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April 2012

The 2012 Collision Industry Repairer Forum "Day of Opportunity” I-CAR Launches New Course on High-strength Steel Repairs Smarter Cars That Could Prevent or Minimize Up to 80 Percent of Crashes

DEALER NEWS NADA Chairman Urges Dealers, OEMs to Resolve Differences Volkswagen Chattanooga Achieves First Significant Milestone

Toyota Reveals NS4 - ‘Vision of the Future’ Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) revealed the NS advanced plug-in hybrid concept vehicle in January at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The NS signifies Toyota’s vision for future mobility with a focus on connectivity and the human interface. Toyota engineers were challenged to design a new mid-sized concept for potential global market introduction by 201. The NS concept is a dedicated plug-in hybrid,

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separate from the Prius family, designed with future mobility requirements in mind. “In this digital age, cars are becoming another spoke in the wheel of our electronic connectivity,” said Jim Lentz, TMS president and chief operating officer. “NS demonstrates Toyota’s take on NS Please Turn to Page 

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NS4 From Front Cover the human connection to the car with technology that considers both emotional and rational relationships, personto-car and car-to-society.” NS4’s advanced powertrain targets a next-generation Hybrid Synergy Drive plug-in system featuring reductions in component size and weight with improved overall fuel economy, better acceleration and longer all-electric range, while maintaining a short charge time. Sleek, Futuristic Styling The NS4 concept signals a new styling direction for the Toyota brand aimed at creating an emotional connection with consumers. NS4 styling lines reflect a new take on the aerodynamics of the modified triangle, with a low height and cabin-forward tilt. The distinctive open trapezoid grille is accented by a floating lower spoiler and wing-like daytime running lights wrapping around to a sculpted fender. Rear lamps wrap around the sides of the vehicle to quarter sections layered into blistered fenders, while the rear lamp wings create a sharp edge and the effect of a rear spoiler. The A-pillars are ultra thin for improved driver visibility while maintaining roof crush integrity. The roof line profile, lift back design and powered

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swan-wing doors create greater accessibility and efficient functionality. I n c r e a s e d Connectivity Tr a d i ti o na l vehicle development cycles average four years, but this is rapidly changing in the digtouch screen with the look and feel of a ital age. Vehicles have smartphone. The simple, intuitive operbecome another communication hub in ation conveys information quickly while the connected-consumers lifestyle and minimizing automakers must integrate the lat- NS4 styling lines reflect a new take on the aero- distractions dynamics of the modified triangle, with a low and maxiest technolomizing drivheight and cabin-forward tilt. er awareness. The multimedia and vehicle-controls enhancement also will direct air conditioning, audio, battery-charge and navigation functions. The HMI system is even capable of “learning” driver preferences and habits to anticipate driver responses in specific environments and situations. This concept represents a truly connected vehicle, offering the latest technology in a responsible and convenient package. gies into their product offerings. In fact, connected vehicles are the third-fastest growing technological device, behind smartphones and tablets. Toyota has formed special alliances with technology leaders such as Microsoft, Intel and Salesforce to explore the creation of seamless vehicle interfaces with emerging technologies. These alliances will help ensure Toyota is at the forefront of this emerging sector of the automotive market. The NS4 concept’s Human-Machine Interface (HMI) provides a user interface built around a multiApril 2012

State-of-the-Art Safety Features The NS4 introduces a next generation Pre-Collision System (PCS) with lane departure, rear-end and pedestrian collision avoidance technologies designed to predict collisions under certain circumstances and help avoid them. This PCS uses millimeter-wave radar and stereo cameras mounted on the front of the vehicle to detect and react to lane departure, pedestrians and other vehicles. In addition, the system emits near-infrared beams to enhance PCS recognition at night. This driver assistance feature helps to avoid collisions with other vehicles, road-side obstructions, and pedestrians by applying the NS4 Continued on Next Page

NS4 From Previous Page

the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) is designed to detect a vehicle in the adjacent lane and visually alerts the driver using visual indicators placed in the upper dash. Four new glass technologies are integrated into the windshield and front triangle, door, and rear windows to improve driver visibility, gas mileage and electric driving mode mileage efficiency: •Hydrophobic coating – Fluorine

brakes and manipulating steering. The current generation PCS, available in certain Lexus and Toyota vehicles, is designed to identify certain objects directly in the road ahead. If PCS determines that a collision is imminent, the brake assist system is placed in standby mode, a warning is displayed and a buzzer sounds. If PCS determines that a collision is unavoidable, the system still will alert the driver via a warning light, warning display and buzzer, apply the brakes and automatically retract the driver and front passenger seatbelts. Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) headlights help prevent visionThe NS4 concept’s Human-Machine Interface (HMI) impairing glare coated provides a user interface built around a multi-touch to oncoming g l a s s screen with the look and feel of a smartphone. drivers and pedestrians. Using a camera mounted behind the front grille and partial shielding inside the headlights, this feature allows drivers to maintain near-high beam illumination to improve nighttime visibility. The pop-up hood structure automatically raises the rear of the hood to increase the space underneath, helping to reduce p e des trian head injucauses rain ries caused drops to form by a colliinto semision with spherical the front of shapes for the vehicle, improved viswithin ceribility and rain tain speed drop eliminaranges. This tion (also used innovation on the roof is the result solar panel) of testing •Antiand verification using both conventional fog film – High performance resin crash-test dummies and Toyota’s Total material with anti-fogging characterisHuman Model for Safety (THUMS) virtics and increased durability tual model. •High ultraviolet (UV) absorbing Using sub-millimeter wave radar, inner-layer – Removes 99 percent of

April 2012

harmful UVA and UVB rays •Anti-solar film with radio-wave transparency – Reduces the internal

vehicle temperature and improves electronic device functionality •Inner and outer rear view mirrors have been replaced with cameras that provide the driver with a panoramic rearward view. The rearward image is displayed on a dedicated dashboard mounted screen above the navigation screen and provides a wider view than conventional rear view mirrors. The rearward panoramic camera view working in combination with the Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system enhances driving visibility. “ T h e continued success of our conventional hybrid vehicles has laid strong groundwork for market acceptance of future advanced technologies,” said Lentz. “NS4 demonstrates Toyota’s ongoing commitment to enhancing the safety, efficiency, and convenience of future mobility for people everywhere.”n Southern Automotive Journal

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April 2012


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April 2012

Smarter Cars That Could Prevent or Minimize Up to 80 Percent of Crashes An ambitious new safety system that is being developed by government, universities and automakers is featured in Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue. Instead of protecting against the aftermath of a vehicle crash, the system is designed to prevent vehicle crashes from occurring in the first place. And the magazine--a staunch advocate of stronger safety features for drivers for eight decades, from seat belts to air bags to electronic stability control--is impressed by this technology. Here’s one way the system can help drivers: Imagine that you’re approaching an intersection at 30 mph with a green traffic light ahead. What you can’t see is that another vehicle coming in on the cross street is about to run a red light. In a typical car, you would enter the intersection and most likely be slammed in the side by the other vehicle, which could seriously injure or even kill you. But in this car, a prominent red warning light flashes on the dash and an alarm blares, giving you time to hit the brakes before entering the danger zone. That is one of several crash scenarios that can be prevented by this system. It allows cars in the same area to communicate with one another over a wireless network, exchanging data about each vehicle’s speed, location, and direction of travel. With that information, the system can determine whether a crash is likely and warn drivers to brake. In more advanced designs, it can even brake the car if a driver doesn’t respond quickly enough. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, such a system has the potential

to help drivers avoid or minimize up to about 80 percent of crashes involving unimpaired drivers. In addition to vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, systems are also being developed that allow cars to communicate with roadside infrastructure, such as traffic lights, and work and school zones. Taken together the technology is now often referred to as V2X. Two of CR’s staffers got to experi-

April 2012

ence V2X technology firsthand. One drove eight V2X-equipped vehicles from different automakers at one of NHTSA’s driver clinics in Alameda, Calif. to see how the technology helps in scenarios such as passing on a road when there’s an oncoming car, detecting vehicles in a car’s blind spot, and avoiding a driver who’s running a red light. Another Consumer Reports Please Turn to Page 3

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NHTSA Announces Proposed Driver Distraction Guidelines for In-Vehicle Electronic Devices The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed recenlty, in the Federal Register, guidelines for vehicle manufacturers to help reduce the distraction of in-vehicle electronic devices. The proposed guidelines are designed for electronic devices that do not take part in safely operating the vehicle. For example, devices used for communications, entertainment, information gathering and navigation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) guidelines are recommendations for electronic devices installed in vehicles that require visual or manual operation. According to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, "Distracted driving is a dangerous and deadly habit on America's roadways - that's why I've made it a priority to encourage people to stay focused

behind the wheel ... These guidelines are a major step forward in identifying real solutions to tackle the issue of distracted driving for drivers of all ages." The guidelines are geared toward vehicles not weighing more than 10,000 lbs, and are a first in a series of guidance documents NHTSA plans to release regarding distracted driving. The proposed Phase I distraction guidelines include recommendations to: Reduce complexity and task length required by the device; Limit device operation to one hand only (leaving the other hand to remain on the steering wheel to control the vehicle); Limit individual off-road glances required for device operation to no more than two seconds in duration; Limit unnecessary visual informa-

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tion in the driver's field of view; Limit the amount of manual inputs required for device operation. NHTSA is currently considering Phase II guidelines for the future that would include devices or systems not built into the vehicle. This would include aftermarket and portable personal electronic devices such as navigation systems, smart phones, electronic tablets and pads, among other mobile communications devices. More proposed guidelines (Phase III) could address voice-activated controls to further minimize distraction in factory-installed, aftermarket and portable devices. To view the Federal Register's publication of the NHTSA Driver Distraction for In-Vehicles Electronic Devices Guidelines, visit ASA's legislative website at www.


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April 2012

The 2012 Collision Industry Repairer Forum "Day of Opportunity” by: Michael Winters The 2012 Collision Industry Repairer Forum, which took place Feb. 24-25 at the IP Casino Resort in Biloxi, MS, brought together more than one hundred representatives of the collision repair industry from across the Southeast. The purpose of the forum, said event organizer Steve Plier of Consumer Auto Repair Excellence Inc., was to create a dialogue among vendors and technicians about the problems facing the industry. Feb. 25th's “Day of Opportunity” saw speakers present on behalf of various groups affiliated with the collision repair industry. Later in the evening, a vendor exhibition took place in a second ballroom, giving attendees the opportunity to network. A lively hour-and-a-half roundtable discussion, where matters concerning the future of the industry were discussed, closed out the forum. By highlighting the contentious issues in the industry throughout the day, Plier sought to empower attendees to return home with solutions to avoid repeating those same mistakes in the future. Efficiency and sound business practices is key, said certified public accountant I. H. "Howey" McNeill, III. The streamlining process should begin with ensuring your financial statement contains accurate information, which can be done by using software like Creative Solutions or QuickBooks. Not waiting until the last minute to put a statement together leaves enough time to learn from it for next year. While waste and database inaccuracies may always remain, with the right tools, they can be drastically reduced. Industry veteran Tony Nethery proposed implementing a system of scheduling, blueprinting, parts procedures, paint shop procedures, and quality control to eliminate waste. No longer will “I’ll catch you on the next one” be an option. By simply writing down operating procedures for every job, rather than acting from memory, it is effectively blueprinted; guesswork is taken off the table, increasing productivity and, in turn, profitability. A common sense return proce-

"An investment in the younger generation is imperative to secure the older generation’s future." Willie Myers Myers Auto Collision Repair, Inc. dure is no less important in order to realize maximum profitability. Allowing unreturned parts to collect dust in the back of a shop somewhere, for instance, serves no purpose other than preventing recouped costs from credit that can then be recycled back into the business. To learn the process, it helps to have a desire for change, said Nethery, quoting Henry Ford: “If you think you can do a thing, or think you can't do a thing, you're right.” Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists described the industry as being in survival mode, citing an epidemic of carelessness and the inability to take responsibility as the main contributors to its problems. But by coming together with strength in numbers and knowing the rules of the game, owners and technicians can realize the change they want to see. And if no one is willing to work together towards a common goal of problem-solving, things will remain the same. “Being a competitor is one thing,” said Schulenburg. “Being a colleague gets you a whole lot more.” Maximizing profitability should be one of the main areas of concern to busi-

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April 2012

"By simply writing down operating procedures ... it is effectively blueprinted; guesswork is taken off the table, increasing productivity and, in turn, profitability." Tony Nethery Colormatch Day of Opportunity Turn to Page 11 Southern Automotive Journal


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Moose Simmons with the OPA chats with Jack Helvin owner of Classic Collision during a

change the industry needs. “We can do everything within our power to make the jobs that are in our shop today as profitable and accurate as possible,” said Schulenburg in the last moments of his speech. “Or we can sit back and say it’s somebody else’s problem.” In short, he said, if you are not happy, change something.■

vendor exhibition held later in the evening.

Day of Opportunity From Page 9 ness owners. This can be achieved by eliminating carelessness and assuming a hands-on role in all areas of business. Database issues can likewise be avoided by utilizing the Database Enhancement Gateway; parts will be accounted for and in their correct place, making life easier for everyone involved. In addition, cutting out jobs and expenses that do not contribute to the health of the company will not only increase the profitability of your operation but being able to fulfill the your customers’ expectations. Maintaining relationships with the right people—those who are trustworthy, loyal, and hard-working—is vital to maintaining a successful operation. To make sure that everyone is on the same page, McNeill suggested holding an annual meeting with your team—owners,

accountant, attorney, insurant agent—to attack any problems. Reinforcing the forum’s theme of “we’re all in this together,” McNeill said that whatever can be fixed at the smaller level will indeed influence the overall health and profitability of the industry. Looking towards the industry’s future, a general agreement emerged from the round table discussion that the next generation of talent should be actively vetted from technical schools and skills competitions. Willie Myers of Myers Auto Collision Repair, Inc. stated that an investment in the younger generation is imperative to secure the older generation’s future—including his own. By further generating interest in the industry and discussing the possibility of a local SCRS affiliate chapter, Plier reiterated that strength in numbers is the necessary means to bring about the

"By coming together with strength in numbers and knowing the rules of the game, owners and technicians can realize the change they want to see." Aaron Schulenburg Executive Director The Society of Collision Repair Specialists

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April 2012

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Volkswagen Chattanooga Becomes World’s First LEED Platinum Automotive Manufacturing Plant with Design and Construction Management from SSOE Group SSOE Group , an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, along with Vertegy, announce their involvement in the success of first and only LEED® Platinum automotive manufacturing plant in the world. Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant was recently awarded a Platinum certification, the highest designation possible from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program. SSOE has successfully performed design work for more than 0% of all automotive assembly plants built in the United States over the last 10 years. Based on that experience, Volkswagen

called upon SSOE to oversee the architecture, engineering, and construction management for this $1 billion+ production facility which produces the all-new 2012 Passat. Once it was determined to pursue LEED, SSOE performed the role of Project Team Administrator (PTA) and Design Lead for all LEED credits with Vertegy provided commissioning and third-party verification. “Think Blue is Volkswagen’s commitment to reach the highest level of environmental protection and corporate social responsibility in everything we do. It was this commitment that drove the team to strive toward designing, constructing, and applying for LEED accreditation. Being the first automotive plant worldwide to receive a Platinum certification is an enormous

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accomplishment and wouldn’t have been possible without the innovative design and construction management of SSOE. Their LEED knowledge and expertise supported us in moving forward with the certification process and achieving the Platinum certification successfully,” said Dr. Jan Spies, Head of Factory Planning, Volkswagen AG. The Volkswagen manufacturing plant earned 2 points out of the 69 possible to earn the Platinum title in October. Sustainable highlights of the plant include: • Certification of the paint shop facility. Previous assembly plants haveexcluded their paint shop in the LEED certification process due to the com-

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2012 KIA Optima Hybrid Class-Leading1 Fuel Efficiency, Advanced Technology And Eye-catching Style Kia Motors America is one of the automotive industry's current fuel economy leaders, and that position was strengthened with the launch of the 2011 Optima Hybrid, the brand's first hybrid vehicle in the U.S. Designed to appeal to consumers looking for a stylish and wellappointed sedan that does not sacrifice style, comfort, performance or value for fuel efficiency, the Optima Hybrid offers the same combination of head-turning design and modern amenities that earned critical and consumer acclaim for the Optima following its debut, and adds a more fuel-efficient drivetrain and state-of-the-art lithiumpolymer battery pack to deliver up to 35 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and a class-leading 40 mpg2 on the highway. State-of-the-art Hybrid Powertrain All 2012 Optima Hybrid models feature a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle gas engine that produces 166 horsepower connected by a wet clutch to an Interior Permanent Magnet (IPM) synchronous electric motor producing 40 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque up to 1,400 rpm (in full-electric mode only). The advanced powertrain, mated to an efficient six-speed automatic transmission, delivers 35 miles per gallon in the city and up to a class-leading 40 miles per gallon on the highway. The full parallel hybrid system can be driven in zero emission, full-electric drive mode at speeds up to 62 miles per hour or in blended gas-electric mode at any speed. When the car comes to a stop and the electrical load is low, the engine shuts off to completely eliminate idle fuel consumption and emissions. To power the electric motor, the Optima Hybrid leverages a state-of-theart, air-cooled 270V lithium-polymer (

ated by a sweeping chrome arc that flows seamlessly from the A through the C pillars, a distinctive design element that visually lowers the car while enhancing its proportions. Optima Hybrid's roofline connects with its pronounced shoulder line that leads to its sculpted flanks and extended wheelbase. Boldly flared wheel arches and a raked cabin create a gracePB) battery. Developed in partnership with LG Chem, Li-PB chemistry offers an optimum balance of power delivery, energy density, reliability and thermal stability. Compared to commonly used nickel metal hydride systems, Kia's Li-PB system is 20-30 percent lighter, occupies 40 percent less volume, is 10 percent more efficient, offers two times the power density, and holds a charge 25 percent longer than many comparable competitor systems. At only 95 pounds, the battery system is extremely durable with warranty coverage for up to 10 years or 150,000 miles. Sleek and Aerodynamic Exterior Maintaining the performance-oriented yet refined aesthetic of its nonhybrid siblings, the Optima Hybrid's world-class design combines a sleek silhouette and aggressive stance with sculpted elements that evoke passion and communicate the Kia Motors' philosophy of creating stylish and fun-todrive vehicles. In keeping with Kia's visual motif, the Optima Hybrid proudly features a unique hybrid-specific black gloss and chrome version of the brand's signature tabbed front grille. Five millimeters lower than the non-hybrid Optima, the vehicle's coupe-like profile is accentuApril 2012

ful and muscular stance. Every Optima Hybrid offers several enhancements to its exterior to improve aerodynamics, including a unique headlamp design that helps to channel air around the vehicle, rear spoiler, smooth underfloor panels that provide improved airflow under the vehicle, and smoother rear fascias (sides). The use of an active air flap system in the front grille helps to reduce drag by automatically opening or closing based on vehicle speed, engine temperature, and airflow in the front of the car. A lower ride height (five mm lower) and unique side mirror design also contribute to the Optima Hybrid's improved aerodynamic profile. Combined, all aerodynamic updates help the hybrid model achieve a 0.26 drag coefficient – a 10-percent improvement Optima Hybrid Please Turn to Page 33 Southern Automotive Journal


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NADA Chairman Urges Dealers, OEMs to Resolve Differences on Remodeling Programs When it comes to factory-mandated image programs that require new-car dealers to invest billions of dollars to remodel their showrooms, Stephen W. Wade, outgoing chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, expressed hope that a new study released today would help restore reason and common sense. “The goal of the study is to move the facilities investment decision onto a more rational, informed and fact-driven footing,” Wade said in remarks today at the NADA Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, which runs through Monday, Feb. 6. Responding to dealer concerns, NADA commissioned the study last August that looked at the various factors - both positive and negative - that drive the return on investment in dealership facility upgrade programs. The study was conducted by Glenn Mercer, a former McKinsey and Company partner and industry consultant who focused on objective analysis, rather than on advocating the position of one party over another. Mercer interviewed

a broad range of industry participants. The study uncovered three types of store upgrades: (1) Expansion - adding a showroom or service bays to support growth in UIO, for example. (2) Modernization - upgrading facilities to contemporary standards in tile, furniture and fixtures, etc. (3) Standardization - designing the interior and exterior look to ensure that every store selling a given brand looks as much like the other stores as possible. “In terms of dealership expansion, the study found that unreasonably high and frequently changing OEM volume forecasts, as well as outdated capacity formulas can lead to overbuilding and waste,” Wade said. “So better, more reasonable forecasting should make expansion investments easier for dealers to support.” Concerning modernization, Wade said the study revealed that many dealers

are skeptical of the need to invest such large sums of money because there is an absence of clear, quantified return on investment data. “The study asks OEMs for more competition among vendors and more flexibility in OEM design standards, which would benefit auto makers and dealers alike,” Wade said. The most contentious issue is standardization, which requires dealers to go “beyond common signage and colors, to requirements for virtually identical facades, greeting areas and more,” he said. Wade said that NADA has shared the study’s findings with many manufacturers and all have been receptive. “In the long run we must all remember that it’s how we treat our customers,” he said. “Providing a world class purchase and service experience is what counts.”n

ASA Members Eligible for Free Account

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) and ContactPoint announced a new partnership today, giving all primary ASA member-shops a free subscription for one year. This free account allows ASA members to improve their marketing and optimize their sales. LogMyCalls. com was designed with the automotive industry in mind. This specific account is normally $29 per month. The ASA free subscription allows members to track which marketing methods are generating phone calls and which are wasting money, listen to each call on, gather real-time customer feedback and improve their ability to sell and book appointments on the phone. To sign up for your free account, visit "We are really excited about this partnership with ASA. The primary location of every ASA shop member will receive a free local or toll-free number and a free LogMyCalls account; all they have to do is sign up," said Jason Wells, CEO of ContactPoint. "We are pleased to offer this free one-year subscription to ASA member-shops," B.J. Johnson, ASA's vice president of membership services. "ASA members are getting free access to a tool that normally costs about $350 a year. That's significant. In many cases, this benefit alone covers the cost of an annual shop membership. This tool will save our members money, allow them to measure their marketing effectiveness and improve their ability to book appointments and sell on the phone. We encourage every ASA shop member to sign up for this free account."n

April 2012

Southern Automotive Journal


96 Percent of Auto Repair Shops Recycle Scrap Metal Auto repair shops are playing a key role in protecting the environment with 96 percent reporting they recycle the scrap metal from automotive components, according to a study done by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). Shops are recycling the scrap metal from many auto parts, including alternators, brakes, engines and transmissions. The volume of material recycled annually in the United States includes 74 million metric tons of iron and steel, 4.7 million metric tons of aluminum and 1.8 million metric tons of copper, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). “Scrap metal recycling has an

extremely positive impact on our environment,” said Rich White, senior vice president, AAIA. “It conserves natural resources, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, saves energy and minimizes the amount of waste sent to landfills.” According to ISRI, recycling one ton of steel conserves 2,500 lbs. of iron ore, 1,400 lbs. of coal and 120 lbs. of limestone, and the energy saved using recycled materials versus virgin materials is up to 58 percent for iron and steel, 92 percent for aluminum and 90 percent for copper. If the ferrous scrap that is recycled in the United States were put into rail cars, the train would stretch 11,349 miles, nearly halfway around the world.

In addition to recycling scrap metal, automotive aftermarket companies, including auto repair shops, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and jobbers, routinely recycle tires, batteries, used oil and oil filters, parts cleaning solvents, plastics, cardboard and paper, a/c refrigerant, dunnage and wood pallets. The study is part of AAIA’s initiative to illustrate the automotive aftermarket industry’s widespread efforts on behalf of the environment. The information is presented in AAIA’s “Driving Toward a Cleaner Environment: The Automotive Aftermarket’s Green Story,” in the short video, AAIA Green, and in a Green Snapshot. For more information, visit

Rick and Rita Case Honored with AIADA’s Lifetime Achievement Award The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) recently honored Ft. Lauderdale dealers Rick and Rita Case with the David


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F. Mungenast Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, named after the late AIADA Chairman and legendary St. Louis-area automobile dealer, was presented during AIADA’s 42nd Annual Meeting and Luncheon in Las Vegas, Nev. “ T h e Cases have demonstrated a commitment to the same values as the award’s namesake, Dave Mungenast. Their dedication not only to their business, but also to their community, provides an example for dealers nationwide,” said AIADA President Cody Lusk. Rick Case entered the auto industry in 1962 with a dealership in April 2012

Akron, Ohio. He married Rita Manly - who was at the time a general manager at her parents’ Honda dealership in northern California. Today, they own the Rick Case Automotive Group, which operates 15 dealerships in Florida, Georgia, and Ohio, including the world’s largest Honda and Hyundai dealerships, located in Broward County. The auto group is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Beyond their significant industry involvement, the Cases also continue to donate their time and funds to 30 charitable causes. For 25 years, they have served on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County. Together, they have raised over $50 million for the organization through events such as the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance. The Cases have been the recipient of numerous community and industry accolades, including the 2004 Sun Sentinel Business Leader of the Year Award for South Florida and the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Dave Mungenast was known by family members, employees, and those in the industry and community as their founder, mentor, employer, and friend. AIADA’s board of directors accepts nominations every year to select a leader who possesses a similar community spirit and devotion to the industry.n

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Consumers Pay if Fuel Economy Rules are not Delayed, NADA Warns In comments filed late Monday with the Obama administration, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) raised serious concerns about proposed fuel economy rules for Model Year 2017-202 passenger cars and light trucks. NADA issued the following statement: “From NADA’s analysis, more than 6 million drivers will no longer qualify for financing if $3,000 (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate) is added to the price of a 202 vehicle due to fuel economy mandates. “NADA estimates that the actual cost to consumers will be much closer to $,000. Even for those who can afford the price hike will avoid the substantial upfront cost and will choose a preowned car or truck or simply hold onto

their current vehicle longer. Either way, real energy security and environmental gains will not be realized if consumers do not buy or cannot afford to put these new technologies on the road. “The federal proposal goes too far, too soon and too fast. It consistently underestimates the actual cost to car buyers and how they will react to the proposed MY17-2 fuel economy mandates. “Dealers support increased fuel economy standards as long as the improvements leverage, not fight, consumer demand. NADA urges the administration to put these rules on hold until there is a better understanding of how consumers in 202 will react to these price increases and technology changes.”n

Southern Automotive Journal,Inc. P.O. Box 67097 Marietta, Ga 30006-0009 (770) 321-9920 E-Mail Volume 16 Issue No. 

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Contributors Dennis Martin Ami Vonesh Joyce Ethridge Russ Heaps

Southern Automotive Journal (ISSN: 10926321) is published monthly by Southern Automotive Journal Inc. P.O. Box 67097, 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 2011. All rights reserved. or (i need oem parts)

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Five Toyota Models Named Consumer Reports' Top Picks; First Time in Nearly a Decade One Brand Has Dominated As the competition grows stronger with each passing year, it has been increasingly difficult for a single automaker to dominate Consumer Reports' annual Top Picks list. This year, Toyota is the first brand to earn half of the top 10 spots in nearly a decade. The redesigned Toyota Camry Hybrid, and Highlander edged out the competition to become Top Picks in Consumer Reports' Family Sedan and Family SUV categories respectively. The Camry Hybrid delivers a surprising 38 mpg overall fuel economy--the best in class and as good as some smaller and less versatile hybrids. The two new Toyota additions join the incumbent Prius, RAV, and Sienna as the best in their individual categories to secure the brand a starring role in this year's list. Consumer Reports' 2012 Top Picks report, Automakers Report Cards and other key findings from the Annual Auto Issue were announced

at a press conference today before the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) in Washington, D.C. For more details and videos of the Top Picks, go to "Every year the competition grows tighter; in recent years as many as nine different brands have taken the top spots. Combined with the improved Camry, Toyota's ability to maintain a competitive lead among hybrids and SUVs is a big factor in its strong presence on this year's list," said Rik Paul, Consumer Reports' automotive editor. The last time a single brand held such a grip on Consumer Reports' Top Picks was Honda in 2003. Historically a strong performing brand, this year there are no Honda models on the list for the second time in three years. Consumer Reports' Top Picks are the best all-around models in their categories, chosen from more than 27 vehicles the organization has recently tested. Top Pick models must meet

April 2012

CR's stringent criteria in three areas: road test, reliability, and safety. They must rank at or near the top of their category on overall road test scores; they must have earned an average or better predicted-reliability Rating based on problems Consumer Reports subscribers reported on 1.3 million vehicles in the latest survey; and they must perform well if included in crash or rollover tests by the government or the insurance industry. The Hyundai Sonata and Subaru Impreza also make their Consumer Reports' Top Picks debuts. The Sonata was named Top Pick Affordable Family Sedan, while the recently tested Subaru Impreza narrowly edged out the Hyundai Elantra as Top Pick Small Car. The all-wheel drive Impreza gets high marks for being a well-rounded sedan with nimble handling and a compliant roomy interior, and absorbent ride that Consumer Reports' Top Picks Turn to Page 2

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2012 Mazda2 Offers Style and Spunk Let’s face it: small cars are a big deal. The subcompact segment, born out of frugality and, well, not much else, is now bursting at the seams in all directions: design, performance, features, value and even size - literally. But as more entries cram themselves into the ever-popular crowd of small-fry, only one offers Zoom-Zoom in its most concentrated form: the 2012 Mazda2. Initially launched in 2007 in Japan, Europe and Australia, the nimble little Mazda2 was quick to garner enthusiastic acclaim, including “2008 World Car of the Year” as well as other global “Car of the Year” honors from home-country Japan to faraway Greece. Making its North American debut last year as a 2011 model, Mazda2 proved to be as much a success stateside, earning a spot on many “Best Cars” and Top Ten lists. “The smallest vehicle in our lineup has made an immense impact to the market and to Mazda since its introduction in the U.S.,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “The Mazda2, with its polished design, dynamic performance and affordable fuel-efficiency, offers one of the most exuberantly vibrant personalities within the subcompact segment.” Exterior Energy Sleek, smooth and seriously easy on the eyes, Mazda2’s seemingly simple styling offers a subtle hint at its underlying sporty nature. While others associate out-of-the-box thinking with clumsy boxy designs, the Mazda2 prioritizes functionality with finesse, compactness with comfort. From a carefully crafted base form,

shortened body overhangs and trimmed corners give the Mazda2 a slender physique. Swooping character lines that start from the front wheel arch, energetically flow across the vehicle’s sides and cleverly wrap around the C-pillar and trunk lid create a complete and distinctive personality. As light patterns play atop the Mazda2’s charismatic exterior charm, a moving-while-standing visual appeal evokes senses not expected from a subcompact. Other key exterior design elements include a sporty wedge shape and readyfor-fun front grille that conveys a eager sense of forward motion and deeply sculpted angles in which the body is drawn inward fore and aft of the A-pillars. Generous Interior The Mazda2’s sleek exterior design snuck its way into the inviting interior as well. The striking mostly-black canvas April 2012

enhances a cabin experience that is immediately spacious and intuitive. The contoured dash presents control buttons and the instrument panel in a forward, easy-to-reach manner. With the overall interior design focusing on a central area for all driver and passenger audio and climate control functions, the central dash shape is minimized and curved away from occupants to further create a feeling of openness. This design not only offers immediate operational know-how but further develops the Mazda2’s unique personality, an emotional connection which began from its ground-up exterior design. To complement the function and freedom tone of the center dash are high-quality ergonomics used throughout the cabin. Silver garnish adorns the A/C vents, door armrests and the shift knob and its surrounding gate and trim on Sport models. Touring models receive upgraded features such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel with steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. And soft touches abound, such as the black patterned cloth seats and fabric trim inserts on all doors to an available leather-padded center console armrest for added comfort. Touring models receive upgraded black seat upholstery highlighted by red piping. While subcompact vehicles do not offer the cargo capacity to compete with the likes of minivans and SUVs, claustrophobic crampedness doesn’t have to come standard either. Mazda2 offers an efficient 13.3 cubic feet of storage room. With the 60/0 split fold-down rear seats folded flat, that cargo capacity expands Mazda2 Please Turn to Page 2 Southern Automotive Journal


AFPM Warns of Adverse Effects of E15 Use American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers President Charles T. Drevna recenlty issued the following response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision paving the way for the sale of gasoline blended with 1 percent ethanol to be sold into the general marketplace: “It is unfortunate that EPA today chose to continue down the path of allowing E1 to be sold as regular gasoline before necessary studies have been completed. Today’s decision does noth-

ing to address the concerns of engine damage due to the use of E1 in vehicle and other engines. A number of studies have shown that increasing ethanol in gasoline could cause serious engine damage and as a result, auto manufacturers have stated that they will not warranty engines of their vehicles if gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol is used. This leaves consumers at risk of having to pay costly repair bills. EPA’s solution of simply sticking a small label on retail fuel pumps does not solve

the problem and will do little to protect consumers from misfueling with gasoline containing greater than 10 percent ethanol. “AFPM members remain committed to consumer protection and to continuing to manufacture safe and reliable fuels for use by American families. Allowing a 0 percent increase in the amount of ethanol in gasoline before further scientific review is conducted is irresponsible and harmful to consumers.”n

Florida Total Loss Legislation Passes House, Heads to State Senate An amendment to Florida House Bill 88, which has been in the state House, would eliminate the current 80 percent threshold for a total-loss vehicle to receive a certificate of destruction and allow potentially unsafe vehicles to be branded as "repairable" and put back on the roads. The amendment would allow insurers to determine whether the vehicle receives a certificate of destruction. The legislation has moved to the state Senate. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) encourages Florida automotive repairers to contact their state senators and ask that they oppose H.B. 88. ASA is opposed to this amend-

ment because it would: Allow unsafe vehicles to operate on Florida's highways. The amendment would require dangerous vehicles to be branded "repairable" when such vehicles should not be put back on the roads because they cannot be adequately repaired to operate safely. Allow insurance companies to determine whether or not a vehicle should obtain a certificate of destruction. Without the current 80 percent threshold that requires a total-loss vehicle to obtain a certificate of destruction, vehicles that should not be repaired can be returned to the roads. Create dangers for consumers who would be unable to identify the level

of damage that a vehicle has sustained because the vehicle branding would not reflect the actual designation of the vehicle as "unrebuildable." This language would put drivers at risk by removing the only guarantee for consumers to ensure that their vehicles are safe to operate on Florida's roads. Increase the risk for criminal activity because vehicles that are badly damaged would be allowed to obtain a clean title and sold to unsuspecting purchasers. To view the full text of the bill, as well as the Automotive Service Association's letter to senate leaders opposing the legislation, visit ASA's legislative website at www.TakingTheHill. com.n

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door openings and weld bonding on the liftgate opening to improve rigidity while successfully shedding unnecessary pounds. Lighter, stronger materials and an enhanced assembly structure benefit the vehicle in manufacturing but also the consumer with increased overall efficiency. When equipped with the standard

ficient of drag contributes to the fuel economy as well as quietness of the cabin. to 27.8 cubic feet, which is more than However, not all subcompacts are enough space to accommodate that developed equally, which is why only a weekend jaunt to the big-box warehouse select few have opted to join a newlystore, not to mention the numerous cubformed “B-Spec” Showroom Stock racing bies and storage spaces throughout the series. The subcompact category, or Binterior, such as bottle-holder pockets segment, is the fastest growing segment in the doors and a center in the automotive world, and console storage tray. to further support its grassroots intent, all B-spec race Driver-Oriented cars will feature showroom Dynamics stock engines and chassis, Speaking of driving be fitted with a competition excursions, the Mazda2 roll cage and other safety feais as confident a grocery tures and sport manufacturergetter as it is a rowdy approved suspension comporacer. Fitted with an MZR nents, wheels and tires. With 1.5-liter four-cylinder the goal of providing racing engine, which produces enthusiasts the opportunity 100 horsepower at 6,000 to compete as a financially rpm and 98 lbattainable dream, ft of torque at more manufac4,000 rpm, don’t turers are seelet its diminuing the series’ tive demeanor potential. And fool you. After true to its familall, the Mazda2 is ial motorsports inherently still a DNA, the Mazda2 Mazda. is all but ready to The Mazda2 hit the gas when driving experithe green flag is ence is a familiar dropped. Zoom-Zoom is injected into every Mazda vehicle, regardless of one, and for good reason. In how little or large. fact, two good reasons: 1) a Nice Package sense of linear acceleration To some, “showroom five-speed manual transmission, Mazda2 and deceleration that responds crispstock” means a bare-bones base model, delivers an impressive EPA-rated fuel ly to how far the accelerator pedal is but not so with the Mazda2. Standard economy of 29 city/35 highway. The depressed, allowing the driver to control niceties include a pollen filter-equipped optional four-speed automatic transmiscar speed as desired; and 2) a sense of air conditioning system, power autosion (available on Sport and Touring modliveliness through immediate response matic door locks and windows (with a els) offers an estimated fuel economy of to the accelerator for quick off-the-line driver’s one-touch up/down feature), a 28 city/34 highway, which is a plus-one acceleration and overtaking. Zoomremote keyless entry system, a tilt-adjustimprovement over the introductory 2011 Zoom is injected into every Mazda vehiable steering wheel and a four-speaker model year for both city and highway cle, regardless of how little or large its AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible audio sysfigures. GVW, and the Mazda2 is no exception. tem with an auxiliary audio jack. And being a Mazda, great fuel Able to carry a family-of-four load of Upgrading to a Touring model adds economy does not mean piloting a slug. food or attack a corner with feline-like exterior features such as 15-inch alumiThe Mazda2 is outfitted with a highly finesse, the Mazda2 is quick and agile, all num alloy wheels, fog lights and a bodyregarded suspension system, which has the while sipping its fuel. colored rear spoiler. Interior additions MacPherson struts at the front and a torWith a curb weight of 2,306 lbs include cruise control, a leather-wrapped sion-beam axle at the rear. With settings (manual transmission), the Mazda2 is steering wheel with steering wheeltuned specifically for North American the lightest vehicle among its competimounted audio and cruise controls, a road conditions and driving styles, the tors. This was achieved by implementsix-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible resulting dynamic performance yields ing weight-saving measures such as the audio system and a trip computer. The consistently responsive handling and an increased application of high tensile four-speed automatic transmission is an effortless, stable ride. And a 0.31 coefstrength steel as well as spot welds on available option for either model.n Mazda2 From Page 21


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April 2012

PARTS Act Would Limit Patent Protections for Vehicle Parts U.S. Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., recently introduced H.R. 3889, the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales (PARTS) Act in the House of Representatives. The bill would amend the U.S. design patent law to change the period of design patent protection for automakers from 1 years to 30 months. Both members serve on the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet. Lofgren introduced auto parts patent legislation in the last Congress. The new subsection reads as follows:

“It shall not be an act of infringement of such design patent to make or offer to sell within the United States, or import into the United States, any article of manufacture that is similar or the same in appearance to the component part that is claimed in such design patent if the purpose of such article of manufacture is for the repair of a motor vehicle so as to restore such vehicle to its appearance as originally manufactured; and after the expiration of a period of 30 months beginning on the first day on which any such component part is first offered to the public for sale as part of a motor vehicle in any country, it shall not be an act of infringement of

such design patent to use or sell within the United States any article of manufacture that is similar or the same in appearance to the component part that is claimed in such design patent if the purpose of such article of manufacture is for the repair of a motor vehicle so as to restore such vehicle to its appearance as originally manufactured.” “Competition is the hallmark of our free market system,” Issa said. “Consumers have dozens of choices in electronics, food, service, clothing and other products - this same array of choices, across all price points, should also extend to automotive repair parts.”n

Consumer Reports' Top Picks From Page 19 rivals some luxury sedans. The Toyota Prius was named CR's Top Pick Green Car for the 11th time and the ninth consecutive year--both records claimed by no other model in the history of Consumer Reports' Top Picks. The Prius, including the recently tested Prius V wagon version, continues to set the standard for its blend of fuel efficiency, practicality, and affordability. The  overall mpg CR measured for the hatchback is still the highest of any fivepassenger, non-plug-in vehicle CR has tested and the 1 mpg for the new Prius V wagon easily tops its class.

Three returning models round out the list: the Chevrolet Avalanche, Ford Mustang, and Infiniti G. The iconic Ford Mustang earns CR's Top Pick in the Sporty Car category. The .0-liter V8 in the GT coupe provides scorching acceleration, a great exhaust sound, and good fuel economy for its class. The Infiniti G returns as Top Pick Sports Sedan with its inviting blend of luxury and driving fun. And in the Pickup Truck category, the Chevrolet Avalanche provides the best combination of utility and versatility of any pickup CR has tested. Complete details on Consumer Reports' Top Picks for 2012, Automaker Report Cards, Best and Worst list and

other key findings are available in the April issue of Consumer Reports or visit Consumer Reports' testing procedures are the most comprehensive of any U.S. publication or Web site. More than 0 individual tests are performed on every vehicle, including evaluations of braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety, and fuel economy. Roughly 6,000 miles of general driving and evaluations are racked up on each test car during the testing process. CR buys all its test cars anonymously from dealers. Other reviewers base their evaluations on press cars that are handpicked by the automakers.n

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Volkswagen Chattanooga Achieves First Significant Milestone Volkswagen Chattanooga achieved its first significant production milestone of 2012 the first week of February- completion of its 50,000th Passat. “An incredible amount of care goes into each vehicle we produce in Chattanooga,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and Chair of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “Producing 50,000 cars at this level of quality is a huge accomplishment for

our team.” The vehicle was a fully-loaded white 2.5 liter, 170 horsepower Passat SE. The 50,000 vehicles include US customer deliveries as well as pre-series cars, technical training cars, dealer experience cars and exported cars to Mexico and Canada. The Volkswagen Chattanooga team celebrated completion of the first

customer car on April 18, 2011 and the plant officially opened on May 24, 2011. 2012 marks the first full calendar year of factory production at the Chattanooga plant. Volkswagen announced that an additional 200 jobs would be created at its Chattanooga, Tennessee manufacturing facility in addition to the 2,500 person workforce it currently employs. n

I-CAR and Assured Performance Network Collaborate on New Road To Gold™ Program I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, has announced it is collaborating with the Assured Performance Network in the development of the Road to Gold™ program, a new dedicated planned approach to achieving the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals® designation for their network of 3000+ collision repair shops. Organizations that enroll in the Road to Gold™ program commit to earning the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals® business designation, which is a requirement for earning the Assured Performance Certification. The Gold Class designa-

tion is the highest training recognition available to businesses in the collision repair industry. Other businesses that have been recognized as Gold Class have reported less rework, retained customer satisfaction, and improved overall operational efficiencies. “For our Assured Performance Certification, the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals® designation is essential to ensuring the shop has the training that is in accordance with industry repair standards.” Scott Biggs, CEO of Assured Performance, explained. “With this new Road to Gold™ program, our members

can enroll with a clear objective –Gold Class status, and get a plan to achieve and maintain it.” “I-CAR commends Assured Performance Network for its commitment to training. The inherit value delivered through the I-CAR® Professional Development Program™ and the Gold Class designation will provide Assured Performance Network member shops with the training needed to perform safe repairs and retain vehicle integrity post-repair,” said Jeff Peevy, I-CAR Senior Director of Field Operations and Segment Development. n

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ASA Announces Dates, Location for 2012 Annual Business Meeting The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has announced it will hold its next annual business meeting May 7-8 at the Grand Hyatt DFW International Airport, located at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in North Texas. On the agenda will be open meetings of the ASA affiliate assembly and board of directors. Ron Pyle,

ASA president and chief staff executive, will deliver a state-of-the-association address during a Tuesday luncheon, and a new chairman of the ASA board of directors will be sworn in during the event. In addition, ASA will again host an Association Leadership Summit event, following up from previous sessions held during ASRW|NACE|CARS 2010 and 2011,

The Weather Channel Companies (TWCC) will feature vehicle care and maintenance content from the Car Care Council on, its popular online weather news and information site. A top-20 website, and the digital properties of The Weather Channel reach 62 million web consumers each month. The Car Care Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating consumers about the benefits of vehicle care, maintenance and repair, has partnered with to provide

selected tips and advice for motorists with links back to the new council website, With 1 million unique web consumers daily, TWCC has the sixth largest website in the United States. “We continue to look at how to improve the user experience on, and that includes offering the best content about how weather affects daily life,” said Michael Finnerty, vice president, for The Weather Channel Companies. “This content gives our consumers valuable information as

and ASA’s annual business meeting last year. All ASA members are invited to attend the open meetings during the event. Check out the Events section of for the latest developments. Additional information about the event, including registration information, will be announced soon.n

The Weather Channel and Car Care Council Collaborate on Content for Motorists

part of our WeatherReady section to encourage safety preparation for a wide variety of severe weather conditions.” The site includes both videos and articles about auto safety from the Car Care Council, available from Consumers will find information and advice regarding topics such as car maintenance, safe driving and the effects different seasonal weather has on your car. Weather Channel Turn to Page 3

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April 2012

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I-CAR Launches New Course on High-strength Steel Repairs provide insights that are relevant to all I-CAR, the premier collision repair (MIG) welding, MIG brazing, and rivetcollision repair technicians,” stated Jason ing. training organization, has launched a Bartanen, I-CAR Technical Director. “As an increased number of mannew course on best practices for repairBest Practices for High-Strength ufacturers build vehicles with signifiing high-strength steel (HSS) and Steel Repairs (SPS09) fulfills New cant amounts of HSS and UHSS, the ultra high-strength steel (UHSS). Best Technology training requirements need to understand repair methodoloPractices for High-Strength Steel Repairs for the Steel Structural (SPS09) will provide colTechnician, Aluminum lision industry profesStructural Technician, sionals with information Best Practices for High-Strength Steel Non-Structural Technician, on proper repair proceEstimator, and Auto dures designed to help Repairs will provide information on Physical Damage Appraiser ensure five-star crash ratings are not comproproper repair procedures designed to help roles within the I-CAR® Professional Development mised during the repair ensure five-star crash ratings are not Program™. Individuals process. in the Steel Structural The newly introcompromised during the repair process Technician role who have duced course includes already fulfilled their New information on collision Technology training requirements in Igies becomes even more critical to safe repair topics and procedures such as CAR ProLevel 1® may take Best Practices and complete repairs. This course will identification, properties, drilling, cutfor High-Strength Steel Repairs (SPS09) impact new technicians and veterans ting, straightening, and pulling of the and apply earned credit toward their Inew high-strength steels. Other topalike. With HSS and UHSS evolving so CAR ProLevel 3® training requirements. ics in the course include squeeze-type quickly and becoming a mainstay in n resistance spot welding (STRSW), GMA vehicle composition, this course will

n e p

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Southern Automotive Journal

April 2012

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2012 NADA Chairman Empnasizes Commitment to Fuel Economy Debate In his first speech as chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), William P. Underriner said now is the right time to raise questions about the federal government’s fuel economy proposal of . miles per gallon by 202, which threatens to price millions of Americans out of the market. “NADA is asking tough questions about this proposed rule. And so far the government hasn’t provided any answers,” said Underriner, a multi-franchise dealer from Billings, Mont. “We want a full and fair public debate on the underlying assumptions of this rule. And we simply don’t understand the rush.” Underriner took the helm of NADA in February at its annual Convention and Expo in Las Vegas. “Let’s not forget that new, aggressive fuel economy regulations went into effect just last year,” Underriner added. “We need to see how the market responds to that first phase before rushing to the second phase.” Underriner said NADA and its dealer members have been advocating on behalf of consumers for vehicle affordability since the association’s birth in 1917, when 30 auto dealers traveled to Washington to convince Congress not to impose a luxury tax on automobiles. “As they knew then and we all know now … automobiles are not a luxury,” Underriner said. “They are a necessity of American life. “After 9 years, we are still fighting to keep the automobile affordable for the average American.” By the Environmental Protection Agency’s own estimate, the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements for model years 202 and beyond will add more than $3,000 to the cost of a new vehicle, Underriner said. And while NADA “has long supported fuel economy improvements,” Underriner said the association continues to ask tough questions about how the rules will affect consumer choice and affordability. “We are fighting for sound public policy,” Underriner said, “not policy based on wishful thinking or ‘happy

talk’ or public opinion polls.” Underriner also spoke about NADA’s long-range planning efforts, including its review of almost every aspect of the annual convention, streamlining communications with members and use of social media. As NADA vice-chairman in 2011, Underriner launched an initiative to get more “next generation” dealers involved in the association by appointing a NextGen member to each of NADA’s major operating committees, includ-

ing Convention, Dealership Operations, Industry Relations, Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs and Public Affairs. “It’s no secret that the next generation communicates differently, and we are adapting,” he said. “We’re active on a variety of social media. We are keeping in touch with them and getting them involved.” Underriner replaces 2011 NADA Chairman Stephen W. Wade, whose term ended in February.n

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April 2012

Southern Automotive Journal


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Optima Hybrid From Page 13 over non-hybrid models. Every 2012 Optima Hybrid comes well equipped with numerous standard features, including hybrid-specific lightweight 16-inch alloy wheels, SX triminspired front and rear lower bumpers and side sills, unique LED tail light design, rear lip spoiler, single hidden exhaust tip, and a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that plays a pre-recorded engine sound during electric-only operation up

to 12 miles per hour to help notify people outside the vehicle that it is approaching. High-tech and Modern Interior Like all Optima models, the Optima Hybrid offers sleek modern lines and numerous well-positioned features inside the cabin and exudes a sporty, yet efficient layout designed with the eco-conscious driver in

mind. From the instrument panel that's contoured toward the driver to create a cockpit-like feel to the precise gauges and engaging technology, the Optima Hybrid's interior provides a unique driver-centric experience without sacrificing passenger comfort or roominess. T h e O p ti m a H y b r i d adds to the extensive list of stan-

dard convenience features and stylish appointm e n t s found on the wellequipped Optima LX A/T trim, with equipment including an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat, electric dual zone automatic temperature control, pushbutton start with Smart Key, Supervision meter cluster with unique LCD display for hybrid information, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and fixed rear seats with ski passthrough, a

feature not found on most hybrid midsize sedan competitors. The Optima Hybrid's air conditioning system uses an electric compressor allowing cool air to flow even with the engine off in "idlestop" mode. Building on a Dynamic Platform The Optima's distinctive style and sporting demeanor is evident from its sheet metal down to its platform. Optima's low, aerodynamic and powerful stance is assisted through its overall length of 190.7 – an increase of 1.7 inches over the previous generation model – overall width of 72.1 inches and wheelbase of 110 inches and has a low ground clearance of 5.1 inches. The midsize sedan's lightweight design uses high-tensilestrength steel to enhance structural strength while also achieving high torsional stiffness, benefiting handling, ride quality and refinement. Additional measures to help improve noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction qualities are fitted throughout the Optima. The Optima Hybrid enhances the existing platform with features designed to reduce weight and improve efficiency. Lighter and more aerodynamic 16and 17-inch alloy wheels are utilized to reduce weight and drag while low-rolling-resistance tires are used to lower the amount of friction generated when driving, which decreases fuel consumption. The extensive use of aluminum instead of steel for the lower front and rear control arms, tie rod ends, and rear knuckles

Optima's standard convenience features include Supervision meter cluster with unique LCD display for hybrid information. helps contribute to the weight reduction of the Optima Hybrid. Built on a unibody frame, the front-wheel-drive Optima Hybrid utilizes independent front and rear suspension systems. MacPherson struts are used in the front with a multi-link layout in the rear and are both joined with coil springs and front anti-roll bars to engage drivers with responsive handling and provide the utmost comfort whether the road is smooth or less than ideal.n

April 2012

Southern Automotive Journal


LEED From Page 12 plexity of the manufacturing process and the challenge of getting them certified. VW’s sustainably designed paint shop will save more than 0 million gallons of water a year. • The construction team salvaged or recycled nearly 78 percent (,602 ons) of construction and demolition waste. • 8 percent of total building materials were manufactured using recycled materials. • Through low-flow water closets and urinals, the plant achieves a 8 percent reduction in potable water used Consumer Reports From Page 7 staffer got to see Ford’s Intelligent Intersection in Dearborn, Mich, and how vehicles communicate with traffic signals as well as other vehicles. Overall, they both came away impressed with the effectiveness and potential safety benefits of the systems. Weather Channel From Page 29 “The partnership between and the Car Care Council is a true win-win opportunity,” said Rich White,

for sewage conveyance. Additionally, the plant harvests rainwater from its roof that is collected for use in the sanitary waste system. Together, these strategies save 1.7 million gallons of potable water each year. Low-flow showers, lavatory and kitchen faucets further decrease potable water usage, resulting in total savings of more than 3 million gallons of potable water each year. • A white, reflective roofing material was installed on 100 percent of theroof area of the building, which reflects heat, lowering cooling costs and saving energy. • All exterior lights at the facility provide only the minimum lighting required for safety to ensure that light

does not spill into the night sky, adversely affecting the surrounding nocturnal environments through excessive glare. • Measures to promote environmentally friendly commutes include the provision of bike racks for visitors and employees, availability of showers and lockers for employee use and preferred parking for those driving low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles and for those who carpool to the site. The Volkswagen Academy was also certified by USGBC as a LEED Platinum facility earning  points of out 69 possible and received this designation in November. The Volkswagen Academy is used to train new employees for work at the plant.n

Implementing V2X or connectedvehicle technology on a mass scale is still several years away, and it will need to address concerns about privacy and cyber security to be accepted by the public. While such systems will be more effective when the majority of the vehicle fleet is so-equipped, experts say benefits can be seen even with low

levels of penetration. “These systems are being aggressively developed because they could be the next big safety breakthrough,” said Rik Paul, automotive editor, Consumer Reports. “But adequate oversight of how the information is used is essential to ensure the privacy of drivers and to prevent abuse.”n

Car Care Council executive director. “The council will provide credible third-party information for visitors to seeking tips and advice about how to prepare for a variety of weather driving

conditions. In return, the council will position its messages on behalf of the aftermarket on one of the busiest websites in the country and increase its own website traffic.” n

MITSUBISHI Call Us For All Your Mitsubishi Parts Needs


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Southern Automotive Journal

Wayne Brookshire

April 2012


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Photos are for illustrative purposes only and are based upon the latest information available. European vehicles or product may be shown. Vehicles may also be pictured with non-US or optional equipment. We make reasonable efforts to provide accurate information but we do not provide a warranty of accuracy. Consult your authorized BMW center or for more information. ©2005 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name and logo are registered trademarks. All rights reserved.

ORIGINAL MINI PARTS: POWER HARNESSED FOR THE GOOD OF MOTORINGKIND. While much about the MINI’s boundless energy remains a mystery, some of its vigor can be traced to Original MINI Parts. Built to strict OE specifications for stellar fitment and performance, MINI Original Parts are the same parts used in MINI production. They’re backed by a potent, 24-month, gajillion-mile limited warranty. And they come with technical support available from your servicing MINI dealer. Now that’s a powerful combination, indeed.

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Southern Automotive Journal April 2012 Issue  

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