Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
The Automotive Service Association in Michigan began 2012 with roundtables held throughout the state for licensed repair facilities representing both collision and mechanical industries. The meetings focused on the proposed revisions and enforcement of Public Act 300 of 1974, the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act.
“Relatively speaking, this law has not been updated since 1974 and is in desperate need of updating,” said Ray Fisher, President of ASA Michigan. “The law was created to protect consumers and repair facilities by providing ‘ground rules’ which helped to avoid frivolous lawsuits. And we are now seeing it abused during these challenging economic times with unlicensed shops advertising on Craigslist and circumventing the law.”
“It provides an unfair advantage for those who have not ‘played by the rules’ and it provides false security to consumers; exactly the reason the law was created in the first place,” Fisher said, adding that not only are they advocating for a crackdown on abusers, but also for updating the law to make it more “user friendly” for repair facilities to use.
In Ionia, MI, one family will get a Christmas gift to remember, thanks to several local businesses who worked together to refurbish a vehicle which will given to a family in need on Christmas day.
S&P Auto Body, C&S Automotive, N&N Aftermarket Parts, Geldhof Tire, Caswell RV, Fred Haight Insurance, Home Experts, Riverside Auto Wash and All Seasons Insurance Agency worked together to refurbish a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix SE.
As 2012 comes to a close, the Indiana Auto Body Association looks back on its accomplishments over the past year. According to Tony Passwater, Executive Director, “Early in our organization, we realized that being a lone state association would not be in the best interest of our prospective members. In 2005, we affiliated with the SCRS and through this relationship, have reaped many benefits and national support. In 2012, we also became an associate member of the ASA and an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau to better position ourselves not only within the industry, but to the consumer as well.”
Schoonover Bodyworks and Glass, a collision repair center based in Stillwater, MN, was recently acquired by ABRA Auto Body & Glass.
Schoonover Bodyworks, which has been in business since 1938, operated two collision repair facilities prior to the acquisition. ABRA said Schoonover will continue to operate its second location in Shoreview, MN.
Automotive refinish distributor Painters Supply & Equipment Co. (PSE) recently announced the acquisition of Potter Color and Supply, a paint distributor based in Cambridge City, IN. Potter Color and Supply has been supplying the automotive refinish and industrial coatings markets in since 1985.
“We’re pleased to welcome the Potter team to the PSE family,” said Patrick Mayette, president of PSE. “We’re excited to expand into the great state of Indiana.”
“PSE has a long history and solid reputation as one of the best automotive refinish and industrial paint distributors in the U.S.,” said Jim Potter, owner of Potter Color and Supply. “They will strengthen us to better serve our local market from a technology, product and customer service standpoint.”
With the acquisition, Taylor, MI-based PSE now operates 21 store locations throughout Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Mayette said PSE plans to continue expanding. As the industry continues to consolidate, acquisitions throughout the Midwest region of the U.S. will be a key element to the company’s growth initiatives.
Exhibitor early bird registration and pricing for the 3rd Bi-Annual Indiana Autobody Association Convention and Technology Showcase ends November 30. After November 30, prices increase by $100.
The convention will be held Feb. 22-23 in Indianapolis, IN, and will include speakers, panel discussions and live demonstrations.
The IABA is expecting record-breaking attendance from participants coming from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri. Attendee registration begins early December.
Exhibitor and key event sponsorship information can be obtained at: www.IABAconvention.com
The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota, an association of nearly 640 independently-owned mechanical and collision repair shops and industry suppliers, works to improve the state's automotive service industry and the success of its members' businesses.
In 2012, AASP-MN passed legislation to increase the damage disclosure threshold for salvage title from 70% to 80% to allow for more vehicles to be repaired and fewer to be totaled. Other issues addressed this past year include: sales tax on paint and materials, "Right to Repair," insurer steering, DRP contract provisions for parts procurement, and air quality permits.
A Michigan auto supplier, Continental Structural Plastics, which makes exterior body panels and structural composites components, announced Nov. 13 that it plans to expand its operations in Huntington, IN, creating up to 50 new jobs by 2015.
The West Michigan Body Shop Association recently elected and welcomed the new 2013 Board of Directors.
Serving as Chairperson is Cheryl Blish, Star Collision Carstar; President Scott Baker, Pfeiffer Collision Centers; Vice-President Tim Jones, Quality Collision Services, Treasurer Diane Rodenhouse, Rodenhouse Body Shop; and Secretary Heather Odren, Ed Koehn Chevrolet.
The Northern Michigan Body Shop Association recently hosted repair advocate attorney Erica Eversman at its annual membership meeting Oct. 26 in Traverse City, MI. The presentation focused on “Parts Procurement” and the impact it will have on the collision industry. According to Eversman, the State Farm parts procurement pilot program has recently expanded and while there have been many associations speaking out against the program, many shop owners are still unaware of the negative consequences.
Approximately 45 collision repairers and vendors heard Eversman describe how the parts procurement process would further affect the repairers’ loss of business control, reduce facility profit margins, and potentially lead to other types of “procurement type processes.” Expansion of this process into other profit centers within a repair facility, such as paint and material, will only further erode shop operations and margins. She explained the future of the industry hinges on what happens now and those who participate in these types of programs have little or no concern for the future of this industry.
In Hermantown, MN, the fire chief’s official car is sporting a new paint job, thanks to Auto Care Collision Center, who donated their services to spiff up the service vehicle.
Fire Chief Mike Marshall had originally contacted Auto Care for a quote for repainting a de-commissioned police vehicle they had received to match the current fire department fleet colors. When owner Dennis Adamski heard it was for the fire department, he decided to donate the service.