The Ripon, CA, Police Department has a history of finding bargains, whether for firearms or vehicles. This time it is using convicts from a nearby prison to paint their police cars for a bargain.
“Some of the correctional facilities have work programs to keep inmates busy, whether it’s auto body, mechanics, or paint,” officer Alex Burgos said. “The labor through the facility is free.” Though labor is free, paint and decals still cost about a $1,000 per vehicle. Still, the department is paying about a $1,000 per car for the paint jobs, instead of about $4,000. Ripon officials aren’t announcing which prison is doing the work, because that facility has asked to remain anonymous.
“They have a set schedule and can only take a certain amount of cars,” Burgos said. “We jumped in line on that.” Four cars are budgeted to be painted this year.
At the April CIC meeting in Oklahoma City, OK, industry trainer and Autobody News columnist Toby Chess brought a quarter panel removed from a vehicle repaired at a “nationally represented corporate body shop.” Chess said the spot welds used to “attach” the quarter panel didn’t penetrate, and no weld-through primer or corrosion protection had been applied. “You could literally just pull the panel off,” said Paul Val, the general manager of Raintree Autobody in Scottsdale, AZ, which did $3,000 in re-repairs to the vehicle. Val said the shop that had done the original work under an insurer direct repair program paid his shop for the rework with a credit card —and remains on the direct repair program. “Someone is going to get killed in one of these cars,” Val said.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. donated $32,000 in collision repair training support for secondary and post-secondary collision instructors through the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF).
Toyota donated 25 vouchers, valued at $400 each, for their collision repair and refinish training classes held at three training center locations around the country. Additionally, Toyota donated 10 Toyota Techstream Lite devices that include two-year Toyota TIS subscription certificates. These in-kind product donations will be offered to those instructors that have applied for the Education Foundation’s Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant in the past and will assist in providing up-to-date technical repair information.
It does not make drivers in Texas happy when they just get their car back from an auto body shop after getting repairs from the latest hail storm, only to have it damaged again as more baseball-size pieces of ice fall from the sky.
Such is the case for some unlucky drivers in the Dallas area as two storm systems pummeled several cities in the area with hail ranging in size from a golf ball to a baseball.
“We’ve had enough,” says Mark Hanna, spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT). “Here we go with another high-loss event.”
Vehicles were one of the biggest victims of a hail storm that hit Dallas on June 13. The next day, damaged cars started rolling into auto body and repair shops.
Manager Bobby Lee of Hance Paint and Body spent much of his day on the phone talking to people trying to get their vehicles into his shop.
“It’s been non-stop. Yeah, it’s been non-stop,” said Lee.
The small, independent shop had seven cars dropped off by midday with dozens more already scheduled.
Service King Collision Repair Centers is expanding its presence in the San Antonio area with the purchase of Bordelon Collision in Spring Branch, north of San Antonio.
The acquisition, which is expected to close June 29, would give Service King nine centers in the San Antonio area to go with 40 others in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin. It exploded into the San Antonio marketplace last year with the purchase of Alamo Body and Paint and its eight San Antonio locations.
The new acquisition is located at 5371 U.S. 281 North and has been open for two years serving the growing market around that freeway and Texas 46.
Max Bordelon, the company’s current owner, said he was excited by the acquisition and was confident Service King would “take care of our employees and customers for years to come.”
A bill that allows police to tow cars of drivers lacking insurance coverage on a first offense was signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal on June 5 and goes into effect on August 1, 2012.
HB 1053 repeals current law that prohibits officers from towing cars of first–time violators of the compulsory insurance law and allows towing only on second and subsequent offenses. State senators passed the bill on May 24 with a 28–3 vote. The state House passed the bill by an 82–7 vote on April 25.
After the bill’s approval by senators, Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley signed off on the latest version agreed upon by the state House and Senate, before sendings the legislation to Gov. Bobby Jindal for final consideration.
The bill, supported by the Louisiana State Police, aims to help bring down the number of uninsured drivers in the state by returning to harsher enforcement of the law, according to Rep. Ray Garafalo (R- Meraux), who authored the legislation.
Tri-State Coatings, Inc. will host an Industry Day on July 11 at Louisiana Technical College, 2010 North Market in Shreveport, LA, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Guest speaker is Troy Niles, who will talk about the “State of the Industry.”
The Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series, presented by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), is returning to the SEMA Show for the third consecutive year. With courses individually selected or crafted by the SCRS, the program includes nearly two dozen sessions taking place during the SEMA Show Tuesday-Friday, October 30–November 2, 2012, in Las Vegas. The headline session, “Game Changers–Innovation Forum,” takes place November 2 and features industry leaders discussing what innovation can look like in the collision repair business and how it’s becoming core to business strategy. Other sessions explore how digital marketing, social media and related tools can increase customer retention and loyalty, and how new metals being used in the construction of today’s vehicles are impacting the repair process.
Two schools in Arizona and California are prepping the future of the industry.
In Mesa, AZ., the collision repair program at The East Valley Institute of Technology is the state’s only high school-level coursework certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, the independent non-profit based in Leesburg, VA. Since 1983, secondary and post-secondary automotive-training programs in 50 states have been accredited through NATEF standards.