Autobody News - Items filtered by date: October 2011

Mississippi voters will have three candidates to choose from in the race for Mississippi Insurance Commissioner come the Nov. 8 general election: Republican incumbent Commissioner Mike Chaney, Democrat Louis Fondren, and Reform Party candidate Barbara Dale Washer, according to

The position has a four-year term and $90,000 annual salary.

As the incumbent, Chaney’s campaign emphasis has been his achievements during his time in office. According to Chaney, his in-office accolades include; modernization of the department’s records system, streamlining of the agent licensing process, collection of more than $4 million in refunds and additional claims for policyholders, transfer of $99.9 million to state’s windpool to help stabilize rates, an increase of 125 new companies writing policies on the Coast, and a $1 million program that led to grants for homeowners who strengthened their homes against wind damage. Chaney describes his campaign as grassroots.

Chaney, who served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1993 to 1999, and in the Mississippi State Senate from 2000-2008, was elected as Insurance Commissioner in 2007.

Fondren, a self-employed attorney-at-law and previous public defender of Jackson County from 1977 to 1981, will focus his campaign on being a “friend to policyholders” through stopping rate increases. Part of the way he would do that, he said, is to involve a public actuary—a professional who analyzes the financial consequences of risk—in insurance premium hearings.

Fondren plans to spend the few weeks before the election spreading his message both on the Coast and beyond. At press time Fondren planned to speak at the AARP in Hattiesburg during the last week of October, at the Mississippi Economic Council’s Hobnob Mississippi in Jackson on Nov. 2, and at the Tupelo Chamber on Nov. 4.

Fondren also served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1972 to 1976 and was Mayor of Moss Point, MS, from 1969 to 1971.

Like Fondren, Chaney also plans to speak at the Mississippi Economic Council’s Hobnob Mississippi.

Washer, a retired teacher from Hattiesburg, will focus on achieving a balance between lowering rates and attracting new business, providing free windshield replacement for auto policyholders, and making sure that insurance companies do not breach contracts, according to the candidate.

For more information please visit

The Right to Repair Coalition announced on Oct. 19 that it has collected 106,658 voter signatures after just 19 days of effort, well exceeding the 68,911 required for the pro-consumer initiative to appear on the 2012 ballot. A groundswell of support and enthusiasm from Massachusetts consumers has driven this issue forward in what could be record time for a signature gathering effort to reach 100,000-plus.

According to the Right to Repair Coalition, the Right to Repair voter initiative would, for the first time, allow consumers to access all of the non-proprietary repair information required to have their vehicles repaired where they choose, at a new car dealership or an independent shop. The proposed law would level the playing field between the big car manufacturers’ dealerships and independent, neighborhood repair facilities, allowing the latter to finally be able to access the same non-proprietary automobile diagnostic and repair information that is currently only available to the manufacturers’ dealers and their new car dealerships.

“It’s time that car owners have the right to get our vehicles repaired wherever we choose,” said Jeff McLeod of Marshfield, one of the signers of the ballot petition. “The growing support for this issue shows how important it is for consumers, especially in a difficult economy.”

The proposed Right to Repair law would keep vehicle repairs affordable for consumers by ensuring competition among repair facilities. By leveling the playing field and increasing consumer choice, Right to Repair can save families an average of $300-$500 each year, according to an industry study. A recently released AAA Financial Automotive Repair Survey highlighted that many car owners can’t afford to pay for their repairs, thus, often forgoing having them done. This creates a safety hazard for themselves and others on the road. Right to Repair would help alleviate their financial burden by increasing competition and allowing motorists to choose the less expensive repair.

Support for the ballot question continues to grow across the state as more car owners recognize that this law would directly benefit them by making it easier to access repair information electronically, increasing their safety and convenience in obtaining affordable repairs.

In addition to the rapid signature gathering, the Right to Repair coalition’s Facebook page continues to grow daily and now has over 10,000 supporters.

The Right to Repair Coalition includes consumer advocates like AAA and more than 2,000 independent repair shops, small businesses and retailers in communities across Massachusetts.

Ron Pyle, ASA President, talks with Collision Hub's Kristen Felder before the start of the NACE show about his expectations and anticipated events for the show. With 30 to 40 percent of attendees and exhibitors coming to NACE for the first time, Pyle talks about his perception of the 2011 show's success.

With over 100 girls registered and nearly that number in attendance, Collision Hub’s second annual Girl Scouts: Tools for Success program was a huge success. For the event, the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council in Orlando came to the NACE show floor for an hour of conversations with leaders in the industry about the incredible opportunities available to young women in the collision repair.

The girls learned about frame equipment and measurement systems with Bob Holland of Chief, the history of DuPont with Petra Schroeder, the chemistry of paint and color with Laura Yerkey of ProSpray, advanced software and new technologies from CCC’s Susanna Gotsch, scholarship opportunities with the Women’s Industry Network, and more.

Following the NACE Tools for Success tour, Collision Hub hosted a Women’s Panel sponsored by LKQ and moderated by Eileen Sottile, which featured:
● Kristen Felder—Founder and CEO, Collision Hub
● Denise Casperson— Manager, ASA Collision Division
● Audra Fordin—Owner, Great Bear Auto Repair and Auto Body Shop, Flushing, NY
● Stacee L. Royce—Laboratory Manager, Paint Applications and Masking Systems, 3M
Automotive Aftermarket Div.
● Petra Schroeder—Brand Development Manager Standox, Dupont Performance Coatings
● Victoria Jankowski—P&C Claims Consultant, State Farm and President of WIN

Standox® is pleased to announce the introduction of Standocryl® Clear PFC 30, a 2.1 clear to meet the most stringent VOC regulations. Specifically designed to deliver a mirror-like finish over Standox® solventborne and waterborne basecoats, Standocryl® Clear PFC 30 is ideal for all types of jobs.

Using a continuous 1.5 application process, Standocryl® Clear PFC 30 is a quality-focused clearcoat that is easy to use and provides a high-gloss finish and excellent overnight distinctness of image (DOI). If desired, it is also versatile enough to allow refinishers to use a 2-coat application process. 

Standocryl® Clear PFC 30 is easy to mix and spray—even in high heat conditions. It melts in well and lays down smoothly enabling painters to achieve excellent results.

“Collision Centers looking for a clear that meets the most stringent VOC regulations will discover that the new Standocryl® Clear PFC 30 not only helps them meet environmental requirements, it also helps to ensure satisfaction for the most discerning customers,” said Keith Sena, brand manager. “That’s because it is a quality-focused clear that delivers a superior mirror-like finish.”

For more information about Standocryl® Clear PFC 30, visit or call 1-800-551-9296.

It’s a looming specter in the collision repair industry’s immediate future with potentially serious repercussions. We’re talking about Collision Repair Standards, and they will have more influence over the auto repair and claims industry than any single factor in its illustrious history, according to Dale Delmege, an industry spokesperson with more than three decades of collision experience. Delmege spoke on September 20th to the membership of the East Bay Chapter of California Autobody Association at Scott’s Seafood Restaurant in Walnut Creek, Calif.

“We are at a critical crossroads and some of the most powerful forces in our industry either don’t know it or are picking the wrong route with collision repair standards,” Delmege said. “One way or another, the standards issue will affect every player in this industry, either adversely or positively.”

Devising collision repair standards has been a long ongoing conversation without any results or other action for several reasons, Delmege said. “It’s a complex situation, because it involves the body shops, the techs, the OEMs, the insurers and the end users. It’s a tug-of-war with economic and psychological factors thrown in. On any given day, the insurance companies, OEMs and body shops are pulling mightily in different directions, but repair standards would alleviate a lot of this tension.”

General Motors announced the industry’s first-ever front center air bag on September 29. The airbag is an inflatable restraint designed to help protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle.

The front center air bag will be introduced on the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Chevrolet Traverse midsize crossovers in the 2013 model year. This new safety feature will be standard on Acadia and Traverse with power seats and all Enclaves.

The front center air bag deploys from the right side of the driver’s seat and positions itself between the front row seats near the center of the vehicle. This tethered, tubular air bag is designed to provide restraint during passenger-side crashes when the driver is the only front occupant, and also acts as an energy absorbing cushion between driver and front passenger in both driver- and passenger-side crashes. The air bag also is expected to provide benefit in rollovers.

GM analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System database, found that far-side impact crashes, which the front center airbag primarily addresses, accounted for 11 percent of the belted front occupant fatalities in non-rollover impacts between 2004 and 2009 involving 1999 model year or newer vehicles. These far-side fatalities, where the occupant is on the non-struck side of the vehicle, also represent 29 percent of all the belted front occupant fatalities in side impacts.

“The front center air bag is not required by federal regulation, and no other air bag in passenger vehicles today offers the type of restraint and cushioning this air bag is designed to provide for front occupants,” said Scott Thomas, senior staff engineer in GM’s advanced restraint systems.

Among the highlights of Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW) were the complimentary meeting rooms in the new NACE Network – the ONE place to meet, sponsored by CCC Information Services Inc. CCC is a leading provider of software and information services.

The complimentary meeting rooms were located immediately outside the ASRW Expo show floor. The area consisted of 11 small-to-large private rooms, each equipped with comfortable furnishings and wireless internet. The NACE Network was available Oct. 5-8 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Reservations were made on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The NACE Network was definitely a hit at ASRW 2011! Having the rooms close to the show floor, but not on the show floor was a key feature of this consistently busy area, and we had concurrent meetings taking place each day of the show,” said Ron Pyle ASA president. “Many business transactions took place this week in Orlando, and we’re glad to have created a place for those important conversations that so many participants utilized.”

“Meeting space at our industry events can be hard to come by, creating obstacles to the business conversations and networking that we’ve all come together to do,” said Jim Dickens, senior vice president of the Automotive Service Group at CCC. “‘The NACE Network’ space was  created to better support the important business conversations and networking that define ASRW. Easier communication through a single location is what CCC ONE is all about, which makes this partnership with ASRW a natural extension of what CCC wants to do with and for the industry.”
Tom Williams, CCC marketing director, witnessed first-hand the activity generated by The NACE Network. “We couldn’t be more pleased with how this unique idea came to fruition and has been received on-site at ASRW. The meeting space made available in Orlando served the ongoing need for semi-private meetings, negotiations and miscellaneous business throughout the event on a daily basis. We hope to continue CCC’s involvement in offering this convenience in the future,” said Williams.
Additional sponsorship of The NACE Network was provided by Panasonic Solutions Company and MOTOR.

Noted journalist and social media expert Chris Brogan delivered a powerful opening general session presentation Thursday, Oct. 6 at Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW). The presentation was sponsored by DuPont Performance Coatings. The ASRW Expo opened immediately following the conclusion of Brogan’s presentation.

Brogan’s keynote presentation focused on guest experience design and the importance of augmenting traditional ways of generating business for the auto repair industry.

“29 years of success says we are doing the right thing and we will continue to do the right thing,” stated ASA president Ron Pyle before Brogan took the stage. “We have been entrusted to work for the industry and we will continue to do that as well as we can. Making ASRW and the people we serve successful is one way to make that possible.”

Brogan, who is also a marketing consultant and frequent speaker about social media marketing, educates businesses and organizations on how social software aligns with their strategies. He is the president and CEO of Human Business Works, an education and community company. He consults and speaks professionally with Fortune 100 and 500 companies such as PepsiCo, Microsoft and more on the future of business communications and social software technologies. He is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Trust Agents, and a featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur Magazine. Brogan’s blog,, is in the Top 5 of the Advertising Age Power150. He has over 11 years of experience in online community, social media and related technologies.

“Chris Brogan is passionate about engaging people and was full of energy opening ASRW,” said Harry Hall DuPont North America Sales Manager of the Refinish Division. “As longtime supporter of NACE we recognize the need to be diverse in generating customers and the impact that it can have on our industry.”

The first Multi-Shop Operator (MSO) Symposium was held Thursday during Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) to a sold-out crowd of 150. The day-long event that took place at the Orange County Convention Center featured educational sessions specific to MSOs, a lunch presentation and an evening networking reception.

“The MSO Symposium was one of the most highly anticipated events at ASRW 2011 and it far surpassed all expectations we had for our first effort,” said Ron Pyle ASA president. “We received a tremendous response to this event, both from attendees and sponsors. We have a lot of people to thank for the success of the event, and we look forward to making the symposium bigger and better for 2012.”

The MSO Symposium was sponsored by CCC Information Services Inc., DuPont Performance Coatings, Toyota Wholesale Parts, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, UniCure Spraybooths, The Romans Group, I-CAR, Summit Software and 1-800 Radiator. The MSO Symposium was produced by the Automotive Service Association (ASA), International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) and Symphony Advisors.

ASRW plans to make this an annual event, holding the second MSO Symposium at ASRW 2012 Oct. 10-13 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La.