived to promote well-being and enhance luxury. New features designed to maximize the luxurious ambience of the allnew 2019 BMW X5 include the four-zone air conditioning system and a Panoramic glass roof with a 30 percent larger see through area than on the outgoing model. The standard ambient lighting includes the Welcome Light Carpet – which illuminates the entry area to the car when the doors are unlocked or opened – and Dynamic Interior Light, which emits pulsating light signals in pre-defined situations: such as flashing lighting in the door if a door is opened BMW X5 Please Turn to Page 24


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Certified Collision Group™ and PPG Create Strategic Alliance

CCG and PPG to Launch Significant Value-Add for Independent Collision Repair Operators Certified Collision Group™ (CCG), the OE Certifications and KPIfocused solutions provider to the collision repair and insurance communities, announced today its newly formed alliance with PPG (NYSE:PPG). The PPG partnership supports topperforming, OE Certified, independently operated collision centers that qualify for CCG’s elite network. The alliance is a collaborative, concerted effort to identify those differentiated operators whose brands and performance meet CCG membership requirements, driving multi-channel business development value into hundreds of PPG collision businesses across the U.S. Now operating in 34 states and quickly approaching 300 locations, CCG offers strategic insur-

ance partners and consumers the opportunity to leverage the power of more than 1,500 OE structural certification badges within its national repair network. “We are proud to be aligning with an organization of the size and stature of PPG. The relationship enhances CCG capabilities to identify our industry’s best, respective to those operators that are truly quality-focused, performance-driven, OEM Certifications committed … and drive value channels into them. Our differentiated model and market-leading growth lends itself to significant opportunities for loyal PPG customers to leverage our nonintrusive, high-ROI platforms for many years to come”, stated Bruce

Bares, President and CEO of Certified Collision Group. Kevin Martin, PPG’s Business Development Manager stated, “We are excited about what CCG has accomplished in short order, the partnership we’ve created, and know our combined efforts moving forward will deliver improved business channels for our coveted collision partners. CCG’s focus on improving financial results through proven b2b development solutions, solely for those independent operators that are proven performers and are making the necessary investments in OE Certifications, is a truly unique Alliance Please Turn to Page 24

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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 2018. All rights reserved. 12

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Mopar Masters Guild Chooses OEC CollisionLink as Preferred Parts Procurement Solution At their annual meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, the Mopar Masters Guild (MMG), comprised of the country's leading parts professionals from Fiat Chrysler dealerships, endorsed the CollisionLink solution by OEConnection LLC (OEC), the leading automotive technology provider for original equipment manufacturers' (OEM) distribution networks. The Guild met with OEC last week to learn about upcoming product enhancements, and to discuss how the continued relationship between the Guild and OEC can benefit both parties. OEC and the Mopar Masters Guild have a long-standing relationship, spanning the majority of the 18 years OEC has been in operation. "I've been using CollisionLink for over ten years," said Don

Cushing, Mopar Masters Guild Treasurer and Wholesale Sales Manager at Tasca Automotive Group in Rhode Island. "It's the best tool out there. It enables me to see the entire estimate sent over from a shop. It gives me the opportunity to convert parts over to OE and win some business. Other solutions can leave me out of the sales process." "What I appreciate most about CollisionLink is that I know OEC has the dealer's best interests in mind, and we know they have our backs. We would prefer all parts platforms integrate with CollisionLink. It really makes our lives easier and it helps with reducing all the costs that come with all the different solutions out there," said Dan Hutton, Mopar Masters Guild Vendor Committee Chairperson for

OEC and Fixed Ops Director at Tom O'Brien CDJR in Indiana. "And shops want to use it. It's the best-in-class of the solutions available today." According to the recent Who Pays for What? survey in CRASH Network and Collision Advice, over three quarters of shops surveyed use CollisionLink. In addition, CollisionLink was selected as the preferred solution by over 40% of shops, which is over three times more than any other parts procurement solution. "We've learned a lot from the Mopar Masters Guild over the years," said Bill Lopez, General Manager, Collision for OEC. "We value their relationship and loyalty. We can show true incremental sales while others can't. Having their support is a validation of the value CollisionLink brings to dealers."n

New-Car Dealership Employment and Wages Continue to Rise new-car dealerships (selling domesStatistics. Through the first half of 2018, the tic, import, luxury and mass-market “For the past several years, dealnation’s 16,794 franchised new-car dealbrands), includes an analysis of dealerership employees have seen steady erships employed more than 1.1 milship departments as well as retail-auto increases in their incomes as well as in lion people, up 0.8 percent compared industry milestones through the first their total compensation,” Manzi added. to same period a year ago, according “Dealers jobs to a new report released today by the National offer significantly Highlights from 2018 to date: Automobile Dealers higher compensation that other Association. • The nation’s 16,794 franchised dealers sold 8.6 million light-duty vehicles. retail sectors, and “In addition to the • Total new-vehicle sales topped $500 billion. dealerships condirect employment pro- • Dealerships wrote more than 155 million repair orders, with service and tinue to offer one vided by dealerships, parts sales of more than $58 billion. of the highest more than 1 million other average salaries of all industries.” jobs in local communities are depenhalf of 2018. The average annual earnings dent on dealerships,” said Patrick Manzi, In 2017, the annual payroll at newfor employees at new-car dealerships NADA senior economist. car dealerships was $65.3 billion, up 2.2 NADA Data 2018: Midyear percent, according to the most recent was $71,916 per year in 2017, up from Report, a biannual financial profile of data available from the Bureau of Labor $69,784, a 3.1 percent increase.n

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Mercedes-Benz Starts Construction for Battery Factory in Tuscaloosa

Investment announcement of $1 billion made during the Tuscaloosa based plant's 20th anniversary celebration last year is now showing off first results. Groundbreaking ceremony for a new Mercedes-Benz battery plant in Tuscaloosa. First new Mercedes-Benz GLE rolls off the line at Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Building of a new consolidation center in Woodstock, Alabama to be operational in 2019. Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain: "We aim to play a pioneering role in the development of e-mobility and are well-prepared to accomplish this mission." The investment of billions of US-Dollars in the U.S. car production of Mercedes-Benz is paying off: The first all new Mercedes-Benz GLE, which is based on a completely new SUV platform, left the production lines today bringing a new driver experience to our customers worldwide. At the same time, the electric initiative of Mercedes-Benz Cars in the U.S. is well on track. A groundbreaking ceremony today marks the start of the construction of a new battery factory. The factory will be built near the vehicle production site in Tuscaloosa providing batteries for future electric SUV under the product and technology brand EQ. Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, attended

the ceremony: "The widely export oriented Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa is a high-tech production facility with a successful history and an exciting future in terms of our brand in the United States. We aim to play a pioneering role in the development of e-mobility and are well prepared to accomplish this mission. One year ago, we have announced $1 billion investment in Tuscaloosa mostly for the production of electric SUVs and a battery plant. We are bringing electric mobility for MercedesBenz to the United States. Around the globe, we are preparing six sites for production of EQ models and our battery network will consist of eight factories." The groundbreaking ceremony took place in the presence of Jason Hoff, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S International, the Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey and other distinguished regional and international guests at its location in Bibb County, Alabama. The new production site for batteries - along with the new Consolidation Center - is located seven miles from the Mercedes-Benz Cars vehicle production site in Tuscaloosa. The Consolidation Center, also announced as part of the 2017 investment announcement, will consist of three major areas, including the body parts preparation area, the assembly parts preparation area and the empties storage. It is expected to be operational in 2019. More than $6 billion has already been invested in the Tuscaloosa plant since 1995. The additional $1 billion will help Mercedes-

Benz Cars expand its industrial footprint in the region, most of which is slated for the electric initiative. It is expected that, once completed, these investments will create more than 600 additional jobs in Alabama. "The successful story of the MercedesBenz Tuscaloosa plant began with the start of production of the M-Class 21 years ago. We are proud to see further investment into Tuscaloosa, which underlines the effort and teamwork by all our team members. As a team here in Tuscaloosa, we play a key role in the global success of Mercedes-Benz and we are proud that the all new GLE will again be produced in Alabama for the world demand," said Jason Hoff, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International. Only two years after inventing the car, Daimler started business in the U.S. as the first ever car manufacturer back in 1888. For 130 years, Daimler has been anchored within the U.S. economy and has contributed to its development, generates and secures jobs as well as promoting new technologies and the plant is on track to continue to do so in the future. "Just as Mercedes helped put our state on the cutting-edge of automotive manufacturing, Alabama will help put Mercedes on the cutting-edge of electric vehicle development," Governor Kay Ivey said. "We continuously strive to reaffirm the 'Made in Alabama' brand as one of excellence. So, naturally, there is no better state for Mercedes to build upon their worldclass brand of excellence than right here in Alabama."n

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Mississippi State Reveals Autonomous, Electric Off-Road ‘Halo Project’ SUV at SCRS With a full field of competitors vying to develop self-driving cars for city streets, Mississippi State University’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Studies decided to carve out its own autonomous niche. It unveiled the result Tuesday in the Society of Collision Repair Specialists booth at SEMA: “Halo Project,” a 2014 Subaru Forester modified to be fully electrified and able to drive itself off-road. “The Halo Project itself serves as a platform for our researchers to demonstrate their expertise, on a real-world, high-performance vehicle,” CAVS associate director Matthew Doude said in a statement. “Less than one percent of the Earth is paved, so we needed a vehicle that could be a capable development and test platform both on- and off-road. The Halo Project vehicle is all-wheel drive with tons of wheel torque from its four independent electric motors. This allows us to do research on topics like self-driving cars, even in rugged environments.” Will Meadows, an MSU electrical engineering masters student and the electrical lead for the vehicle, said that for a typical autonomous vehicle, “the world is flat.” Aside from worrying about debris in the road, traditional autonomous vehicles assume a paved road is constant and don’t pay much attention, even to the point of ignoring items like potholes. But despite having been lifted four inches with a kit (assisted by collision repairer Clinton Body Shop, which also painted the SUV), the Forester has to keep a close watch on the ground beneath its mammoth Black Rhino wheels. Meadows said MSU addressed this problem by angling two lidar sensors towards the ground and combining their output with a third above the car for a single, wider sensory view. The lidar sees the world by reflecting lasers off of objects, which Meadows said provided CAVS with a convenient way to classify various potential obstacles based upon the intensity of their reflectivity. MSU retained the Subaru EyeSight system on the vehicle, which uses two cameras behind the windshield to provide a steroscopic view of the road for advanced driver assistance system fea18

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New battery technology by partner A123 allows 50 percent more energy capacity than the previousgeneration lithium ion battery, and the SUV can go an estimated 230 miles on a single charge. tures. “We listen to it first,” Meadows said. CAVS added two 190-degree cameras to the mirror — each can see “a little bit behind itself,” according to Meadows — and installed two more in the rear of the vehicle for another stereoscopic view of the terrain. It electrified the vehicle (and gave it electric all-wheel drive) by ripping out the existing powertrain and converting the engine compartment, transmission tunnel and rear of the vehicle into three sets of 15 modular batteries, according to Meadows. Williams said the end result was 90 kilowatt-hours of range, which puts “Project Halo” ahead of the 75 kWh base Tesla Model X (which has the luxury of a skateboard battery design) and just under the top-end 100 kWh variant. Since it used a stock Forester and added hundreds of pounds of battery, the result is a “very heavy car,” according to Williams. But new battery technology by December 2018

partner A123 allows 50 percent more energy capacity than the previous-generation lithium ion battery, and the SUV can go an estimated 230 miles on a single charge. Williams said CAVS “essentially cut holes in the chassis,” and Clinton Body Shop helped make the end product look a little bit better. He said the batteries sat atop new aluminum structures, which dispersed their heat better than steel. Amanda Meeler, CAVS marketing and communication coordinator, said the term “Halo” showed off various aspects of MSU’s technical expertise, including some abilities that go unrecognized because of the confidentiality demands of typical partners. “It’s a very diverse research facility,” Williams said of CAVS. He said that it doesn’t have many internally funded projects, so it wants to demonstrate its capabilities when it does. Meeler said the vehicle was an “all-hands-on-deck” projM State Please turn to Page 19

Honda Joins with Cruise and General Motors to Build New Autonomous Vehicle Cruise and General Motors Co. announced that they have joined forces with Honda (TYO: 7267) to pursue the shared goal of transforming mobility through the large-scale deployment of autonomous vehicle technology. Honda will work jointly with Cruise and General Motors to fund and develop a purpose-built autonomous vehicle for Cruise that can serve a wide variety of use cases and be manufactured at high volume for global deployment. In addition, Cruise, General Motors and Honda will explore global opportunities for commercial deployment of the Cruise network. Honda will contribute approximately $2 billion over 12 years to these initiatives, which, together with a $750 million equity investment in Cruise, brings its total commitment to the projM State from Page 18 ect. Besides the center’s specialties of autonomous and electric vehicles, the vehicle also sports “a suspension that was partially built using steel that was melted, cast and rolled at the CAVS steel research center,” according to a CAVS news release. Williams said the existing unibody nature of the vehicle made for a difficult conversion to an electric vehicle, as the

ect to $2.75 billion. In addition to the recently announced SoftBank investments, this transaction brings the post-money valuation of Cruise to $14.6 billion. "This is the logical next step in General Motors and Honda's relationship, given our joint work on electric vehicles, and our close integration with Cruise," said General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. "Together, we can provide Cruise with the world's best design, engineering and manufacturing expertise, and global reach to establish them as the leader in autonomous vehicle technology – while they move to deploy self-driving vehicles at scale." "Honda chose to collaborate with Cruise and General Motors based on their leadership in autonomous and electric vehicle technology and our shared

vision of a zero-emissions and zero-collision world," said Honda Executive Vice President and Representative Director COO Seiji Kuraishi. "We will complement their strengths through our expertise in space efficiency and design to develop the most desirable and effective shared autonomous vehicle." "With the backing of General Motors, SoftBank and now Honda, Cruise is deeply resourced to accomplish our mission to safely deploy autonomous technology across the globe," said Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt. "The Honda partnership paves the way for massive scale by bringing a beautiful, efficient, and purpose-built vehicle to our network of shared autonomous vehicles." More details on the benefits of the partnership to Cruise can be found here. n

vehicle developers couldn’t use the typical skateboard configuration in which a battery occupies the entire space between the frame rails. CAVS also performed the fluid dynamics research needed to assess the battery pack’s cooling, and the project includes some 3-D printing (though Williams wasn’t sure where). Williams said the center also used ultrasound technology to examine why some of its welds failed despite look-

ing fine on the surface — an application repairers at SEMA will definitely want to ask CAVS representatives about today. “The students and researchers have been working so hard to make this project possible,” CAVS Executive Director Clay Walden said in a statement. “I think this car makes an impactful statement about our contribution to the future of autonomy and off-road mobility.” n Copyright © 2018. DRIVEN COMMUNICATIONS INC. All Rights Reserved.



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New Survey Finds Vast Majority of Consumers Want Access to and Control of their Vehicle's Data

More than 8 in 10 U.S. vehicle owners and lessees believe car owners should have full access to and control of their vehicle's data, including maintenance and repair information, according to the results of a survey released today by the Auto Care Association. Auto Care Association logo. (PRNewsfoto/Auto Care Association) The survey, conducted in August by Ipsos, a global, independent market research company, found 86 percent of consumers said vehicle owners should have access to driver and vehicle data, also known as telematics. Additionally, the survey found 88 percent of consumers believe a vehicle's owner should decide who has access to this data. The findings from this survey come at a time when there is continued debate over vehicle data. Each year, vehicles get "smarter" and infused with telematic technologies, which enable real-time, wireless transmission of information related to driving behavior, such as steering, acceleration and breaking; and vehicle health, includ-

ing fuel use, emissions and engine hours. However, as this technology has advanced, vehicle manufacturers are gaining exclusive access to vehicle data at the expense of consumers. "These results should be a wake-up call to automakers," said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of Auto Care Association, an industry trade group representing 4.6 million jobs from coast-to-coast. "At a time when Americans don't see eye to eye on many issues, the results of this survey revealed a large majority of consumers support their right to gain full access to their vehicle data." "Without the right to control where their data goes, car owners may face greater inconvenience, greater cost and fewer options for taking care of their vehicle," added Hanvey. Among the survey's most notable findings was a low awareness of telematics, a form of wireless technology in vehicles that aims to make the driving experience safer and more convenient through monitoring and data collection, including main-

tenance and repair information. Nearly 3 in 4 consumers (72 percent) said they had not heard anything about telematics. Once provided with a definition, 63 percent of respondents still said they were not very or not at all familiar with telematics. The implications for this lack of awareness were also apparent. Remote diagnosis of vehicle problems is one of the primary selling points of telematics; however, as of today, only vehicle manufacturers can take advantage of this information. As a result, vehicle owners have little to no choice when it comes to servicing their vehicle. The survey found 71 percent of respondents incorrectly assumed that the vehicle owner has access to driver and vehicle data, which was greater than the percentage of respondents who assumed the vehicle manufacturer and the dealership have access to this data (59 percent and 44 percent, respectively). And nearly half of respondents (45 percent) incorrectly believed that vehicle owners own their car's data.n




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PPG: Distributors Had More Inventory Than Auto Body Shops Needed in 3q Though PPG and likely other paint manufacturers might have to raise prices to compensate for higher logistics and supply expenses, one market trend might be in body shops’ favor, at least for the short term. PPG said Thursday its customers, the distributors who sell to body shops,

had too much inventory last quarter. It’s possible other paint companies’ networks were in the same boat, based on PPG’s description of how it and jobbers miscalculated demand. PPG’s organic automotive refinish sales globally fell by a “low-single-digit percentage year over year,” trending

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lower as the quarter progressed, CEO Michael McGarry told analysts in a third-quarter earnings call Thursday. (Special thanks to Seeking Alpha, whose transcript of the earnings call helped us check quotes.) He attributed this in part to reduced demand in the U.S. and Europe because of the higher inventory at PPG’s customers. Chief Financial Officer Vincent Morales said 2016 and 2017 were “very strong” for automotive refinish, and PPG and its customers expected this to continue into 2018. Though the first half of 2018 “wasn’t as strong,” distributors bought from PPG hoping the refinish demand growth would continue, he said. “It hasn’t,” Morales said. Few natural disasters occurred, and miles driven (which correlates to crashes) only rose 0.3 percent, according to McGarry. Collision claims were down 1 percent for the year while total losses have risen 1 percent, which hurt demand from shops, he said. Distributors had more items on hand then they needed, and were selling off the surplus rather than buying new inventory from PPG, according to McGarry. “Our customers are saddled with higher inventory levels,” Morales said. However, “we’re still doing quite well” if one examines the end sales to body shops rather than PPG’s sales to jobbers, McGarry told analysts. PPG had so far this year convinced a net 3,000 body shops around the world to switch to its brand, he said. Asked if the inventory issue would end this quarter or continue into the first quarter of 2019, McGarry said he was more confident “than anything” that the fourth quarter would be the end of it, but there were still “some unknowns.” “We see this as transitory,” McGarry said. He said he had no concerns about the automotive refinish business long-term.n Copyright © 2018. DRIVEN COMMUNICATIONS INC. All Rights Reserved. Southern Automotive Journal



CCC Collision Parts E-commerce Solution Now Features FCA US Parts CCC Information Services Inc. (CCC) announced today that FCA US LLC will promote select Mopar collision parts through the CCC® Parts e-commerce solution to help increase collision parts sales for the company and its dealers in the United States. CCC Parts is powered by the CCC ONE™ platform, which connects OEMs, insurers, collision repairers, and third-party providers, allowing them to interact and transact across a variety of use cases, including new vehicle and parts sales, repair management, telematics-enabled claims, and usage-based insurance. CCC is a leading Software as a Service provider to the automotive, insurance, and collision repair industries. CCC Parts is an e-commerce solution that makes it easy for parts suppliers to present and sell parts within CCC ONE®, reaching thousands of collision

repairers as estimates are being written. CCC Parts offers valuable add-on solutions, allowing OEMs to present promotional pricing upfront during the estimating process and to tailor promotions based on characteristics of the repair, including by geography, vehicle year, make, model or part number. All parties benefit from streamlined and more efficient parts ordering, and shops get the added benefit of having their parts ordering process contained in one system, creating efficiency in parts quoting and back-end invoice reconciliation. CCC ONE is used by more than 24,000 collision repair facilities in the United States for estimating, parts ordering, or shop management functions. According to Keith Burtram, Senior Manager for Tonkin Parts Center, and an early user of CCC Parts, "The CCC solution is a winner because it's integrated

into the product that repairers already use, day-in and day-out. They don't need to learn a new tool to do business with us, they simply view and purchase from our live inventory. We've seen significant sales increases since we started using the CCC Parts solution." "CCC is proud to support our partners in their efforts to increase parts sales and to make these important transactions more efficient and productive for everyone involved," said Andreas Hecht, SVP and General Manager of CCC's OEM Services Group. "Parts sourcing and purchasing can present challenges, headaches, and missed opportunities on a daily basis. The CCC Parts solution, with the added value of upfront promotional pricing, has a proven track record of connecting buyers and sellers to increase sales and improve transactions."n

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BMW X5 From Page 10 while the engine is running or flashing lighting in the instrument console to alert to an incoming phone call. The all-new 2019 BMW X5 launches with a choice of two new gasoline engines. Heading the range is the BMW X5 xDrive50i, whose extensively developed V8 unit is making its debut. A sixcylinder inline engine can also be found under the hood of the BMW X5 xDrive40i. All engines channel their power through an eight-speed Steptronic transmission, while BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive is on hand to ensure that power is translated into secure progress – on or off road. The BMW TwinPower Turbo technology in the gasoline engines features turbochargers, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. Unrivalled power and an unmistakable sound: the new V8 engine. Fundamentally upgraded from

crankcase to engine management, the eight-cylinder engine aboard the BMW X5 xDrive50i serves up an intoxicating blend of prodigious power delivery and signature V8 soundtrack. The turbochargers’ positioning in the “V” between the banks of cylinders is just one of the standout features of the 4.4-liter unit. Newly designed heat plates ensure particularly effective thermal shielding for the crankcase and cylinder head. A new ignition system allows the engine to be restarted even more smoothly and swiftly when the Auto Start Stop function is activated. The new engine’s peak torque of 479 lb-ft is available over a broad rev range from 1,500 to 4,750 rpm, while its maximum output of 456 hp is on tap between 5,250 and 6,000 rpm. This formidable pulling power is available early and doesn’t let up, resulting in a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.6 seconds. Straight-six gasoline engine with a thirst for revs. The power unit fitted in the new BMW X5 xDrive40i boasts the free-revving ability inherent in all six-cylinder

inline engines from BMW, plus wonderfully eager response. The 3.0-liter unit employs a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct petrol injection technology whose maximum pressure of 5,076 psi ensures the fuel is delivered in extremely precise doses. The straight-six generates its maximum output of 335 hp between 5,500 and 6,500 rpm, while the peak torque 330 lb-ft is waiting to be unleashed from 1,500 – 5,200 rpm. Optimum power distribution courtesy of enhanced xDrive allwheel drive and an electronically controlled rear differential lock. The task of maximizing traction, agility and directional stability in the new BMW X5 falls to the latest generation of the BMW xDrive intelligent allwheel-drive system, which is now able to split drive torque between the front and rear wheels with even greater precision and speed, as the situation demands. For added efficiency, full power can be directed to the rear wheels only in situations where all-wheel drive is surplus to requirements.n

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Enterprise Activates Emergency Response to Assist Victims of Hurricane Florence Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation Donating Additional $500,000 to American Red Cross in Support of Disaster Relief Efforts Enterprise Holdings, the world's largest car rental operator, is providing financial support to relief agencies and transporting rental cars and trucks to the southeastern coast to assist with recovery efforts following widespread damage left behind by Hurricane Florence. "We know from Hurricane Harvey and other significant natural disasters that the devastation from this massive storm – coupled with mass evacuations from coastal areas – makes available transportation critical to the health, welfare and safety of those struggling to recover and rebuild," said Steve Bradway, vice president and general manager for Enterprise Holdings in the U.S. Southeast Region. "We had to close more than 85 car rental branches in North Carolina, South

Carolina and Virginia while the storm passed through," Bradway noted, "but we have just recently been able to reopen almost all of our locations as we work to deliver vehicles to the affected areas." Rapid Response & Technology Makes a Difference As Hurricane Florence charged towards the United States, Enterprise shifted resources to meet spiking demand for local ground transportation in affected areas. The company is always prepared to respond and move vehicles into affected areas as quickly and as seamlessly as possible. In fact, Enterprise is in the process of transporting several thousands of its vehicles from surrounding cities and states into the southeastern coastal region, moving them to critical areas to help meet demand and assist with disaster recovery and hurricane clean-up efforts. Even before the storm hit, Enterprise

Holdings was collaborating with catastrophe teams before they arrived in affected areas to assess damage and begin cleanup. These teams include insurance catastrophe teams and energy/power companies, as well as Federal Emergency Management (FEMA), General Services Administration (GSA), the National Guard, state emergency response officials in North Carolina and South Carolina, and others. As part of the planning before and during the storm, employees were sent home, or to other operable locations, with mobile tablets allowing them to process rental transactions away from the counter in virtually any location. With Enterprise LaunchPad® tablets, employees can be re-assigned from flooded branch offices to assist at other facilities. This technology also makes it easier to manage local demand when customer calls to inoperable branch offices are automatically forwarded to other operational sites.n

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I-Car® Sustaining Partner™ Program Enjoys Rapid Growth and Success shortly. Following its successful launch The Sustaining Partner program earlier this year, the I-CAR® Sustaining was developed to more fully engage Partner™ program is already providing insurers, OEMs, service providers and value to the collision repair industry. Since that launch, the following organizations have joined the The Sustaining Partner program was program: AkzoNobel; Autel Diagnostic more fully engage insurers, OEMs, service Intelligence; Auto suppliers in supporting I-CAR’s vision .... Club Enterprises; Car-O-Liner; CCC Information Services, suppliers in supporting I-CAR’s vision Inc.; Chief Automotive Technologies; and mission while recognizing the value Collision Advice; Farmers Insurance; that I-CAR creates for the industry and Intrepid Direct Insurance; LKQ Corporation; Polyvance; Precision their specific organizations. In return, Equipment Systems, LLC; and Pro Spot Sustaining Partners enjoy a broad portInternational Inc. Numerous additional folio of products, services and benefits that are relevant to their businesses. organizations that have recognized the “Since it was introduced, the value of the program and expressed strong interest are expected to join Sustaining Partner program has gen-

erated tremendous excitement, interest and support from the collision repair Inter-Industry,” said Nick Notte, I-CAR’s Senior Vice President - Sales and Marketing. “This groundbreakdeveloped to ing initiative provides an equitable providers and funding model that makes I-CAR training more readily available and affordable for our industry’s collision repair and education segments. We are pleased with the support of our current Sustaining Partners and look forward to welcoming additional organizations to the program.” As a Sustaining Partner, participating organizations can access the robust portfolio of I-CAR standard prod-

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ucts and services that are relevant to their businesses. These include: A wide range of I-CAR’s educational course offerings All Repairability Technical Support® (RTS) information and related services, such as access to I-CAR and OEM technical bulletins Collaborative co-marketing opportunities, including event sponsorship, website promotion and inclusion Alliance From Page 12 opportunity for our customer base, their key partners, and of benefit to the industry at large.” Jim Guthrie, President of Car Crafters of New Mexico added, "We have been believers in – and members

in marketing materials Inclusion in the consumer-focused I-CAR Shop Locator for Sustaining Partners that manage certified or otherwise industry-credentialed repair networks; the Locator delivers consumer education and awareness, and offers related network visibility to consumers Special discounted partner pricing on customer-unique offerings such as custom course development and/

or delivery programs and other unique customer services A recurring annual “membershiptype” model that streamlines the business relationship between I-CAR and member organizations, making it easier to conduct business Additional information about the benefits of the Sustaining Partner Program is available at www.I-CAR. com/SustainingPartners.n

of – CCG for years. The team, platform, and unique model of creating a national network of the best performers that also make the significant investments and reinvestment in both luxury and mainstream OE Certification badges positions CCG members for consistent and growing opportunities

to improve both top and bottom line results. Their non-intrusive, yet interconnected approach to partnerships is truly a strong combination for us, and we are certain many others like us. With critically important and valued partners like PPG and CCG now aligned, our future is as bright as it’s ever been.”n

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December 2018

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Passat Tailored for the U.S. Market and Assembled in Volkswagen’s State-Of-The-Art Factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee Passat Available features include: Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist); and Park Distance Control. The 2019 Volkswagen Passat is a midsize sedan that is designed for the American lifestyle and assembled in Volkswagen’s state-of-the-art factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It features a winning combination of sophisticated design, advanced driver-focused technology and road-holding feel that makes the Passat unique among American midsize sedans. The 2019 Passat is offered in two trims—Wolfsburg Edition and SE R-Line®—both equipped with a 2.0-liter TSI® engine. Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert are now standard on every Passat. The Wolfsburg Edition replaces the outgoing S trim and upgrades 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels to 17-inch wheels and trades the entry-level Composition Color infotainment system with a 5-inch touchscreen for Composition Media infotainment with a 6.3-inch touchscreen, Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect, SiriusXM® radio, and Voice Control. Other upgrades include KESSY® keyless access with push-button start, leatherette seating surfaces, leather steering wheel, heated front seats, and heated side mirrors. An optional Wheel & Roof package ($1,000) offers 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and a power tilt-and-slide sunroof. The SE R-Line® model features the sporty exterior and interior treatments of the outgoing R-Line model, plus 28

Southern Automotive Journal

LED lighting, including LED headlights, Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and taillights. It also adds standard features previously only found in the top Passat trims: Discover Media infotainment with navigation, ambient lighting, Easy Open trunk, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Keeping Assist (Lane Assist), Park Distance Control, and Fender® Premium Audio. The 2019 Passat shows off a timeless mix of eye-catching design elements. The substantial fully-chromed four-bar grille and the muscular hood all work together to give the Passat a wide, planted stance from the front. Available chrome window surrounds add to the premium nature of the design, as does available LED lighting At the rear, the bumper and trunk lid help to shape the 2019 Passat’s look. The car has a premium European-style, flush rear license plate area and an available chrome strip on the trunk that connects the trunk lid to the taillights, making the rear lights appear lower and enhancing the grounded appearance. Tailored for the U.S. market, the Passat delivers ample space for five adults. The large trunk can accommodate 15.9 cu-ft of luggage. Inside the 2019 Passat, the dashboard and center console, along with integrated two-piece decor panels, are first to catch the eye. The top of the dashboard is structured with sharp contours and a sculpture line, acting to frame the elements underneath. Chrome trim pieces—including the bezels around the air December 2018

vents, upper door trim, cupholders, and shift lever—help to add to the premium feel of the interior. The SE R-Line adds stainless steel pedal caps, a multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters and R-Line specific door sill plates and carbon-look dash inserts. All Passat models are powered by Volkswagen’s most advanced EA888 engine ever. For the 2018 model year, the engine capacity was increased from 1.8 to 2.0 liters and incorporated the so-called Budack cycle for improved combustion efficiency. The upshot is 174 horsepower that kicks in at 4,400 rpm, and is maintained until 6,000 rpm. Maximum torque of 184 lb-ft is achieved at 1,600 to 3,940 rpm. All models are paired with a sixspeed automatic transmission and the EPA-estimated fuel economy rating is 25 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. A standard feature on the 2019 Passat is Volkswagen’s Automatic PostCollision Braking System. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps address this, in certain crash scenarios, by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus potentially reducing residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.n

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Hyundai Veloster Appeal of a Sport Coupe With Versatility The Veloster merges the design appeal of a sport coupe with the versatility of an additional passenger side rear door in an asymmetrical two-plus-one configuration for easier rear-seat access. From the front, available LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights flank a striking new grille design. Functional air curtains add both a visual design cue and an active aerodynamic function. Hyundai’s signature cascade grille shape has morphed into a strong, threedimensional design that sets the sport coupe apart. Much of the redesign is derived from enhanced proportions and volume; the new shape clearly conveys focused dynamic performance, even standing still. Its stance is more muscular, with higher-volume fenders and wheel arches for a more planted appearance. The cowl point and A-pillar are further rearward and now connect the hood line and belt line into an integrated, powerful gesture. Available 18-inch alloy wheels aggressively fill the wheelhouse openings. Further, the roofline has been lowered for a unique profile and a distinctive coupe-inspired essence. The fender line is also more coupe-like, and the rear now has a more aggressive integrated diffuser design. Available LED taillights help complete the rear view with a hightech appearance. Also available is a full darkened roof treatment for a high-contrast performance appearance. Veloster’s dynamic rear design has a distinctive glass hatch and center-fascia chrome exhaust tips, with a single outlet for the 2.0-liter model and dual-outlets for Turbo and R-Spec models. GAAMA 1.6-Liter Turbocharged Engine The 1.6-liter turbocharged, directinjected four-cylinder engine produces 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (estimated) and 195 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,5004,500 rpm (estimated). Turbo models generate 201 horsepower on regular fuel, which represents a best-in-class specific output of 125.6 horsepower per liter. Further, there is an over-boost function that raises peak torque output to 202 lb.-ft. under maximum acceleration. 30

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2019 Veloster includes standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), which uses the car’s frontfacing camera to detect an imminent collision and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking autonomously. Three additional systems also utilize the frontview camera to boost safety and convenience. Engine tuning maximizes low- and midrange torque, for optimum acceleration under daily driving conditions. Veloster Turbo is paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT The Veloster Turbo sevenspeed dual-clutch transmission features steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters and SHIFTRONIC® transmission gear control. In addition, all Veloster Turbo models feature Active Engine Sound, which enhances intake and exhaust powertrain sound character inside the cabin for a more visceral driving experience, especially during spirited driving. All A/T and DCT models also offer three selectable driving modes, including Normal, Sport and Smart, (Normal and Sport on M/T models), according to driver preferences for engine, transmission and steering feel. The Smart mode varies within the December 2018

range of settings according to how the vehicle is currently being driven (such as in an economical or a more spirited manner). For Turbo models, driver preference for Active Engine Sound is also available. Torque Vectoring Control All Veloster models offer Torque Vectoring Control (TVC). This active cornering feature utilizing capabilities from the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and powertrain control systems, allows Veloster to improve dynamic cornering during more enthusiastic driving. TVC uses wheel-speed sensors coupled with ESC algorithms to apply precise braking force to the inside front wheel during spirited cornering. This active braking redirects power to the outside front wheel in the turn, reducing wheelspin Veloster Please Turn to Page 32

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GM Collision Repair Network Exceeds Expectations with Nearly 1,000 Dealers and Repair Facilities Enrolled At SEMA Collision, General Motors’ Customer Care and Aftersales division announced that in just a few short months, nearly 1,000 dealers and repair facilities have begun enrollment in the GM Collision Repair Network to help with safe and proper repair of GM vehicles. “The industry response means that repair facilities are seeing business value in becoming a part of GM’s Collision Repair Network,” said John Eck, collision manager, GM Customer Care and Aftersales. “Collision repair professionals are telling us they see how the Network can help make their business more efficient, speed up the repair process and give confidence that vehicles are repaired accurately and Veloster From Page 30 for enhanced cornering grip and cornerexit acceleration. Overall, this provides Veloster drivers with an incremental margin of cornering precision during enthusiastic driving. Further, Veloster Turbo features a quicker-ratio steering rack and a revised steering calibration to match, which gives drivers precise cornering, feedback and control. Turbo Model 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) Veloster’s compelling combination of performance with efficiency is a formula many industry competitors are seeking to duplicate. Hyundai’s develop-

safely.” At the GM Genuine Parts and ACDelco’ SEMA Collision booth, GM is showcased the repair procedures related to the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500’s advanced technologies. Participants in the Collision Repair Network will have easy access to the Silverado’s repair procedures and training, resulting in a more efficient collision repair process. Repair procedures were displayed at SEMA Collision include: 2019 Silverado 1500 Front and rear frame service parts – making it simpler to replace portions of the frame in a collision instead of replacing the full frame. 2019 Silverado 1500 Proper lifting

and jacking procedures – utilizing newlydesigned “wide” hoist adapters to avoid possibility of frame distortion. Fascia repair procedures – ensuring the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are working properly after repair. Paint-friendly service parts for grilles – making paint prep and application easier without having to mask off sections of the grille. Dealers and independent collision repair facilities interested enrolling in the GM Collision Repair Network can email or visit (click on the “For Professionals” tab) to enroll and learn more about the network requirements and fees.n

ment focus on all the factors of efficient performance, such as small-displacement turbocharged engines, dual-clutch transmissions, comprehensive lightweighting, efficient aerodynamics, and reduction of parasitic engine losses through electricpowered ancillaries, have combined to yield simultaneous benefits in performance and efficiency to the consumer. Turbo Model Sport-Tuned Dynamics Veloster Turbos are fitted with a McPherson strut front suspension, coil springs, gas shock absorbers and a 24-mm diameter front stabilizer bar. The rear suspension is a lightweight independent multi-link design with a 19-mm stabilizer bar to further control body roll. The rear suspension uses gas-pressurized

shock absorbers for ride comfort with excellent control. Veloster features electric power steering that adjusts assistance to changing driving conditions while improving fuel economy over a conventional steering system. When equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, available 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted with Michelin® Pilot Sport 4 summer tires. All Veloster models also use aluminum front steering knuckles for a total of 10.6 lbs. of reduced unsprung mass at the front suspension compared with the previous generation. In addition, the rear suspension carrier is aluminum, resulting in an 8.4 lb. reduction of unsprung mass for the rear suspension compared with the previous generation.n

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Volvo To Demand 100% OEM Parts From Network, Restrict Some Components Volvo Certified Collision Program manager Kenneth Park said the OEM would in 2019 require its network to only use new OEM parts. The company today already demands Certified Collision Network facilities use a minimum of 95 percent new OEM parts, according to Park. He told the SCRS OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit audience the company did not allow aftermarket, recycled, and “especially” reconditioned parts — an announcement applauded by some of the SEMA audience. He said Volvo didn’t approve recycled parts because it didn’t know the history of the part. Volvo also will restrict some OEM parts sales next year on materials made from substrates like boron steel, Park said. He later mentioned plans to restrict aluminum parts in 2019 as well (it was unclear if any aluminum components are already restricted today), and described selling them only to certified Volvo collision repair facilities and uncertified shops who proved they met the same requirements anyway. However, at this point, such an uncertified shop might just want to join the network while there’s still room. Park said Volvo has 203 out of the 350 shops he said would be the capped ceiling to the program. The cap is aimed at providing “exclusivity,” according to Park. He also described a desire to ensure volume for certified shops. Asked about a situation in which the purchaser of a dealership sponsoring one Volvo-certified shop desired to switch the certification

to someone else, Park said Volvo would allow both shops if they weren’t too close together and enough volume existed in the market. As mentioned above, Volvo dealership sponsorship is a component of the program. Asked about the possibility of a dealership demanding an payout in exchange for sponsorship — an allegation raised about a Mercedes dealership in a now-settled 2017 dispute — Park said it is hard for Volvo to police. “We do highly frown upon it,” Park said. He said that “luckily,” it only happens in certain regions. Volvo can’t dictate how a dealership does business, he said. However, there is a potential workaround for a shop. If a dealer refuses to budge, Volvo can sponsor a shop for certification at the corporate level, according to Park. The certification program began in May 2017, and Volvo concentrated its efforts on a “smiley face” geographic shape of key U.S. markets, targeting areas like the Northeast, according to Park. (However, it just signed its first Alaska shop, he noted. It wants one in Hawaii too.) He planned to target the less populated swath of the Midwest starting in December, and he specifically mentioned a desire for shops in the Dakotas. The idea is that ultimately, there’s a certified collision repairer within 10 miles of any Volvo retailer, though Volvo roadside assistance will tow a customer’s car up to 50 miles away, according to Park. He said he had a map with a “best guess” as to where he wanted the network’s shops.

Research found that 85 percent of Volvo customers search for a certified body shop online, and there’s a “huge opportunity” for the collision repairers on the program, Park said. In addition to Volvo’s existing locator website, the OEM will refer customers to the shops through its Roadside Assistance program. Park said certified shops also receive a plaque and access to VIDA OEM repair procedures. A shop seeking to enter the program can go getting a sponsor’s OK to fully certified in mere “weeks,” according to Park. However, the process demands the shop demonstrate repair procedure compliance as well as the necessary equipment. Park said that in addition to a baseline scoring, Volvo will perform a one-day, in-house audit in which it speaks to staff and examines the shop’s quality control process, staff training, and tools. It also pulls records for 10-20 random repairs — and repair procedures had better be attached, according to Park. Park said Volvo also will track repair procedure usage of certified shops in addition to this. As to repair procedures, he said one technique that seems to “work very well” is for a shop to assign a single person to handle OEM instruction lookups. It becomes easier with the repeated use. He also pointed out that following repair procedures can result in a higher repair order — resulting in a better return on investment. “Use it,” he said.nCopyright © 2018. DRIVEN COMMUNICATIONS INC. All Rights Reserved.

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December 2018

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Southern Automotive Journal December Issue  

Collision Repair in Automotive Market to be Valued $275bn Colo. dealership shop warns insurers it won’t deviate from OEM procedures ASA A...

Southern Automotive Journal December Issue  

Collision Repair in Automotive Market to be Valued $275bn Colo. dealership shop warns insurers it won’t deviate from OEM procedures ASA A...