David M. Brown

Auto Body World, the largest collision-repair company in Arizona, opened its eighth store in May at 6815 W. Chandler Blvd., near Interstate 10. “We’re conveniently located close to Ahwatukee, Sun Lakes and Tempe to better serve our customers in the East Valley,” says Mark Turner, the company’s president.

The re-energized Lehigh Valley Collision Repair Association is serving eastern Pennsylvania, including cities such as Allentown, Easton and Bethlehem. The one-year-old group comprises 18 auto body repair facilities, jobbers, parts suppliers, information providers and rental car companies, says its president, Matt Dewalt, AAM.

New York is well represented by regional and statewide collision associations. The largest is the Centereach, NY-based New York State Auto Collision Technician Association with 1,500-plus members, including small and large shops, industry-related businesses and 10 regional collision-repair associations.

The Automotive Service Association of Arizona (ASAAZ) was founded in 1963 to help automotive shop owners statewide through resources, training, legislation and representation, networking, communication efforts and more. The ASA of Arizona is affiliated with the Bedford-Texas-based national ASA, which is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind serving automotive service professionals.

Fragmentation, frustration and apathy once characterized Florida’s various collision industry associations. Regional groups were created but eventually withered; others started up briefly then stalled. A strong statewide group, fully supporting the individuality of its regional chapters, was unable to get traction.

A trio of auto association groups is now serving the Lone Star State: San Antonio-based Texas Independent Auto Association; Austin’s Automotive Parts & Services Association; and, as of 2009, the Houston Auto Body Association, which became an affiliate of the national Society of Collision Repair Specialists in February.