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Toyota Avalon

June 2017

COLLISION NEWS Auto Care Careers Offers On-Campus Recruiting Opportunities

Nissan Vmotion 2.0 - an Exciting New Concept for Tomorrow's Busy Professionals

I-CAR® Offers New Online Cycle Time Course For Appraisers ASA Releases Official Position Statement on Vehicle Scanning State Farm To Require I-CARApproved Steel, Aluminum Welding Technicians PARTS Act Reintroduced in Congress

DEALER NEWS FCA US Recruits 50 Schools to Train Next Generation of Dealership Service Technicians Honda Odyssey Minivan Begins Mass Production in Alabama

Earlier this year, Nissan revealed Vmotion 2.0, a new concept vehicle that signals the company’s future sedan design direction and Intelligent Mobility technology. It combines a high sense of style, emotional design, roominess, comfort and technology to make the mobility experience seamless for busy professionals constantly on the go. The vehicle was revealed during a press

conference at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Nissan Vmotion 2.0 is the evolution of the “V-motion” front design signature seen on many of today’s Nissan products, such as the Murano mid-size crossover and Maxima 4-door sports car. Vmotion 2.0 Please Turn to Page 4

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Vmotion From Front Cover

Vmotion 2.0 takes the design a step further by forming an intelligent threedimensional shape to create the volume and architecture of the vehicle. In this concept, the V-motion grille becomes the main fuselage, allowing for extremely sharp yet expressive surface language, accented by crisp character lines that resonate throughout the body. Providing hints at the future of “Nissan Intelligent Mobility” – Nissan’s roadmap to achieve zero emissions and zero fatalities – the lighting around the front Nissan emblem glows to indicate when the vehicle is in ProPILOT mode, which is envisioned to provide autonomous driving support technology on urban roads and at intersections. Wrap-around rear glass and the floating C-pillar also provide an impression of intelligent and efficient aerodynamics. The car’s silhouette is characterized by a “floating roof,” with a line flowing seamlessly from the steeply-raked A-pillars to the trunk lip. A unique carbon finisher with thin silver threads accents the roof line. An extended wheelbase shows off the car’s generous cabin, while the distinctive body surface is defined by Nissan’s “Emotional Geometry” design language. The rear of the vehicle exudes class and strength. The signature boomerang4

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s t y l e taillights emphasize the width of the vehicle. Similar to the grille, the rear diffuser glows when the car operates in ProPILOT mode. The dynamic high-tension body is crafted in a warm silver paint with copper undertones. With a layered effect for the paint finish, a glimpse of the body at different angles reveals a subtle but different hue. “Copper is an emerging color trend in many industries, including fashion, product design and interior design. We wanted to introduce shades and hints of copper while mixing it with other metals such as satin silver and chrome,” said Shiro Nakamura, senior June 2017

vice president and chief creative officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. The front and rear doors swing outward, creating a large pillar-less open space that invites stepping into Nissan Vmotion 2.0’s spacious cabin. The dashboard continues the “Gliding Wing” design theme, which integrates the instrument panel and infotainment system for both the driver and passenger. The single continuous horizontal display integrates the ProPILOT graphic user interface (GUI). For rear-seat passengers, the center console features a smaller screen, which can serve as an extension of the main display.

Vmotion 2.0 provides hints at the future of “Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” including a future vision for ProPILOT functionality, one which allows autonomous driving on urban roads and in intersections. Seats are comfortable and supportive, upholstered in supple leather with a unique threadless quilting on the inserts that gives the look of an exquisite handbag. The steering wheel is designed to allow the driver and passenger to clearly see all the display infotainment without any interruption, enhancing a seamless GUI experience. Thanks to its unique design, the cabin provides the driver and passenger supreme comfort when the car is in ProPILOT mode. The center console’s simple layout includes a multi-functional touchpad to operate the infotainment system. The surface materials throughout the interior

vey luxury and sophistication, including natural Zebra Wood applied on the floor and on the inner doors. The innovative Bose UltraNearfield™ Speakers including new sound management technology is available for Vmotion2.0. This technology increases situational awareness for drivers. It can control the direction and distance of sound to generate a 360-degree sound field around a driver, delivering different sounds clearly and simultaneously. Nissan Vmotion 2.0 features Nissan Intelligent Driving, one of three core June 2017

elements of Nissan Intelligent Mobility. Nissan Intelligent Driving helps provide a safe and comfortable driving experience through technology such as ProPILOT, which is envisioned to ultimately allow the vehicle to drive in autonomous mode – not just on the highway and in heavy traffic conditions – but also on urban roads with intersections.n Southern Automotive Journal


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ASA Releases Official Position Statement on Vehicle Scanning The need for pre- and post-repair vehicle scanning, as a normal part of the repair process, is a topic of significant discussion within the collision repair industry. This discussion has been explored and evaluated by the Automotive Service Association’s (ASA) Collision Operations Committee, which has announced the following position statement on the issue: “The Automotive Service Association supports the electronic scanning of all vehicles prior to and after collision repairs are completed in order to ensure that all potential damage has been identified to achieve a safe and complete repair. ASA will maintain this position until such time as the vehicle manufacturers identify the specific years, makes, models and scenarios where such scanning is not necessary.”

Scott Benavidez, AAM, director of ASA’s Collision Operations Committee, said about the new statement, “ASA’s position on pre- and post-repair vehicle scanning is consistent with similar positions issued by General Motors, Audi, Honda, FCA (Chrysler), Toyota, Nissan and the Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI).” Dan Risley, ASA president/executive director, added, “ASA also supports full disclosure and a customer’s written acknowledgement of the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) identified by the scans, along with documenting and informing the customer of other issues with the vehicle that are not related to the accident, but where a DTC is present.” In addition to announcing its official position statement, ASA unveiled

“The Automotive Service Association supports the electronic scanning of all vehicles prior to and after collision repairs are completed in order to ensure that all potential damage has been identified to achieve a safe and complete repair." a dedicated landing page on its website that lists all of the OEM Position Statements in one location to serve as an industry resource.n

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

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State Farm To Require I-CAR-Approved Steel, Aluminum Welding Technicians State Farm will require between one and two technicians at every Select Service auto body shop to have passed I-CAR’s aluminum and steel welding program by March 2018, it announced Thursday. I-CAR’s “Steel MIG Welding” (WCS03) and “Steel Sectioning” (SPS05) courses must be passed by Dec. 31, and “Aluminum MIG Welding” (WCA03) must be finished by March 31, 2018. I-CAR will cut State Farm shops a break on pricing, according to an I-CAR webpage describing the changes. “Facilities with 10 technicians or less will be required to have at least one technician complete the training to maintain their certification, while facilities with 11 or more technicians will be required to have at least two techni-

cians complete the training,” State Farm wrote Thursday. Various combination of other OEMs’ courses (Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes and Toyota) and one from welding training firm Lew Kinney will also satisfy this requirement. A multi-store operation which only performs aluminum repairs at specific facilities in its chain (“load leveling”) will only need to meet the aluminum training requirement at those shops, according to State Farm. “State Farm believes it’s important for Select Service Program network members to have ongoing collision repair education,” State Farm senior media specialist Justin Tomczak said in a statement. “I-CAR’s programs, including the Welding Training &

Certification, are widely recognized as the industry standard for training. We selected I-CAR since it has the largest network of instructors to deliver training and because of the financial benefit it provides our network facilities. This effort will further strengthen our repair network’s integrity, efficiency and dedication to our customers.” The shops might have to buy some new equipment if they haven’t already. I-CAR says it checks welding students’ shops to ensure they have the correct gear. “The program begins with the Welding Capability & Readiness Assessment of the facility’s gear, equipment and infrastructure (Phase 1),” I-CAR State Farm Please Turn to Page 19

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June 2017

CCC Doesn’t Expect Competitive Benefit From Seeing Secure Share B2B Relationships CCC said the volume of collision repair-related messages which will pass through its new Secure Share system wouldn’t give it an unfair informational edge over competitors for its ancillary products. Besides its core estimating service product, CCC also sells shop management, parts procurement and customer

service management tools — just like the vendors which will be using Secure Share to receive estimate data from CCC’s thousands of users. CCC will be in a position to see which shops are doing business with which rivals. Under the obsolete CIECA Estimate Management Standard CCC plans to cease using in 2018, the estimating ser-

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vice sends repairers EMS files filled with all the estimate details. The shops in turns send these files to business partners who need elements of that estimate by manually uploading the file online or by having it sucked up through “data pumps” installed on individual shop computers. Vendors with data pumps can indiscriminately vacuum up all EMS files — including ones for repairs in which they have no involvement — and all information within those files, not just the part of the message relevant to their industry. This raises tremendous customer and business privacy concerns. Under CIECA’s Business Message Suite standard, a shop can send specific elements of the estimate to a specific party. Any shop and vendor with sufficient IT resources could adopt this method now, but for whatever reason and to CIECA’s dismay, many don’t. CCC has created Secure Share, which went live April 4, to manage the process for the BMS holdouts and force the end of EMS. It allows shops to designate various participant companies to receive particular germane data from estimates but conceal the rest, and it will encrypt the data as well. There’s obvious advantages for shops to using the BMS standard instead of clinging to EMS and in delegating the back end of this data exchange to CCC. However, Secure Share also seems to put CCC in a position to glean business-relationship and market-share data about its non-IP rivals by tracking how much of its dominant shop user base has interest in or sends data to those competitors. EMS recipients had been configurable in CCC, but whether or not many of what CCC says is 19,000 Secure Share user shops actually took that step is debatable. CCC might only have known which repairers weren’t using its ancillary services — not with whom the shops were actually conducting business. Under Secure Share, CCC can track which collision repairers are doing business with specific competitors to its own products. Based on CCC’s size — CCC Please Turn to Page 22

June 2017

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Long Live The Roadster: 28 Years and Beyond 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF

The roadster is a simple concept: A pure, lightweight convertible sports car that brings joy on even the shortest jaunts down the road. The roadster is a car that makes driving an occasion — from a moment of serenity alongside the ocean to just a grocery run — rather than just a chore. It is 2,332 lbs. of bliss constructed from steel, aluminum, plastic, leather and rubber. And, in driving MX-5 through winding roads, with the wind rushing by as you shift at redline, you could swear that those materials, when combined into making MX-5 Miata, have a soul. The sense of romance embodied in the MX-5 is exactly why it continues to be the world’s best-selling roadster. Its agility and poise are why more than 5,000 MX-5s are currently raced throughout the world—more than any other car—and why more than 120 fourth-generation MX-5 Global Cup racecars have already been sold, competing in its one-make Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires racing series as well as the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge with a newly available hardtop that is exclusive to the MX-5 racecars.

The 2017 MX-5-RF has had to adapt, adopting SKYACTIV Technology to make it faster and more ef cient and KODO—Soul of Motion design for its striking looks.

SO WHAT IS AN MX-5 MIATA? It’s a daily driver, a weekend toy and a multiple-time championship-winning race car, alike. Lightweight, nimble and fun to drive, the fourth-generation MX-5 draws inspiration from MX-5s that came before it, pairing the driver as one

with the car – in Japanese, it’s loosely translated as “Jinba Ittai.” But it also carves a path that is thoroughly modern and uncharted for Mazda’s flagship roadster. While the purity philosophy behind MX-5 has remained through the years, the 2017 MX-5 has


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June 2017

had to adapt, adopting SK YAC TIV Technology to make it faster and more ef cient and KODO— Soul of Motion design for its striking looks. It is no wonder, then, that MX-5 continues to exist in its own class. Competitors— often called “Miata Fighters”—have come and gone through the years, yet MX-5 endures. It sets the pace for the entire Mazda brand for spirited dynamics and innovation.

AN OPEN-TOP SPORTS CAR FOR ALL DRIVERS MX-5 was designed around its driver, with a thought given to even the slightest details as part of Mazda’s humancentric driving position. Pedals have been optimized to fall in-line with the natural movement of the driver’s feet for greater comfort. The hood has been lowered, the windshield A-pillars pushed back and made more upright for greater visibility and the exterior paint color has been brought into the door panels – all to provide a greater sensation of the world outside of the car. Passengers have also been positioned inset to feel in-line with the center of the vehicle. All of this has been done for Jinba Ittai, elevating the driving experience in connecting the driver with the vehicle. With driver-centric ergonomics and a redesigned cockpit layout, an even greater number of drivers will be able to MX-5 Please Turn to Page 24



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FCA US Recruits 50 Schools to Train Next Generation of Dealership Service Technicians FCA US LLC has recruited 50 technical training schools from across the country to train the next generation of automotive service technicians for its U.S. dealerships. Through its program – Mopar CAP (Career Automotive Program) LOCAL – FCA US will continue to grow this network of schools in the U.S. Ultimately, FCA US would like to have more than 100 certified training sites across the country to help its dealerships combat the industry shortage of service technicians. "We envision that the majority of our dealerships will be located within roughly an hour's drive from the nearest certified-training facility," said John Fox, Director of the FCA Performance Institute. "So far, FCA US has successfully enlisted 50 local community colleges, technical colleges and vocational schools that are training the next generation of highly skilled dealership service technicians." FCA US established Mopar CAP LOCAL in July 2015 in partnership with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) of Kenosha, Wisconsin. "When FCA launched Mopar CAP LOCAL in 2015, we estimated that we had roughly 5,000 technical job openings in our dealerships," Fox said. "As we continue to expand our network of training sites, we are helping our dealers to staff their service bays with technicians that already have the knowledge and the experience to hit the ground running when they are hired." Mopar CAP LOCAL prepares tech-

nicians to work as Level 1 Certified Technicians upon graduation from a NC3 certified two-year training institution. NC3 certifies each Mopar CAP LOCAL school to ensure they meet the stringent requirements necessary for success. In as little as 24 months, students can earn a two-year associate's degree in Automotive Technology or equivalent. Mopar CAP LOCAL graduates are qualified to handle a variety of customer pay and warranty work for FCA US dealerships. "Mopar CAP LOCAL is one of the most forward thinking technician training programs in the country," said Patrick Hart, Executive Director, New York Automotive & Diesel Institute in Jamaica, N.Y. "Incorporating Level 0 and Level 1 training into high-quality, entry-level training will produce a highly skilled workforce now and for years to come. This should be the training model all manufacturers in all industries use." Mopar CAP LOCAL is an extension of FCA's traditional Mopar CAP program that has been training service technicians to work in Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and Ram dealerships since 1984. The traditional Mopar CAP has 31 colleges training service technicians primarily in metropolitan areas of the country. The new Mopar CAP LOCAL program is enlisting schools in secondary and rural markets as well. The 50 training sites enrolled so far by Mopar CAP LOCAL are elated to be part of the burgeoning network. "The Mopar CAP LOCAL program

has been a great way to infuse OEM training into our General Service automotive classes," said Matthew Janisin, Instructor and NC3 coordinator at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. "This way, students are better prepared technicians regardless of choosing a dealership or independent shop. The ease of integrating the Mopar CAP LOCAL curriculum into an existing general service automotive program makes it an all-around win for the college, FCA, local dealers and most importantly students." In addition to the Mopar CAP and Mopar CAP LOCAL technician training programs, FCA US has a variety of programs in play to attract, train and retain service technicians, as well as other dealership employees. For example, in conjunction with Strayer University, FCA US launched its Degrees@Work program in 2015 that enables a dealership service technician (or any other dealership employee) and their immediate family members to earn a noexpense college degree while employed by participating dealerships. FCA US also has introduced a technician-exemption policy that allows technicians to work one level above their certification if the technician is in training for the next certification level; launched its Mopar Top Tech program to recognize its top-performing, elite technicians at FCA US dealerships, and partnered with Snap-On Inc. to equip students in training with the necessary tools of the trade at a significant discount.n

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I-CAR® Welding Training & Certification™ Now Required For State Farm™ Select Service® Repairers I-CAR®’s Welding Training & Certification™ Program is now a requirement as a participant in the State Farm™ Select Service® program. Through inshop instruction on welding theory, hands-on practice and coaching, then uniform certification testing, I-CAR will equip technicians with the necessary information, knowledge and skills to perform proper welding. “With vehicles rapidly changing – featuring new advanced technologies and material combinations – it is crucial that we address the growing repair complexities our industry is facing,” said I-CAR CEO and President John Van Alstyne. “Estimates show approximately sixty-nine percent of technicians who weld in collision repair facilities today still lack formal welding training. I-CAR commends State Farm’s commitment to quality repairs and its recognition of I-CAR’s Welding & Training Certification program as the industry standard for quality welding training.” “State Farm believes it’s important for Select Service program network members to have ongoing collision repair education,” said State Farm

Media Specialist Justin Tomczak. “We selected I-CAR since it has the largest network of instructors to deliver training and because of the financial benefit it provides our network facilities. This partnership will further strengthen our repair network’s integrity, efficiency and dedication to our customers.” As a result of the State Farm commitment, Select Service network members will be eligible for I-CAR’s Pro Pricing program, which provides a 10 percent discount on the required training programs. As an added benefit, when more than the minimum required number of technicians at a Select Service facility register, attend, and become certified in an I-CAR welding event, each of those certified technicians will receive complimentary access to I-CAR’s Vehicle Technology and Trends 2017 (VT017E01) online course upon certification. Repairers in the State Farm Select Service network are required to complete three Welding Training & Certification programs, each consisting of a four-phase process. The program begins with the Welding Capability & Readiness Assessment of the facil-

ity’s gear, equipment and infrastructure (Phase 1). Each program includes in-shop instruction on welding theory (Phase 2), followed by a skills assessment, then intensive hands-on practice with coaching as appropriate (Phase 3). Students are then required to pass a formal welding certification test to I-CAR standards (Phase 4). Facilities with 10 technicians or less will be required to have at least one technician complete the three programs to maintain their certification, while facilities with 11 or more technicians will be required to have at least two technicians complete the three programs. I-CAR Welding Training & Certification requirement deadlines, as defined by State Farm for Select Service participants, include: Completion of Steel GMA (MIG) Welding (WCS03) and Steel Sectioning (SPS05) by the end of 2017. Completion of Aluminum GMA (MIG) Welding (WCA03) completed by March 31, 2018. For more information and to register, visit selectservicewelding.n


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Toyota Avalon: Premium Driving Without The Premium Price The Avalon was a unique midsize offering when it debuted more than 20 years ago, bringing class-above roominess and comfort to the segment.

The Avalon was a unique midsize offering when it debuted more than 20 years ago, bringing class-above roominess and comfort to the segment. The Avalon remains unique in its segment for 2017 with the choice of powerful V6 or hybrid powertrains. The Avalon’s 3.5-liter, DOHC V6 with Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm. Teamed with a 6-speed automatic transmission, the V6 impresses with both its acceleration and its EPA-rated 24 MPG combined fuel economy (21 city/30 highway). If the V6 gives the Avalon the heart of a sport sedan, the steering-wheelmounted paddle shifters and choice of Eco, Normal and Sport driving modes confirm the connection. Selecting Sport mode yields quicker throttle response and enhanced electric power steering feel, and raises transmission shift points. On downshifts, it “blips” the throttle,

as the driver of a stick-shift sports car would. Selecting Eco Mode prioritizes fuel efficiency by balancing driving performance, air conditioning function and fuel efficiency. Normal mode gives the best balance of everyday performance and comfort. The 40-MPG Premium Hybrid With two decades of global hybrid leadership behind it, Toyota naturally makes this high-efficiency technology available in its flagship sedan. In the Avalon Hybrid, the company’s renowned Hybrid Synergy Drive system combines output from a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and a high-torque electric motor. The resulting combined 200 horsepower moves the Avalon Hybrid with verve, yet in a markedly seamless and quiet manner. The hybrid system can switch between the gas engine and electric motor, or combine output from both, channeling torque through a unique June 2017

planetary gear-type continuously variable transmission. An EV Drive mode enables the Avalon Hybrid to drive solely on the electric motor for a short distance at speeds under about 20 mph. Augmenting the conventional brake system, regenerative braking produced by the electric motor/generator in the transaxle captures the kinetic energy of the wheels, storing it in the hybrid battery. That kind of hybrid intelligence, pioneered by Toyota, permeates the vehicle. For example, because the air conditioning and power steering systems are driven electrically, both continue to operate normally when the car is operating under electric power alone or when the auto start/stop system shuts off the gas engine. The 3.5-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) color multi-information display includes a Hybrid System Indicator, which shows power output and regeneration. With the compact nickel-metalAvalon Please Turn to Page 27 Southern Automotive Journal


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State Farm From Page 8 wrote in a news release Thursday. “Each program includes in-shop instruction on welding theory (Phase 2), followed by a skills assessment, then intensive hands-on practice with coaching as appropriate (Phase 3). Students are then required to pass a formal welding certification test to I-CAR standards (Phase 4).” To some degree, that should help State Farm ensure its shops are staying current on equipment — a sort of indirect DRP audit. “State Farm Select Service repairers who participate in I-CAR’s Welding Training & Certification Program will also benefit from an assessment of facility infrastructure and equipment,” State Farm wrote Thursday. “This includes coaching and troubleshooting to ensure readiness for a successful training event. Once a facility passes the assessment, students will receive personal instruction, practice on the equipment they use in-shop every day and evaluate their skills through a cer-

tification test.” I-CAR in February reported a 60 percent increase in its welding students and 71.6 percent more “welding events” in 2016. A year prior, the organization warned the industry that 69 percent of technicians lack any I-CAR welding certification, even on steel — a statistic I-CAR President and CEO John Van Alstyne repeated Thursday. “With vehicles rapidly changing – featuring new advanced technologies and material combinations – it is crucial that we address the growing repair complexities our industry is facing,” John Van Alstyne said in a statement Thursday. “Estimates show approximately sixty-nine percent of technicians who weld in collision repair facilities today still lack formal welding training. I-CAR commends State Farm’s commitment to quality repairs and its recognition of I-CAR’s Welding & Training Certification program as the industry standard for quality welding training.” State Farm shops can register at “We commend State Farm for

June 2017

taking the bold step to require welding training for its vast repair network, especially given the growing repair complexity in today’s vehicles that feature different materials and advanced technologies,” Van Alstyne said in another statement Thursday. “State Farm’s investment in ongoing collision repair training can yield improved work quality, efficiency and customer satisfaction.” While an important step toward ensuring the nation’s No. 1 auto insurer will refer customers to shops that know how to properly weld a vehicle, the State Farm-I-CAR program raises questions for the carrier and its direct repair program shops, as well for I-CAR. For State Farm: How many existing in-network shops meet these qualifications today, and will State Farm only refer business to those locations or similarly qualified non-DRP repairers until the other netState Farm Please Turn to Page 20

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State Farm From Page 19 work shops meet the new criteria? Is one or two trained technicians per location enough from a practical basis to ensure customers are getting what they need? This seems as though it would create a cycle-time-killing backlog if the spirit of the mandate — no unvetted staff weld vehicles — is followed. What happens if these technicians leave for another shop? Is the shop required to notify State Farm and refuse referrals? How does State Farm (and its customers) ensure that only the I-CARvetted technicians weld customer vehicles? What took them so long to require this, given a promise to send customers to shops which will provide “Quality, professional repairs?” “State Farm made this requirement change so that more of the industry, and ultimately every technician, has

To l l Fr e e

the knowledge and skills to perform proper welds,” I-CAR wrote in an FAQ. Asked these questions, Tomczak provided the following statement: “Repair facilities participating in our program should work directly with their State Farm contacts to address any questions.” State Farm could have used its influence to set the industry bar even higher — more I-CAR-graded welding staff, or a tech with European OEM welding certification to boot. But at the end of the day, it is of course the collision repairer’s responsibility to be properly trained and equipped to repair any vehicle they accept — regardless of the baseline requirements set by a carrier or even an OEM network. (After all, nothing prevents a shop from training all of its welders; I-CAR will even throw in a free “Vehicle Technology and Trends 2017” course if a State Farm shop trains more than the minimum.) If State Farm puts checks in place to uphold the spirit of the welding



requirement — nobody without I-CAR approval welds a State Farm car — then shops who don’t train more staff will likely blow cycle time and get dropped from Select Service. It would indirectly raise the bar. Besides, in all fairness, if the state of industry welding ability tested by a third party is as bad as I-CAR indicates, then it seems like State Farm’s actually ahead of the (rather sorry) curve. We asked I-CAR Thursday afternoon for a sense of how many carriers have similar requirements regarding welding or other I-CAR training, and how what State Farm is proposing stacks up to other shops industrywide. We also asked if the educational organization would cut similar deals with other carriers, or if the discount was exclusive to State Farm. In either case, would such relationships and guaranteed student volume raise a conflict of interest — would I-CAR grade such insurer candidates easier to avoid losing the business.n





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I-CAR® Offers New Online Cycle Time Course For Appraisers In today’s business environment, efficiency is essential to bottom-line performance, and reducing cycle time is one of the most powerful ways to increase efficiency in a collision repair facility. I-CAR has launched a new online course on the topic specifically focused for auto physical damage appraisers (APDAs). The course, Understanding Cycle Time as an Appraiser (AP055E01), was designed specifically to provide APDAs with an understanding of cycle time as it relates to the collision damage repair

process. The development of this course is part of I-CAR’s new approach to place an even greater emphasis on the perspective of each course’s intended audiences. In this case, the course was created with an additional focus on the specific needs of APDAs. Conveniently offered in a one hour, online format, the course will help the APDA identify how to measure cycle time, identify waste in the repair process, and learn how standard operating

procedures can be used to create a consistently high-quality repair process. The course also presents APDAs with a basic understanding of repair blueprinting and 100 percent teardown, both of which can be beneficial for improving cycle time, as well as information on supplements and their impact on cycle time. For more information on Understanding Cycle Time as an Appraiser (AP055E01), visit or call (800) ICAR-USA.n

CCC From Page 9

fingertips,” she wrote in an email. “So of course CCC ONE configurations related to CCC Secure Share will reflect the intended destination for data, but there may be multiple destinations for a given BMS workfile and how the customer ultimately transacts with a third party app is not known by CCC. Data security is key to CCC and its customers and requires transactional security logs, so CCC does have exposure to BMS workfile transaction volume, in part anyway. Keep in mind, CCC Secure Share only represents a portion of a third party app providers transaction volume. We do not believe that CCC will in any way competitively benefit from the information which is

available to it and we believe these are essential elements of a data security program.” ‘I don’t see how that’s an advantage for us,” CCC Vice President of market solutions Mark Fincher said. Fincher pointed out the existing ability of shops to direct certain EMS messages. “This is really nothing new,” he said. With the system CCC was trying to build and its pricing structure, “there’s no way around” seeing who does business with whom, Fincher said. Besides, CCC already knew the competitive landscape to some degree anyway, he said.n

roughly 56-60 percent of the 33,000-odd shops out there — it should have an incomplete but still informational sense of competitor market share in relation to its own. This also would seem to raise the potential for CCC to target a specific rival’s customer pool with pitches on why CCC’s offerings are a better choice. CCC spokeswoman Michelle Hellyar disputed the notion that CCC would obtain a competitive advantage from Secure Share. “As we give the customer control over the destinations of data, our product requires configurability be at their


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MX-5 From Page 10

phy to reduce weight while improving safety and ef ciency. A byproduct of that is greater handling capabilities and chassis dynamics, providing the driver with a more connected, enjoyable experience. Engineers implemented more high-tensile steel in the MX-5 structure to improve safety, all while reducing weight. At 2,332 lbs. (2,381 lbs. with sixspeed automatic transmission), the 2017

26 mpg city, the 2017 MX-5’s estimated city mpg is nearly the same as the previous generation’s highway figure. Six- speed automatic models are EPArated at 26 mpg city/35 mpg highway. The SKYACTIV-G engine powering MX-5 produces 155 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 148 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 RPM and it sits lower and farther back in the engine bay for a lower center of gravity and quicker handling response.

experience MX-5. Since the debut of the Mazda Shinari concept in 2010, Mazda has been developing its KODO—Soul of Motion design language, which is defined by a long hood, short overhangs, a cropped cabin pushed far back on the body and large wheels moved as far as feasible towards all four corners. The challenge to the design team with MX-5 RF: DIFFERENT, MX-5 was to translate YET THE SAME the KODO theme to the Following the car’s smaller scale, while success of the thirdkeeping true to the car’s generation MX-5 PRHT pure identity. (power retractable Designers worked hardtop), Mazda went painstakingly to create a a very different direcshape that was reministion with the design cent of previous MX-5s, of its power-folding but to move forward fourth-gen. Called the with a lower, sleeker proMX-5 RF—for retractfile as well that makes able fastback—the latMX-5 look as though est version of Mazda’s it is gripping the road. longstanding sports Keeping the front of the car has been defined car low was a challenge, as the tuxedo complegiven regional bumperment to the roadster’s height regulations in track suit. Its top takes different global markets, so the use of LED head- Wind control makes driving with the top down a pleasure all of 13 seconds to go from closed to open, or lights on all models became - Designers worked with engineers to ensure that a “wind- vice versa. MX-5 RF also a requirement because of the smaller space they require to in-the-hair” feeling remained in MX-5 RF models, with a introduces an aura of premium aesthetics in its produce a given amount of gentle brush of the hair with the top open. seductive appeal, complelight. mented with its Machine As on previous models, the face MX-5 soft top is approximately 150 lbs. Gray Metallic paint, hand-painted black of the MX-5 Miata defines the playfullighter than the third-generation MX-5 top and Auburn Nappa leather interior. ness of the car. The headlights, which and only 182 lbs. heavier than the origiMX-5 RF retains its familiarity with have LED low and high beams with a nal 1990 model, which is incredible when its soft-top sibling but charts new terribulb turn signal, run cooler than the you consider the technology and safety tory with the only top of its kind this side HID xenon headlights they replace and features of the new car versus the origiof six figures. are 4.1-percent brighter. The headlight nal. Its MX-5 RF sibling is just more than MX-5 has thrived through more units are also 40mm shallower, 20mm 100 lbs. heavier still but with a sophistithan 28 years, adapting as society has shorter in vertical height, have a 40-percated electronic clamshell roof-storage changed, yet never betraying its roots. cent thickness in the outer lens and are operation. Keeping true to those roots — innovatapproximately 15-percent lighter weight Weight reduction is only part of ing in order to preserve – is why it will than the headlights they replace. The the story, though. Along with Mazda’s continue holding its place as a one of results: A clean shape with taut lines that torque-rich SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine the world’s most beloved sports cars, a conveys a sense of leanness, stability and and standard SKACTIV-MT six-speed torchbearer for the Mazda brand and a beautiful surfaces. manual transmission, MX-5 is able benchmark for the rest of the automoachieve a staggering 25-percent greater tive industry. Long live the roadster.n SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY: WHEN LESS IS fuel-efficiency than six-speed manualMORE equipped previous- generation models. SKYACTIV Technology is not just a Put it another way: At an EPA-estimated catchphrase; it is a total-effort philoso24

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PARTS Act Reintroduced in Congress, Frees Motoring Consumers to Choose Quality, Affordable Crash Parts, states CARE Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales Act of 2017 (PARTS Act), was introduced in Congress April 3. The bi-partisan, bi-cameral bills (H.R. 1879/S. 812) would expand consumer choice for automotive collision repair parts, cut costs paid by motoring consumers and insurance companies, and increase competition. S e n a t e sponsors are U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and lead sponsors U.S. Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Zoe Lofgren (D - CA), with original cosponsors Reps. Blake Farentold (R-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Scott Perry (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI). The PARTS Act would narrowly amend U.S. design patent law to reduce, from 14 years down to 2.5 years, a car manufacturer's design patent on collision parts. "A c c o r d i n g to a study by Microeconomic C o n s u l t i n g & Research Associates, consumers will realize a savings of $1.5 Billion a year by having the ability to purchase high quality, but less expensive, aftermarket collision parts when their 26

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vehicles have been involved in an accident," said Ray Pohlman, president of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE). "The automotive aftermarket wishes to thank the House and Senate sponsors for their leadership in doing what's right for America's motoring con-

June 2017

sumers. "We hope that House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlette (R-VA) and Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) will hold hearings as soon as possible in order to progress the bills for consumers," concluded Pohlman.n

Avalon From Page 17 hydride battery located in the trunk area, the Avalon Hybrid maintains a generous 14 cu.-ft. of trunk space, just two less than the gasoline Avalon models. Premium from the Paint Inward With its coupe-like profile, discrete chrome trim and ample cabin room, the Avalon presents a platform for luxury. Interior design and appointments certainly underscore that premise. One of the roomiest cabins in the segment, Avalon’s cabin comes in a choice of three interior color themes including almond,

Premium amenities and design touches define the Avalon interior, with no detail too small to contribute to the high quality feel.

light gray and black. A serene cabin remains an Avalon hallmark. Serenity is assured by strategically placed sound-absorbing and sound-insulating materials, including acoustic-type glass used for the windshield and side glass and foam injected into the A-, B- and C-pillars and rocker panels. Premium amenities and design touches define the Avalon interior, with no detail too small to contribute to the high quality feel. The power windows, for example, slow down as they approach the top of the window frames, and the coin box features a damper for smooth opening and closing. The steering column tilts and telescopes. Elegant smoke

chrome trim surrounds the center panel, while glossy trim frames the shifter. Yet, Avalon also presents a unique choice in the segment, offering two distinct suspension settings. The Avalon Touring grade provides a dynamic and responsive driving experience with sport-tuned suspension and 18-in. dark gray painted alloy wheels. Other Avalon grades emphasize maximum ride comfort. The Touring grade also shows off a distinctly sporty look with LED headlights and LED daytime running lights. Even the Avalon’s exterior color choices reflect a premium sensibility, with colors you might expect on a high-end model, such as Ooh La La Rouge Mica, Crème Brulee Mica, Sizzling Crimson Mica and Parisian Night Pearl. June 2017

A Paragon of Premium Level Value, Now Advancing the Cause With Standard Toyota Safety Sense-P Already a benchmark for style, comfort and available hybrid fuel economy in the premium midsize sedan category, the 2017 Toyota Avalon ups the ante for standard safety with the addition of Toyota Safety Sense™-P (TSS-P) for all grades. The TSS-P system had previously been offered only as an option on the Limited grade. The system equips the Avalon with Automatic High Beam, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. The move to make TSS-P standard on all Avalon grades (and numerous other Toyota models) follows Toyota’s promise to offer TSS standard on nearly all its models by the end of 2017. That will put Toyota (and Lexus) four years ahead of the model-year 2022 industry target announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).n Southern Automotive Journal


All-New 2018 Honda Odyssey Minivan Begins Mass Production in Alabama More than 1,500 associates at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA) recently celebrated the start of mass production of the all-new 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan, slated to go on-sale this spring at Honda dealerships nationwide. HMA is the exclusive manufacturer of the familyfriendly Odyssey – the most popular minivan in America in each of the past seven years. "This is a celebration for our entire Honda team of associates who have been committed to bringing an all-new, high tech, family-friendly Odyssey to our customers," said Jeff Tomko, president of HMA. "I congratulate all of our associates for their commitment to quality for this new vehicle, which ushers in a new level of features and functionality with the goal of creating new value for our customers." HMA is the sole production

source of the Odyssey minivan, Pilot SUV and Ridgeline pickup truck, which was named 2017 North American Truck of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. HMA also builds the Acura MDX luxury SUV and the V-6 engines that power each vehicle. The 2018 Odyssey is the fourth

generation to be built in Alabama, and the second generation of Odyssey to be designed and developed in the United States. HMA has made significant investments in new technologies to advance the performance, quality and value of the 2018 Honda Odyssey, including a new process for the installation of acoustic spray foam in 14 locations within the vehicle body, helping deliver best-inclass cabin quietness in the new Odyssey minivan. HMA started production on Nov. 14, 2001 with the second generation Odyssey. Since that date, HMA has built more than 4 million vehicles and V6 engines at the Lincoln, Alabama facility. The 2018 Odyssey is the fourth all-new model to roll off the production line at HMA in just the past five years.n

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Journalists Name Best Vehicles in Atlanta International Auto Show Judges' Choice Award

The Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA) selected the best of show at the 35th annual Atlanta International Auto Show, produced by the Metro Atlanta Automobile Dealers Association (MAADA), and is currently taking place at the Georgia World Congress Center through Sunday, March 26. “The Atlanta Auto Show is the biggest and best one yet,” said Christopher Lawrence, president of GAMMA and president of, an automotive consultancy that aims to assist consumers in making intelligent, unbiased, and logical automotive choices. “The judges cover the auto industry for a variety of outlets including newspapers, magazines and websites and looked at

the cars for performance, value, new technology and overall experience. With increasing competition each year, it’s a challenge to identify the best cars at the show.” The Kia Stinger won the Judges’ Choice Award because of its progressive design, luxurious amenities, and performance-based componentry. It’s a fastback sports sedan that will be available in rear- or all-wheel drive, and is due to hit showrooms as a 2018 model later this year. In addition to the Judges’ Choice, the following vehicles were also awarded as being best in their category: • Best Bang for the Buck: 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF

"The MX-5 RF won 2017 Bang for the Buck not only because of what it is, but what the MX-5 Miata has always been -- a true and affordable sports car. Whether consumers are looking for a car they can trim lap times with or carve mountain roads in, the MX-5 has always been an accessible and capable choice. And now with a retractable hardtop, the only things you may need to change, when your environment changes, are the tires." • Best Green Vehicle: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt "It's small, electric, and gets an estimated 238 miles on a single charge, all GAAMA Awards Please Turn to Page 34

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GAAMA Award Winners Best Performance Vehicle 2018 Mercedes AMG GT C Roadster

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Best Bang for the Buck 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF

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Service King Launches Patented Mobile App Transforming Vehicle Repair Process Service King Collision Repair Centers®, one of the fastest-growing automotive collision repair organizations nationwide, has announced the company is primed to digitize the full vehicle repair process with the national rollout of its custom-designed, patented mobile app Overdrive MD. Service King, the first major collision repair organization to harness mobile technology as a data tool for technicians, successfully built and introduced a beta version in 20 locations across Dallas-Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, Phoenix and Atlanta. The company plans to scale the app nationwide to all 318

Service King Collision Repair Centers by this summer. "This is a quantum leap forward for technicians across our organization," said Derek Kramer, Service King Chief Information Officer. "Overdrive MD will fundamentally transform the vehicle repair process by equipping technicians with real-time information and powerful data to consistently deliver best-in-class repairs for our customers nationwide." Overdrive MD empowers technicians to deliver more efficient repairs with real-time documentation, communication and updates through the convenience of their mobile device.

The application's patented technology allows technicians to securely and visually document vehicle data for insurance carriers, communicate directly with service advisors and managers, request additional parts orders, view manufacturer repair procedures and view key individual and location quality scores. "Our technicians now have the entire industry in the palm of their hand," Kramer said. "We believe information is powerful. By making that information accessible to our teammates, we are going to have some of the most empowered technicians anywhere in the industry."n

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INFINITI USA Launches First-of-Its-Kind Technician Training at Universal Technical Institute ITTA graduates who go to work for an authorized INFINITI retailer can achieve a master-level certification within a year, and significantly increase their earning potential in a field that already pays well and offers real career opportunities." ITTA gives students the latest technology in web-based learning as well as high-tech, hands‑on instruction in INFINITI vehicle diagnostics, maintenance and repairs, customer service and dealership operations. The inaugural ITTA class began on March 27 with 10 students. At full capacity, the ITTA program will graduate 96 INFINITI technicians annually and become a valuable recruitment resource for INFINITI retailers across the country. ITTA is one of more than a dozen manufacturer-specific programs UTI offers in partnership with the leading automotive and diesel brands in the country. On average, graduates of these programs are hired more quickly, earn higher starting salaries and are employed at a higher rate.n

A new INFINITI Technician Training Academy (ITTA) celebrated its grand opening recently at Universal Technical Institute's (UTI) campus in Long Beach, Calif. This advanced training program is the first of its kind for INFINITI and is exclusive to UTI. Graduates of UTI's core automotive technology program can apply for the 18-week ITTA program. If they are selected and commit to working with an INFINITI USA retailer once they graduate, INFINITI will pay their tuition for the ITTA program in full. Graduates will hold numerous INFINITI‑specific credentials and have 95 percent of the requirements needed to be an INFINITI KEI Master Technician. "We worked with UTI to create a comprehensive training program that will prepare graduates for a promising career as a master technician with our national network of retailers," said Andrew Speaker, director aftersales at INFINITI USA. "UTI graduates have a strong reputation for being well-trained, career‑ready

workers. This partnership ensures that our retailers will have access to the top talent entering the automotive industry." The U.S. Department of Labor reports there will be more than 1.2 million jobs in the diesel, automotive, motorcycle and marine industries in the United States by the year 2024. To reach that total, the transportation industry will have to fill more than 37,000 technician job openings on average every year.1 INFINITI estimates that it will need to fill nearly 400 service technician positions this year alone. "With demand for skilled transportation service technicians still on the rise, forward-thinking manufacturers like INFINITI are partnering with us to help build their technician workforce," said Walt Langley, vice president industry alliances at Universal Technical Institute. "UTI's close ties with our industry manufacturer partners and the advanced training that we provide make graduates more attractive to employers and can accelerate their career advancement.




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June 2017

Southern Automotive Journal


GAAMA Awards From Page 30 for under $40k." • Best Luxury Vehicle: 2018 Lexus LS 500 "Although it's technically still a concept, it's a large, luxurious sedan that will be available early next year with a twinturbo V6 or a hybrid powertrain, all while being inspired by Japanese hospitality." • Best Performance Vehicle:

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster "550-hp, 502 lb.-ft. of torque, 0-60 in 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 196 mph. Even the top drops in just 11 seconds." • Best SUV/Crossover: 2018 Volkswagen Atlas "An American-built 7-passenger vehicle that has a 3rd row that fits 2 adults, affordable driver assistance features, and a choice of 2 engine sizes."

• Best Truck: 2017 Ford Raptor "Tougher, smarter, and more capable, this purpose-built, high-performance off-road truck has more power, yet weighs 500 lbs. less than the model it replaces." The awards were presented at GAAMA’s annual meeting that took place at the Atlanta International Auto Show in March.n

Auto Care Careers Offers On-Campus Recruiting Opportunities As part of its ongoing recruiting and job placement efforts, Auto Care Careers has expanded its college and vocational school outreach to include Auto Care Careers on Campus. The new program partners with universities, colleges and vocational schools to promote the thriving auto care industry as a dynamic place to work. "The auto care industry has a great story to tell students, teachers and career counselors about the exciting career paths available to them in a wide variety of fields, from accounting and engineering to manufacturing and logis-


Southern Automotive Journal

tics," said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. "We have already conducted successful on-campus recruiting events in Pennsylvania and Florida and look forward to bringing the Auto Care Careers on Campus program to more colleges, universities and vocational schools across the country." Working directly with the educational institution or through an industry company, Auto Care Careers on Campus will provide the tools and resources necessary to conduct on-campus events, whether in the classroom or as part of

June 2017

a career fair. To date, Auto Care Careers on Campus events have been held at Grove City College in Pennsylvania and the University of North Florida, and an event is scheduled for May 17-18 at the University of Northwestern Ohio. To host an Auto Care Careers on Campus event at a local university, college or vocational school in your area, visit on-campus/ and fill out the online form. For more information, contact Katy McQuiston at or visit the Auto Care Careers website at

QX60 From Page 17

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June 2017

Southern Automotive Journal


Southern Automotive Journal June Issue  

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

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