German auto supplier Bosch said May 5 that it plans to add about 1,000 employees in North America this year as its automotive business continues to grow.  The auto supplier, whose headquarters for North and South America is in Farmington Hills, expects to employ about 23,000 in North America by the end of this year.

Last year, Bosch's North American workforce increased 8% to 22,000 as the company recovered from the Great Recession, said Peter Marks, Bosch's chairman, president and CEO for Bosch's North and South American operations.

to read full article go HERE

Published in Automaker and Dealers

Insurance adjusters, law enforcement officials and prosecutors looked on as W.R.“Rusty” Haight, director of the Collision Safety Institute in San Diego, drove a car head on into another in the paved lot of the Wyman-Gordon Company in Grafton, MA on May 6.

For Mr. Haight, it was just another day at the office. He has staged thousands of crashes and holds the Guinness World Record for most human subject crash tests. In the past, he said he has wrecked 29 vehicles in a matter of seven hours.“This isn't like you see on CSI on television,” he said. “It's a lot more detailed and realistic. It's the way it is in the real world.”Mr. Haight said the staged crashes, done routinely for state police training, are the ultimate, full-scale labs.

to read full story with photo go HERE

Published in Mainstream News Links

The next A-Plus™ EcoLean™ Level 1 workshop from Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes will be held June 22-23 in Toronto.

Sherwin-Williams’ exclusive EcoLean Level 1 workshops are designed to educate attendees about maximizing profitability by improving productivity and eliminating waste throughout their facilities. The program is offered to collision center owners and dealer managers from across Canada and the United States.

“Our EcoLean workshop curriculum is developed with collision shop operators in mind,” notes Bob Leibel, Director of Sales and Operations, Canada for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes.  “We aim to give them a comprehensive look of how they can build a lean culture in their shop from the ground up.”

During the upcoming Toronto EcoLean Level 1 workshop attendees will learn practical processes and useful tips on lean production’s practical application in collision repair and methods to make their collision shops more efficient, productive and profitable.

Published in Corporate News

Owners of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 can have their choice of eight new custom grilles and six new wheel designs for Chrysler’s flagship sedan.

“Mopar is offering a full menu of grilles and wheels for those looking to customize and personalize their all-new Chrysler 300,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC. “By itself, the Chrysler 300 makes a statement. Our grilles and wheels provide exclamation points. And unlike other aftermarket offerings, our grilles are specifically tested for aero, cooling and thermal, and our wheels are specifically designed and tested for durability and impact.”

Each grille is designed by Chrysler and provides an exact factory fit and finish. The selection includes a 13-bar grille and a diamond-pattern grille, both constructed of billet aluminum. Both grilles are chrome-plated and polished to a high luster. The 13-bar grille features narrow horizontal, 5mm blades patterned within the traditional Chrysler 300 grille shape that first defined the model more than 55 years ago. The diamond-pattern grille features 154 individual diamond shapes and has a high-chrome polish.

Published in Product News

Xirallic® pigments from Merck create glitter and sparkle in automotive coatings and provide a distinct shimmer to enhance color intensity and color purity. Xirallic® pigments are suited for exteriors due to their additional layer, which provides improved weather resistance. The only place where Xirallic is made is in Onahama, Japan, about 45 km from Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima reactor, which was closed soon after the March 11 magnitude 9.0-earthquake. The shutdown of the plant affected many of the world’s auto makers, including Ford., Chrysler, Volkswagen, BMW,  Toyota and GM. Two weeks ago, Chrysler told dealers that the company plants to limit orders for vehicles in 10 different colors that employ Xirallic pigment. Ford had already told dealers it could no longer take orders for F-150 trucks and other models using “tuxedo black” and three shades of red.

The plant will be one of the first Japanese parts facilities that will move elsewhere as a result of the disaster. Germany’s  Merck said May 10 it will shift production of Xirallic pigments from Japan to Germany.

Tsunami and radiation damage forced Merck to halt production in March. Operations at Onahama resumed May 8. Regular production output is expected by June. It will continue until Merck has readied its plant in Germany.

According to The Nikkei, timing and location for the new site have yet to be determined. “Our top priority is to ensure as soon as possible an uninterrupted supply of Xirallic pigments to our customers around the world,” said Peter Halas, Head of the Pigments and Cosmetics unit at Merck.  These parameters no longer fit a plant 35 miles from the Fukushima reactor, and in a town, where tsunami waves as tall as buildings were observed.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

A Los Angeles-based private equity firm has acquired Greenville-based Sage Automotive Interiors, which makes cloth for seating, door panels and headliners for automotive manufacturers. It has offices and production plants in the U.S., Brazil, the United Kingdom, China, Korea and Japan. The Gores Group, which has committed equity capital of more than $4 billion, announced the acquisition on May 9. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sage was formed in September 2009 by former Spartanburg-based Milliken & Co. executives Dirk Pieper and Brian McSharry and the investment firm Azalea Capital, LLC.

For information, visit: www.sageautomotiveinteriors.com.

Published in Corporate News
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 15:11

PPG Announces Executive Assignments

PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) recently announced the following executive assignments, effective May 1:

  • Gary Danowski, vice president, flat glass, has been named vice president, automotive refinish, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), based at the Rolle, Switzerland, headquarters of PPG Europe and reporting to John Outcalt, vice president, automotive refinish.
  • Richard A. Beuke, vice president, silicas, has been named vice president, flat glass, based at the flat glass business and discovery center in Harmar, Pa., and reporting to J. Rich Alexander, executive vice president, Performance Coatings and Glass.
  • Kevin D. Braun, general manager, architectural coatings, ANZ (Australia and New Zealand), has been named general manager, silica products, based at the Monroeville, Pa., chemicals center and reporting to Richard C. Elias, senior vice president, Optical and Specialty Materials.
  • Johann (John) F. Kolling, director, U.S. taxes, has been named vice president, tax administration, based at the Pittsburgh global headquarters and reporting to Robert J. Dellinger, senior vice president, finance and chief financial officer.

To read full announcement see PPG newsoom HERE

Published in Corporate News

Ford continues to have problems with its top selling F-150. In April the automaker recalled 1.3 M vehicles over a possible short-circuit in model years 2004-2006 F-150s that could cause airbags to deploy unexpectedly. Owners of the recalled vehicles won't begin receiving notices until May, but if an airbag warning light is illuminated, Ford says owners can bring their F-150 into the dealer ASAP for the fix, which requires about a half day.

Now NHTSA is investigating a problem with rusting fuel tank straps that could impact 2.7 million F-150 trucks. NHTSA says it has reviewed around 300 complaints of fuel straps rusting and failing, including two reports of fires. The investigation is looking at model year 1997-2001 F-150 trucks.

The straps hold the truck's fuel tank in place but might corrode and break, causing the tank to tilt and to drop from its proper position, possibly making contact with the road and causing a potentially dangerous fuel leak.

NHTSA says it is "upgrading this investigation to further investigate the frequency, severity and scope of this problem."

NHTSA said there are two reports of fires. In one, leaking fuel ignited, but quickly burned out. In the other incident, Ford said "the leaking fuel ignited and the … fire destroyed the vehicle." No injuries have been reported.

Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood said the company was working with NHTSA. "We are aware of the matter, and we're going to continue to cooperate," he said.

NHTSA said its investigation "yielded information that strongly suggests the subject defect as the cause of the reported problem."

The agency cited that of the incidents reported, 243 involved the fuel tank dropping below the vehicle — with some dragging on the ground. Of those, 95 involved fuel leakage, and nine included reports of sparks from the tank being dragged on the road.

The F-series truck line is the best-selling vehicle line in the United States.

 

Published in Automaker and Dealers

The Florida Autobody Collision Alliance (FACA) will hold its first Statewide Convention and Industry Exposition May 19-21, co-hosted with SCRS. The event will center around "Focusing on leading change in an ever-changing industry," according to FACA. The event will be held at the Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando. The event will feature an exposition on May 19, noon-9 p.m., May 20, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Browse products and services from suppliers serving the collision repair industry in Florida. A reception will be held the evening of May 19 outside the expo hall on a two-tiered veranda overlooking a golf course.

On May 20, special forums will feature CAPA Executive Director Jack Gillis, motivational speaker John Outlaw and the Rubin Group (lobbyists).

The event will feature a special class co-hosted by FACA and SCRS: "Improving Workshop Efficiency/Lean Production Applied to Collision Repair." Visit www.scrs.com to register for this class being given on May 19 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The cost of class is $225 for FACA and SCRS members, and $295 for non-members.

For more information see the FACA website HERE

Published in SOUTHEAST NEWS

Headline speaker Patrick "Lips" Houlahan of Afterburner Incorporated brings his high-energy, multimedia keynote to RDE, unleashing the power of Flawless Execution(sm) to those in attendance.

Last year's SEMA Show marked the debut of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists' (SCRS) advantageous Repair Driven Education (RDE) curriculum, which created industry buzz over the two days of educational offerings targeted specifically for the modern-day collision repair professional.

"The positive response we received from our attendees, speakers and SEMA Show management regarding our RDE series were very gratifying for our group," noted SCRS Chairman Aaron Clark. "We were excited to have delivered what was perceived as a tremendous program for the industry in our inaugural year, and have worked hard since to harness the lessons we learned from the event to further amplify the program and offerings for 2011."

The 2011 RDE program has expanded into all 4 days of the SEMA Show, and will feature time slots in the afternoons, complemented by I-CAR educational offerings in the morning. In addition to the full suite of regular session courses featuring some of the most prominent and sought-after subject matter experts, SCRS has added an evening headline presentation that is guaranteed to hit home with its attendees.

"SCRS certainly is in touch with the fact that many in our membership base are overwhelmed by the pressures our industry faces today, more than ever in the past," stated SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg." Shops today are forced to make decisions on a daily basis that impact both their shop and their market; and frankly, many of them feel the fatigue of fighting for their businesses on a daily basis. We wanted to bring in a speaker who we felt could help, could relate to that environment, and who could bring tangible guidance to the shops in a way that would both engage and entertain our audience, while giving them tools and knowledge they can implement in their business as soon as they return home from the show."

Published in SEMA 2014
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