Items filtered by date: April 2012

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) is gearing up to select its second annual “Head of the Class Award” winners, to honor up to seven aftermarket companies that continually invest in employee education and training. The award was created in 2011 and will be administered by the AAIA Education Committee on behalf of the association.

“This is a chance to take pride in the commitment to continuous learning,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. “We are delighted to once again have the opportunity to distinguish companies who set themselves up for advancement and growth by encouraging their employees to participate in available education and training opportunities. This benefits not only the businesses themselves, but also the entire aftermarket industry.”

One “Head of the Class Award” will be presented to an AAIA member company in each industry category, including manufacturer, warehouse distributor, independent jobber/parts store, retailer, national service chain, independent service and repair shop and manufacturers’ representative. Applicants must include information directly related to the education and training practices of the company, including what prompted the company to invest in training, the types of training accomplished, the initial goals, their experiences, results of the training and any future plans.

Applications are due by Tuesday, July 31, and winning companies will be notified in September. Winners will be selected by the AAIA Education Committee, and then recognized during AAPEX 2012 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Application forms and full submission requirements are available at Please fax or e-mail the nomination form and supplementary documents to Sue Kalish, senior director, education, AAIA, at 301-654-3299 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information, call 301-654-6664.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

The Collision Repair Education Foundation has announced the unanimous appointment of Chris Evans, State Farm Insurance Companies, to chairman emeritus on the board of trustees in recognition and appreciation of his service to the foundation. To be eligible for appointment, past chairmen must have completed a full term as chairman of the foundation, and have made significant contributions to the foundation through time, effort and/or monetary contributions.

Evans served as chairman of the Collision Repair Education Foundation Board of Trustees from 2008-2010 and played a vital role in transitioning the organization into its philanthropic role within the collision industry. In this new role as chairman emeritus, he will provide ongoing counsel and expertise to the board of trustees.

Collision Repair Education Foundation Board of Trustees Immediate Past Chairman Doug Webb of CSi Complete noted, “Chris’s service to the foundation has been remarkable in every way. As chairman during 2008 and 2009, he assumed full responsibility for the migration of the foundation. The fact that the Collision Repair Education Foundation now stands alone and is a full philanthropic 501(c)(3) is testimony of Chris’s skill. Not only did it take great leadership skills but it also took tremendous interpersonal skills and Chris was more than up to the task.” 

Evans currently serves as claim consultant for State Farm Insurance and has more than 25 years of experience in the industry. He is also active in SkillsUSA, serves on the board of directors for I-CAR, and is a CIC Committee Co-Chair.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Camden Iron & Metal, based in Camden, N.J., is relocating its scrap processing operations from Philadelphia to Camden.

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the company’s decision to relocate its scrap processing operations to Camden follows attempts to relocate and consolidate operations in the Philadelphia area. The company had acquired an abandoned 44-acre facility in Eddystone, Pa., and had planned to install a large auto shredder at the location.
However, strong opposition by residents surrounding the Eddystone site bogged down the company’s plans to relocate. And, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the final decision to relocate to Camden came after Pennsylvania Gove. Tom Corbett rescinded a $31.1 million pledge made by the former governor to build a pier on the Delaware River at Camden Iron’s proposed location.

The I-CAR vision is that every person in the collision industry, current and future, has the necessary knowledge and skills relevant to their position to achieve a complete and safe repair.

In 2011, the collision industry provided $4.1 million in support to secondary and post-secondary collision students and their school programs through the Collision Repair Education Foundation.

The Atlanta Golf Tournament Fundraiser event is a major fundraiser and proceeds support secondary and post-secondary collision students in the greater Atlanta area.

I-CAR’s mission is that I-CAR will be the leader in research, development and delivery of quality, convenient, cost-effective educational programs for the collision industry. For more information on I-CAR please see the website at

Collision Repair Education Foundation Tournament Fundraiser Info

Wednesday, April 25th
Registration: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Shotgun Start: 12:00pm
The Highlands Course at Lake Arrowhead
(770) 479-5500
Waleska, GA 30183

I-CAR is hosting the annual golf tournament to express appreciation to their industry business partners. They would like to offer you the opportunity to join them by sponsoring. Download the Sponsorship Form – click here.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012 14:57

Georgia Labor Rate Survey Complete

The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) recently completed their 6th Annual Labor & Materials Rate Survey for Metro Atlanta. The Survey was conducted by CSi Complete to ensure unbiased data collection. CSi Complete is a provider of customer satisfaction indexing to collision repair, insurance companies and other service industries and you can learn more information about the company by visiting their website at

Go to GCIA website for results


Leif's Auto Centers, of Portland, Ore., will start a new statewide educational campaign called "Ask Leif's" on May 14.

The idea is to provide expert assistance and advocacy for consumers, connecting with insurance company liaisons and the state of Oregon Insurance Commissioner to help settle disputed claims in a fair and equitable manner, said Leif Hansen, owner of Leif's Auto Centers.

"With thousands of auto claims in Oregon settled in bad faith, we recognize a market for unbiased, factual information and help for consumers dealing with professionals from the insurance industry, Hansen said.

"Utilizing social media in addition to an annual $2- million awareness campaign, we will be able to help Oregonians that are being shorted by rogue drive-in and field estimate policies, denying of claim benefits, DRP policies and total loss problems."

To help expedite the flow of information, Hansen is asking all major tier one and tow insurance companies to provide him with a permanent contact person to communicate with. That person should be able to assist in alleged bad faith and other claim disputes as they arise.

Leif's Auto Centers has 11 locations in the Portland, Salem, Medford and Vancouver, Ore., markets.

For more information visit or call 503-969-8502.

Published in WESTERN NEWS
Monday, 09 April 2012 17:07

Small Community Gets New Body Shop

Premier Auto Body & Paint opened for business in September 2011 in Heber-Overgaard, AZ, an LDS community, population 2722. It’s a very small town close to my own small hometown in Arizona. Scott, Amanda, and LeGrande McLaws work in the shop full time. The family recently relocated to Arizona from South Dakota to fulfill their lifelong dream of owning their own body shop.

Office Manager Amanda McLaws said this is Scott’s first business, after working in the auto body industry for 15 years. She said they moved up to Heber/Overgaard in July, but Scott grew up in Joseph City. Before moving, the two lived in Rapid City, S.D., for 10 years.

To read or download this article as a PDF with photos click HERE

Published in WESTERN NEWS

We asked John Thomas, owner of Thomas Auto Body Shop in Hingham, MA, about his company as it passes its 50-year anniversary this year. The following is an edited version of our conversation.

Monday, 09 April 2012 16:52

Winter’s dry roads ding body shops

Jerry Wientjes, owner of McCarran Auto Body, is accustomed to a flood of vehicles at his shop every winter. But not this one.

Wientjes, whose career in automotive restoration spans 35 years, says McCarran Auto Body usually sees a roughly 70 percent increase in cars at its shop during wet winters when roads freeze and unlucky motorists spin out and crash.

Click here to read article

Published in Mainstream News Links
Thursday, 05 April 2012 15:47

LKQ Announces Promise of Protection Program

LKQ Corp., the largest provider of aftermarket and recycled collision replacement parts and refurbished collision replacement products in the nation, has announced what it describes as "the strongest warranty protection in the aftermarket category."

Effective immediately, LKQ says it will indemnify licensed auto repair shops against injury or damage caused by a defective aftermarket vehicle replacement product distributed by LKQ. LKQ says its "Promise of Protection" is unique in the auto parts industry offering unparalleled product liability indemnification.

"We have always stood behind our product quality and offer lifetime warranties for all of our aftermarket crash parts, that's not new," said Rob Wagman, president and CEO of LKQ. "Our Promise of Protection goes one giant step further by offering product liability indemnification. This new program clearly demonstrates our higher level of quality assurance beyond the lifetime warranty, so our customers can be totally confident when buying and using our products in their repair businesses."

LKQ says its alternative parts offering has the industry's widest assortment of products including CAPA and NSF certified parts, ISO-9001 and TS-16949 manufacturing by many suppliers and Platinum Plus parts distributed through its ISO-9001 facilities. In addition, the company's proprietary quality assurance program, AQRP, is available to LKQ's insurance and fleet customers.

The LKQ program invites comparison with that recently announced by Diamond Standard (see Diamond Standard announced that it would offer $40 million of insurance coverage for shops against any liability claims arising from the use of Diamond Standard's NSF certified parts.

The Promise of Protection is subject to certain terms and conditions. For more information visit

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS
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