Fix Auto USA announced the appointment of Tim Clark, CPCU, as senior vice president of insurance services. As a key member of Fix Auto USA’s senior management team, Clark will be charged with strengthening Fix Auto’s existing insurance relationships and implementing new strategic partnerships. In addition, Clark will oversee the Fix Auto insurance services department, including the Fix Full Performance Claims Solution (FFPCS) program.
Before joining Fix Auto, Clark led Performance Claims where he was instrumental in launching the network management technology platform used by four of the top eight U.S. insurers. Prior to Performance Claims, Clark was the vice president of insurance services at Safelite Auto Glass, where he was responsible for developing Safelite’s claims outsourcing strategy for extending managed claims solutions to Property and Casualty insurers.
Clark began his insurance claims career at Safeco Insurance, holding a variety of field management and corporate positions before becoming an elected officer of the company. In this executive role, he led both the auto physical damage and claims operations, in addition to leading the integration of American States Insurance Claims with the Safeco Claims organization, an undertaking that involved over 3,500 employees.
Florida Senate Bill 540, the companion bill of Florida House Bill 885, has died in the senate. Florida H.B. 885 passed the House with language that eliminates the current 80 percent threshold for a total-loss vehicle to receive a certificate of destruction – which would allow potentially unsafe vehicles to be branded as “repairable” and put back on the roads.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) opposed this bill if it included language similar to H.B. 885. ASA appreciates the Florida collision repairers who took the time to contact their legislators to express opposition.
ASA is opposed to this amendment because it would:
- Allow unsafe vehicles to operate on Florida's highways. The amendment would require dangerous vehicles to be branded "repairable" when such vehicles should not be put back on the roads because they cannot be adequately repaired to operate safely.
- Allow insurance companies to determine whether or not a vehicle should obtain a certificate of destruction. Without the current 80 percent threshold that requires a total-loss vehicle to obtain a certificate of destruction, vehicles that should not be repaired can be returned to the roads.
- Create dangers for consumers who would be unable to identify the level of damage that a vehicle has sustained because the vehicle branding would not reflect the actual designation of the vehicle as "unrebuildable." This language would put drivers at risk by removing the only guarantee for consumers to ensure that their vehicles are safe to operate on Florida's roads.
- Increase the risk for criminal activity because vehicles that are badly damaged would be allowed to obtain a clean title and sold to unsuspecting purchasers.
To view the full text of these bills, visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.
PartsChannel Inc. a privately held distributor of automotive collision repair parts, announced in February that it has acquired certain assets of Total Auto Pros LLC, related to the wholesale distribution of aftermarket collision replacement parts. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Total Auto Pros is headquartered in Phoenix.
The acquisition enables PartsChannel to expand its distribution network in the Western United States, according to CEO John Palumbo.
"We are committed to offering quality parts at competitive prices with world-class customer service to the collision repair industry," Palumbo said. "We will continue to explore other expansion opportunities throughout the United States."
LKQ Corp. has announced results for its fourth quarter and full year ended Dec. 31, 2011. Income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter was $56.1 million and diluted earnings per share were 38 cents, a 36 percent increase over the 28 cents per share reported for 2010. For the full year 2011, income from continuing operations was $210.3 million and diluted earnings per share were $1.42, a 23 percent increase over the $1.15 reported for 2010.
"We completed a successful 2011 with a solid fourth quarter," said Robert Wagman, president and CEO of LKQ Corp. "In 2011, the company surpassed $3 billion in revenue for the first time, and achieved double digit total organic revenue growth and diluted EPS growth despite the headwinds of high fuel costs, the high cost of salvage vehicles and the reduction in miles driven that we faced throughout the year."
Wagman added, "We made 21 acquisitions in 2011 including the purchase of Euro Car Parts. The financial performance of these businesses and their integration into our existing operations is progressing as expected."
For the fourth quarter of 2011, revenue was $939.6 million compared with $674.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 39.4 percent.
For the full year of 2011, revenue was $3.27 billion compared with $2.47 billion in 2010, an increase of 32.4 percent. Acquisition revenue growth for 2011 was 21.5 percent.
During the fourth quarter, LKQ acquired four businesses including the previously announced Euro Car Parts acquisition, the largest automotive aftermarket parts distributor in the United Kingdom. In North America, the company acquired a heavy-duty truck business in Colorado, a wholesale salvage business in Idaho and a classic vehicle restoration parts and accessories distribution business in Georgia.
Based on current conditions and excluding restructuring expenses and any gains or losses related to acquisitions or divestitures (including changes in the fair value of contingent consideration liabilities), LKQ anticipates full year 2012 organic revenue growth from parts and services will be in the range of 5.5 percent to 7.5 percent, income from continuing operations will be in the range of $258 million to $278 million and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations will be in the range of $1.72 to $1.85.
In recent months, two of the most popular Mexican destinations for US and Canadian tourists have passed new laws requiring drivers to carry auto liability insurance at all times. Baja California Norte (home of destinations such as Tijuana, Ensenada, Rosarito, and San Felipe) and Jalisco (home of destinations such as Guadalajara, Lake Chapala, and Puerto Vallarta) have passed laws requiring that all drivers carry liability insurance. Other states have had similar mandatory auto liability insurance laws in place for some time.
Derek Kartchner, Vice President of Business Development for http://www.mexpro.com said, “We feel this is a good step towards solving a huge problem; whether in the US or in Mexico uninsured drivers create an unneeded burden at the time of an accident, and cost all drivers more. We applaud the states that have taken steps towards alleviating the number of uninsured drivers in Mexico, and encourage other states to do the same.”
Jim Labelle, CEO of IIG said, “While this is an important law, we would also urge our customers to ensure they are protecting their own interests. Not only should visitors to Mexico purchase Mexico Auto Liability coverage, but also Comprehensive and Collision coverage. We encourage all of our customers who drive to Mexico to obtain a similar level of coverage in Mexico that they carry in the USA or Canada."
Labelle's firm has insured over 1 million US and Canadian plated vehicles since launching its website a little over ten years ago. Visitors to Mexico can purchase and print their policies in real time on http://www.mexpro.com. All policies sold on the site meet the new state requirements, and many other optional coverages are available to ensure that consumers are properly covered when driving in Mexico.
For more information about these laws or to purchase a Mexico Auto Insurance policy visit http://www.mexpro.com or call 1- 888-467-4639.
Nissan opened up sales for their Leaf all-electric vehicle to all states in the US on March 1, 2012. After the EV's initial launch in limited markets at the end of 2010 and a piecemeal, state-by-state roll out throughout 2011, the Nissan Leaf will finally be available to order all around the U.S.
Nissan sent out a statement saying in part, "We are officially a 100% electric nation. Look out for an e-mail around 3/1/12 detailing when you can order your Nissan Leaf."
Nissan had told Autoblog in a previous interview about the EV that they had about 2,000 customers who had reserved a Leaf in the last states of the roll out months prior to the March 1 launch date.
Nissan points out that "Limited quantities will be available in launch markets through the Nissan Leaf online reservation system." Alaska and Wyoming residents are told to call 1-877-NO GAS EV (664-2738) for help with their orders.
For more information please visit www.nissanusa.com.
The Women's Industry Network (WIN) Board gathered in Dallas, TX, in late January to review the group's activities in 2011 and plan for 2012 and early 2013.
"This Strategic Planning meeting is a yearly event that we rely on to help keep us focused and on-track to achieve the goals we have set out for our organization," said Board Chair, Victoria Jankowski.
WIN will focus on these primary areas this year: enhancing the value of WIN membership and sponsorship; improving WIN’s web and social media presence to provide a more robust communication and educational vehicle for members and sponsors; forming a Task Force to conduct a needs analysis on our website and social media presence and make recommendations to the Board; increasing industry visibility of WIN, our activities and our members; providing a WIN presence at strategically significant industry events; making WIN promotional materials available upon request to WIN members who are willing to represent the organization at events of importance to them; establishing a more robust operational and governance structure for the Board of Directors; refining standards for Board nominations and subsequent executive appointments; refining the WIN nomination process and put additional form around the executive appointments.
"This new executive appointment process will be implemented as the current term ends and the new one begins," said Jankowski.
The 7th Annual WIN Conference, "Be The Change!", will be held on May 6-8, 2012 in Atlanta, GA. For more details please visit www.womensindustrynetwork.com.
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts is expanding its corporate leadership and service teams to add new levels of collision, insurance and franchising industry experience and expertise, naming David B. James as VP of Marketing and Sharon Mazanec as Regional Service Manager for the Midwest.
James, an award-winning marketing professional with over 15 years of experience leading corporate strategy and marketing initiatives, brings his extensive expertise and background to North America’s largest collision repair company. James brings a broad background in traditional and online marketing, as well as quantitative and analytical focus in building business cases and measuring program performance to achieve business objectives.
James’ background includes extensive senior-level marketing expertise with Wolters Kluwer and H&R Block, as well as franchise ownership experience with Great Clips and insurance experience as a claims adjuster for Progressive Insurance.
American Auto Salvage & Recycling, a fourth-generation recycling company based in Cape May, N.J., held an official grand opening for its auto shredder in Millville, N.J. American Auto Salvage started a new company, called American Iron & Metal International, to operate the auto shredder.
Joe Silipena Jr., president of American Auto Salvage, says the new, 12-acre facility that is housing the auto shredder includes an American Pulverizer shredder with a Hustler conveyor and an Eriez eddy current downstream system. The downstream system will be totally enclosed in an 80,000-square-foot building. The company says that it is one of only a handful of companies that presently operate a shredder with a totally enclosed downstream system.
Silipena says that the auto shredder will be powered by two 2,000-horsepower motors. One news report says that American Auto invested around $6 million on the auto shredder.
Silipena adds that in addition to an auto shredder, American Iron & Metal will operate as a traditional scrap metal recycling facility and accept both ferrous and nonferrous metals. The facility, which American Auto purchased at auction three years ago, has concrete to prevent storm water runoff. Silipena also says that the facility has a rail spur on the property, which will allow the company to rail shredded material to end markets.
Plans call for the shredder to operate five days a week. American Auto’s other facility, located at its headquarters in May Landing, N.J., will be used as a feeder yard for the auto shredder.
Silipena adds that the company celebrated the 90th birthday of its founder, Joseph Silipena Sr., with a ribbon cutting dedication of the auto shredder.
Heartland Automotive Services, Inc., America's largest Jiffy Lube Franchisee, has announced its expansion in the New York market with its acquisition of 12 locations in the Long Island area. In February, the company completed the purchase of the locations from Suffolk Lube Centers, Inc., which owned and managed the Jiffy Lube locations.
"Last year at this time, New York became a powerful new market for us as we expanded into the area with our first Jiffy Lube locations," said Brett Ponton, Chief Executive Officer at Jiffy Lube Heartland. "Now, one year later, we're pleased to be expanding with a dozen new locations – doubling our footprint in the New York area."
The new Heartland Jiffy Lube locations in New York are located in: Selden, Riverhead, Port Jefferson Station, Huntington, Patchogue, Commack, Farmingdale, Saint James, Shirley, Huntington Station, Deer Park and Rocky Point.