When you’re painting a substantial number of luxury cars every month in eight locations and many of them are top-name brands such as Bentley, Jaguar, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin, you need to use the finest equipment and products available. By working with the best companies, hiring the best people and committing to best practices, Global Collision in Colorado is very happy with Garmat USA, a leading manufacturer of ecologically responsible, competitively priced, and code compliant paint booths, paint mixing rooms and vehicle prep areas.
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Global Collision’s Chief Financial Officer Tim Bator respects the Garmat booths for their reliability, versatility and easy maintainability, he told Autobody News.
“We’ve established a great relationship with Garmat over the years. We have their downdraft booths and their regular paint spray booths in all of our locations. In the past eight years, we’ve purchased a total of 16, so we’re obviously committed to Garmat and appreciate their quality, service and support.”
The 3000 Series spray booths that Global Collision uses are Garmat’s top-of-the-line downdraft spray booths. “We wanted superior airflow and the best lighting we could find. With ten foot-wide doors and a 27 foot cabin, it’s easy to get even large cars in and out of the booth.”
Being proactive about maintaining and regularly servicing his Garmat equipment is a big endeavor with so many locations, but Bator knows the importance of doing it right. “You’ve got to take care of your paint booths, just like you do with your car. We perform our scheduled maintenance on all our paint spray booths on a monthly basis, to ensure the longevity of the equipment. We expect 20-25 years of service out of these Garmat paint spray booths, so it’s a big investment and we want to protect it.”
FCC Collision Centers, a multi-shop operation with three locations in Mountain View, Milpitas and Sunnyvale, CA, started in 1975 when Adam Piper decided to start his own business. A repairman at the time, he purchased the locations in Milpitas and Mountain View and ran those until 1996.
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Then he decided to sell both of those locations to now-infamous group called M2 Collision Care Center, while maintaining ownership of the buildings the businesses were in.
Then in 2005 M2 went bankrupt and since his two sons, Matt and Jason, were working at other collision repair centers in the area, Adam asked them if they’d go into partnership with him on the two stores. Now Matt currently manages the Mountain View location and Jason manages the Milpitas location; they both manage the new Sunnyvale location.
“We worked really hard the first couple of years to build the businesses back up,” said Jason. M2 had burned some bridges in the industry before going out of business and the buildings also needed some repair, so the trio worked hard for the first few years to get the business to where it is now.
During the economic recession in 2008 and 2009 the Pipers had to ride the slow economic wave just like the rest of the industry.
by Ed Attanasio
Representatives from American Honda, Acura and Toyota were the featured speakers at Santa Clara California Auto Body Association’s meeting, held on February 15 at the Three Flames restaurant in San Jose, Calif. With more than 50 chapter members in attendance, George Turk, Fixed Operations Marketing Manager for Honda’s California Zones, spoke first about CollisionLink, an OE Parts Ordering system devised and maintained by OEConnection, a technology company offering an original equipment (OE) replacement parts solutions. OEConnection connects more than 32,000 North American buyers and sellers to handle roughly 6 million OE part transactions every month. CollisionLink is used by carmakers such as Ford, GM Nissan, VW, and Mazda, in addition to the aforementioned Honda and Acura.
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Turk stressed three notable things about his company’s program and distilled it down into a discussion that targeted the most important aspects: 1) CollisionLink online orders are faster and more accurate than other programs, contributing to fewer returns while significantly reducing phone time and improving cycle times.
2) You can use OE parts more than you think on Honda and Acura repairs, because they’re able to convert them more than 68% of the time.
3) By submitting a minimum of four estimates monthly into the CollisionLink for Honda repairs, shops can qualify for the manufacturer’s Collision Select Program, in which they can reap a wide range of value benefits. Some of these include participation in the carmaker’s online dealer locator; linking the member’s shop to a web page that gets 6,000 to 8,000 hits daily and the support of Honda’s dedicated national field staff, which includes offering in-shop training and other forms of business consulting and support. To qualify for this coveted program, body shops must also participate in one of the big five paint programs, offered by BASF, PPG, Sherwin-Williams, Sikkens Acoat or DuPont, Turk outlined.
A proposed bill that would have changed the way collision repair shops in Arizona do business has been held over to the next legislative session. House Bill 2394, introduced by state Rep. Nancy McLain (R-3) in the Arizona House of Representatives, would have had a negative impact on auto body shops throughout the state with the original text. The bill used to read (key language in bold):
It is an unlawful practice for a person who repairs motor vehicles to knowingly: Submit a false claim to an insurer for motor vehicle repair.
Submit a claim to an insurer for fees not directly related to the repair of the motor vehicle unless required by law. All fees not required by law must be posted by the motor vehicle repair facility. The motor vehicle owner or lessee must acknowledge in writing that any fees that are not directly related to the repair of the motor vehicle or required by law may be the owner’s or lessee’s responsibility.
Submit a claim to an insurer for storage fees incurred up to the time the motor vehicle was determined to be a total loss if the motor vehicle repair facility was paid by the insurer for tear down or repair services. Storage fees may accrue from the date the insurer determined the motor vehicle to be a total loss.
NSF International has certified PartsChannel Inc. under the NSF Automotive Collision Parts Distributor Certification Program, a program that certifies distributors who sell automotive collision parts.
The NSF Automotive Collision Parts Distributor Certification Program requires that distributors have quality management systems in place that address parts traceability, service and quality.
The program helps close the gap in the supply chain between parts manufacturers and body shops and was developed in response to the needs of collision repair shops, insurers and ultimately consumers.
PartsChannel Inc., a distributor serving the collision repair industry since 1985, is one of the first companies to earn this automotive parts distributor certification from NSF International.
In a letter to State Farm CEO Edward Rust Jr., Don Harvey, of International Collision Service in Englewood, NJ, questions why State Farm does not acknowledge cost accounting programs and practices in setting paint allowance rates.
Harvey has previously contacted senior State Farm management to no avail. His letter follows:
Feb 15, 2012
State Farm Insurance Co.
Mr. Edward B. Rust Jr.
One State Farm Plaza
Bloomington, IL 61710
Dear Mr. Rust,
Please take a moment to look at an issue regarding customer satisfaction and a “Good Neighbor” responsible commitment to proper repairs.
Paint material has been an issue often questioned and not properly acknowledged.
Several crash parts bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the U.S. Amended crash parts bills have been introduced in Oklahoma, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina and Washington.
The ASA says two state bills are of particular importance for independent repairers. Oklahoma Senate Bill 1458 calls for consumer notice and consent language, and adds new policy provisions including “emissions part” and “safety part.”
“Emissions part,” the ASA notes, requires the replacement of parts or systems related to the control, monitoring and release of waste gases and particles created as a byproduct of combustion. Those parts include oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, exhaust pipes, exhaust manifold, fuel distributor, electronic emissions control unit, onboard emissions diagnostic device (OBD), and related parts and components.
“Safety part” requires the replacement of parts or systems essential to vehicle operation. Those parts include suspension, electronic control units (ECU), brake parts, safety systems and supplemental restraint system (SRS) components, according to the ASA.
In addition, Hawaii Senate Bill 2326 amends the state’s current law by removing provisions requiring claimants to pay additional costs for the use of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. It also requires insurers to make available the use of certain used or aftermarket parts instead of “like kind and quality” parts in motor vehicle body repairs. The legislation reads as follows:
The Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade and Sales (PARTS) Act, a new bill introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives, proposes to reduce the patent period car companies have on their collision repair parts from 14 years to 2.5 years (30 months). H.R. 3889 was introduced on Feb. 2 by Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) to the House Judiciary Committee. A similar bill is currently being prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would amend title 35 of current U.S. design patent law whereby automotive manufacturers may enforce their design patents on collision repair parts against alternative suppliers.
Both members serve on the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet. Lofgren introduced auto parts patent legislation in the last Congress.
The new subsection reads as follows: “It shall not be an act of infringement of such design patent to make or offer to sell within the United States, or import into the United States, any article of manufacture that is similar or the same in appearance to the component part that is claimed in such design patent if the purpose of such article of manufacture is for the repair of a motor vehicle so as to restore such vehicle to its appearance as originally manufactured; and after the expiration of a period of 30 months beginning on the first day on which any such component part is first offered to the public for sale as part of a motor vehicle in any country, it shall not be an act of infringement of such design patent to use or sell within the United States any article of manufacture that is similar or the same in appearance to the component part that is claimed in such design patent if the purpose of such article of manufacture is for the repair of a motor vehicle so as to restore such vehicle to its appearance as originally manufactured.”
H&V Collision Centers will open a fourth location in Saratoga County at the former Allstar Chevrolet in Saratoga, NY. H&V purchased the property in February and a formal grand opening will be held this spring. The new Saratoga location joins H&V locations in Troy, Queensbury and Colonie, and provides H&V with a base of operations in Rensselaer, Warren, Albany and Saratoga counties.
“We are very excited to be readying a fourth H&V location and equally excited to be moving into Saratoga County in 2012,” said H&V’s Vartan Jerian Jr.
“H&V has been fortunate to have many customers and friends from Saratoga County. This new, fourth location will move us closer to our customers in Saratoga and expand a coverage area that will allow us to bring in new customers,” added Jerian.
The new location for H&V will include 11 acres and 30,000 square feet and over one dozen bays. When completed, the facility will be the largest for H&V Collision Centers, and have a capability of processing 75 vehicles at a time.
An existing collision repair shop at the facility now includes 15 employees. Those employees will be retained. An additional ten jobs will be created. After starting as a two-man operation in the early 1970s, H&V now includes over 100 employees and collision repair technicians throughout the Capital Region.
H&V has seen steady and continued growth in recent years that has established H&V as the largest independent collision repair company in the Capital Region. H&V started as a two-man shop in a small garage on Oakwood Avenue in Troy in the early 1970s.
In 2006, H&V completed a major expansion at the Oakwood Avenue facility that added 6,00 square feet to the facility and some of the most modern equipment available. In 2008, H&V opened a North Country location on Quaker Road in Queensbury. H&V undertook its largest expansion, opening a major facility on Central Avenue in Colonie.
As part of that commitment, H&V became the first collision facility in the region to partner with VeriFacts Automotive, to provide independent, third party verification and review of work and repairs at H&V locations.
Mike Orso, President of the New York State Collision Tech’s Association (NYSCTA), has written a letter to W Va’s Attorney General Darrell McGraw expressing gratitude for his efforts in “protecting consumers relative to the sale and installation of, industry referred to; used, salvage, and junkyard-supplied parts.”
The letter is in response to the Automotive Recycler’s Association’s (ARA) complaint regarding McGraw’s use of the term “junkyard parts” to characterize general salvage parts. The comments and the lawsuit drew the attention of the Automotive Recyclers Association, which asked McGraw to stop using the term “junkyard parts” because the group feels it’s derogatory and misleading toward its members’ products.
The original reference was made by McGraw in a December 2011 press release announcing legal action against Liberty Mutual Insurance. In the memo the Attorney General’s office referred to recycled/salvage parts as “junkyard parts” and implied that recycled/salvaged parts are significantly inferior to new OE parts.
“We believe that this statement [implies] that salvaged, used and/or reconditioned parts are somehow unsafe and inferior to new OE parts,” says ARA CEO Michael E. Wilson. “This is simply false. Recycled/salvaged automobile parts are not “junkyard parts” nor are they classified as such under West Virginia statute. We have asked the Attorney General to clarify this statement,” said Wilson.