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
Insurers and auto body shops were deluged Monday, July 21, with phone calls as hundreds of Rapid City residents reported damage that occurred in Saturday's fierce hail storm.
"Before 10 o'clock, we had more than 500 total claims," State Farm Agent Matt McCormick said while catching his breath Monday. "We're likely to set up a temporary claims facility to direct people to for minor damage."
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People in several Summit County, OH, communities were victims of massive flooding, including some body shop employees, as of July 12.
Using a boat was the only way Chris Gnap could get to the body shop where he works in Norton, OH.
“I had to drive through two feet of water to even get close to here, so I went and got my boat and brought it down,” Gnap said.
Gnap and the owner of Norman and Sons Body Shop, 3053 Barber Rd, in Norton, say at least two and a half feet of water was inside when the flooding occurred on July 10.
“There’s probably an inch of mud inside, worms everywhere,” Gnap said.
Part of Barber Road near the shop at Interstate 76 was closed because water still covers the road.
But that did not stop some drivers from chancing it, plowing through the high water to get to the other side.
In neighboring Barberton, many residential streets are still impassable and some homes are still filled with water, even where the flood itself has receded, as of July 12.
Michigan Washtenaw County Judge Archie Brown has set the trial dates for a married couple accused of embezzling about $250,000 from A2 Auto Glass, according to a courthouse official.
The jury trial date for Oral and Janice Molden is scheduled for November 4, with the pre-trial hearing scheduled October 9.
Charges against the couple were first brought in 2011, with new counts filed in December 2012, according to local reports.
The couple is accused of embezzling the money from the auto glass company over a three-year period. Janice Molden, 45, was a bookkeeper for the company and Oral Molden, 47, did computer work there.
Oral Molden is charged with false pretenses of more than $20,000, false pretenses of between $999 and $20,000, making or permitting a false tax return and malicious use of a telecommunications service.
Janice Molden faces charges of embezzling $100,000 or more, embezzling $25,000 or more, as well as embezzling more than $999 but less than $20,000. She is also charged with three counts of using a computer to commit a crime.
A2 Auto Glass has locations in Ann Arbor and Jackson, MI, as well as a mobile service. A customer service representative who answered the phone at the glass company declined to comment on the situation.
Back in 1983, Tom Tylka and his business partner Ed opened a body shop in Schererville, IN, and 30 years later, Tom & Ed’s Autobody is still successful, although without the “Ed.” Ed left the business after only a year, but Tom, now 63, kept the name the same, and he and his wife Debbie Tylka became the sole owners.
“Ed only lasted a year, but I left his name on the business so he could see what he would be missing,” Tom joked. “The name was on our logo and all the letterhead and paperwork and I didn’t want to change it.”
Three decades ago, Tom left a job in the welding and engineering industry to open his own business. What started out as a hobby tinkering and restoring old MGs and Jaguars grew into his dream.
“I always wanted to own my own business,” he said. “That was my goal in life. We started out with $2,500 and 2,500 square feet.”
A Shelby, OH, shop owner who restored classic cars was sentenced June 10 in a Richland County courtroom to four years in prison for scamming numerous customers across the country.
Keith Shellhouse also was ordered to pay over $180,000 in restitution to his victims.
The owner of Pro Restorations by Independent Autobody Plus, in Shelby, was convicted earlier this year of aggravated theft, theft of a motor vehicle, falsification and tampering with records.
In Dover, OH, a kitten trapped near a car engine ended up in the right place—at a body shop where the county’s humane society president works.
Rhonda Rosenberry is the office manager at Paul’s Auto Body Shop and is also the president of the Tuscarawas County Humane Society.
The operation to save the kitten was a lengthy ordeal that started when Paul’s Auto Body Shop in Dover was presented with the challenge of finding the source of a strange noise.
Like many teenagers, 16-year-old Anthony Marsilio enjoys driving his first vehicle to school and elsewhere, along with the freedom of being behind the wheel.
But unlike many youngsters, Anthony has to crank-start his two-door car, which lacks a compact-disc player, satellite-radio capabilities and nearly all other modern amenities.
After all, Anthony’s car is more than five times older than him.
“My dad taught me to drive one,” the South Range High School junior said, referring to his black 1929 Ford Model A vehicle, which features a four-cylinder, flathead engine and whitewall tires.
Other vehicles on display included a maroon two-door 1974 Corvette Stingray, a blue 1941 Plymouth Deluxe, a bright-orange Chevrolet Camaro with black stripes on the hood and rear, and a 1976 hardtop Chevrolet Impala, one of seven Don Clark of Boardman owns.
“I bought the car as-is, but did minor detailing to keep it looking nice,” said Clark, who retired from having taught automotive classes at Maplewood Joint Vocational School in Ravenna.
The four-door vehicle he brought to Sunday’s show features a sport interior, gets 21 to 23 mpg on the highway and has a four-speed automatic engine, he noted.
Clark recalled having worked at a Boardman auto body shop at age 12, as well as later performing such work part and full time while he taught at Maplewood.
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Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes will host its next A-Plus™ University EcoLean™ Suite of Training Course Offerings with ‘Estimating Solutions for Profit’ on June 25, 2013. The course will be held in the Greater Cleveland area at the DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland in East Beachwood, OH.
General Motors will invest $44.5 million to build a Logistics Optimization Center at its Lansing, Michigan Grand River Assembly Plant, creating 200 jobs.
The automaker said its investment will be used to build a 400,000-square-foot building adjacent to the plant to sequence and assemble parts to make manufacturing more flexible. The 2.5 million square foot, 111-acre, Lansing Grand River plant, which employees 1,541 workers, is home of the Cadillac ATS.
Andy’s Auto Body of Alton, IL, held its inaugural car show on May 26.
Mark Anderson, the owner of Andy’s Auto Body, said the show’s proceeds will go to River Bend Head Start.
Lee Davidson, of Peoria, was one of about 80 entrants in the show with his 1930 Ford Model A, with a 1987 Chevrolet Corvette 350-cubic-inch engine, The Telegraph reported. Davidson said the top was chopped down about two inches, the motor was worked over quite a bit, and an original Model A body was built onto a custom chassis.
“It keeps me out of trouble,” he said, noting that the project took him about three years to complete. He found it in an old barn and bought it. The fenders were in such bad shape he had to order Fiberglas replacements, but the rest of the body is original.
The show was at Alton Square Mall, just behind Andy’s, which moved to the former Sears Tire and Auto and expanded its services to more than just bodywork. The shop now offers a full line of automotive services.
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts opened a new shop location in Elmhurst, IL, near Chicago. CARSTAR’s newest location, International CARSTAR Body Shop, is independently owned by Bob and Bill Kopulus and managed by John Asplund. They have been in business more than 40 years. “We are excited to see Bob and Bill Kopulus join the CARSTAR network,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR, which operates more than 410 collision repair locations throughout 32 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces.
The second annual Dave’s Autobody Gator Run, a mile fun walk/run, the Go Outside and Play 5K and the Galesburg Half Marathon Express will start and finish at the corner of South Kellogg St. and East Simmons St. on Sunday.
“It looks pretty good. This weather could have hurt us some with signups this week, but runners are anxious and excited to get out and run. With the extended outlook, we should be OK,” said Dave Dunn, owner of Dave’s Autobody and co-owner of Master’s Education Services, who is serving as the marketing coordinator.
Receiving proper paint material reimbursements from insurance carriers continues to be a challenge to the collision repair industry and Michigan is no different.
Since hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the collision repair industry has never caught up to the increases that were incurred during this time period. Add in the challenges the industry faces when attempting to itemize and properly be reimbursed for the feather, prime and block labor operations necessary for a repaired panel and they absorb even additional costs. We have been battling this for years and the solution is quite simple—shops have to use the tools that are available in the marketplace, that means the paint material calculators and insurance carriers have to be cognizant of real costs!
Compare paint materials to parts pricing: When have you ever known a repair facility to have to wait 12, 18 or 24 months for a parts price increase (PPI), all the time hoping that next month they will get the PPI that was owed? Paint material increases are not any different!
1Collision Network announced that Community Auto Body in Carol Stream, IL, is the newest member of the Midwest group of independently owned collision repair businesses.
Community Auto Body owner Ed Zuniga said, “In looking for a group of shops to affiliate with, I chose the 1Collision Network because they offered practical and affordable solutions to the marketing and operating aspects of my business.”
The 1Collision Network includes 21 locations throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.