The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) welcomes Jessica Voss-Kehl, Senior Product Development Supervisor, 3M and Melissa Perez, District Sales Manager, FinishMaster Inc. as the newest Directors to its Board.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

OEConnection LLC, the parts e-commerce technology leader for OEM distribution networks, announced today that it has been chosen by Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) to support their ongoing Collision Programs.   Under the agreement, dedicated resources from OEConnection will conduct field visits to thousands of collision repair facilities and hundreds of Volkswagen dealers throughout the U.S. to promote the VW Genuine Advantage Parts Program.  OEConnection field consultants will educate and train Volkswagen dealers and their wholesale body shop accounts on CollisionLink®, the online parts ordering and fulfillment solution from OEConnection, which was selected by VWoA in 2010 to automate its discount parts program and help VW dealers compete with aftermarket parts suppliers.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS
Monday, 30 April 2012 22:27

Keenan Auto Body Jingle Contest

In a press release on February 17, Mike LeVasseur, President and COO of Keenan Auto Body, announced that the company would turn to their Facebook community of nearly 2400 to aid them in coming up with a jingle for part of their advertising campaign.  Though a production company has produced Keenan’s commercials for the past six years, Marketing Director Craig Camacho said “we felt this year was the year of change,” noting “we know there is a lot of talent out there” in reference to their large Facebook community.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

In the Federal Register this week, OSHA published its final rule aligning its Hazard Communication (HazCom) Standard with the Global Harmonization System for Classifying and Labeling Chemicals (GHS). The rule, known as HazCom 2012 or the workers’ “Right-to-Understand” rule, substantially changes OSHA’s current standard and affects over 40 million employees at more than 5 million facilities nationwide. Employers must train all employees on the new HazCom standard before December 1, 2013.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

LKQ Corp., the largest provider of aftermarket and recycled collision replacement parts and refurbished collision replacement products in the nation, has announced what it describes as "the strongest warranty protection in the aftermarket category."

Effective immediately, LKQ says it will indemnify licensed auto repair shops against injury or damage caused by a defective aftermarket vehicle replacement product distributed by LKQ. LKQ says its "Promise of Protection" is unique in the auto parts industry offering unparalleled product liability indemnification.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS
Monday, 30 April 2012 22:14

GI - Think Like a Mechanic

After high school I made the choice to join the Marine Corps.  It was a big step for a young guy who really didn’t have a direction, nor thought about the future.  So, off I went to boot camp.  I’ll admit it was tough, it was physically demanding and very mentally challenging.  But, I did very well, got a lot of good marks and even a couple of special awards.

One of the biggest surprises was when my platoon  was on the “mess and maintenance” week.  I was  assigned to the commandant’s headquarters building.  I was to shine all the brass, wax the floors, and  general building maintenance.  One day the Sargent  in charge said it was time to mow the grass.  He sent  me and two other recruits out with scissors to clip  the lawn in front of the headquarters building. Really, I’m not kidding…scissors, and I’m not talking  about a large pair of scissors, no… more like the kind you'd find in any home office or school desk.

Published in Gonzo Weaver
Monday, 30 April 2012 22:11


By Tom Franklin

Last year, as summer approached, I wrote an article about holding an event in the summer to bring in new business. I was pleased recently to learn of an event put on by a shop in my area. "POWER BABES," a professional womens' networking group in the vicinity of the shop, meets regularly to explore and discuss issues of interest and importance to the members. The location of the meeting is different each time, and often held at a place of business of interest to the members. The marketing lady at the host shop learned of this group of about forty women and invited them to hold their next meeting at the shop.

Published in Tom Franklin

The White House recently announced a new $14.2 million effort at the Department of Energy to accelerate the development of new high-tech materials for vehicles that will help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and pollution. The announcement specifically named carbon fiber composites and advanced steels and alloys as targets for the funding.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS
Monday, 30 April 2012 21:58

Bill (S1460)

In response to a bill (S 1460) introduced in California in late February and regulations among 28 states addressing aftermarket part warranty in disclosure statements, Diamond Standard Parts says its Limited Lifetime Warranty from the Diamond Standard Brand and its associated manufacturers group, Reflexxion Automotive and Production Bumper Stampings clearly exceeds the service parts warranty on OEM structural bumper components, stepbumper assemblies and face plates, and replacement hoods. The company says the warranty on all of its new parts exceeds the warranty offered by the OEMs, who typically offer coverage for 12 months or 12,000 miles from the date of installation or purchase.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS announced today that, a parts e-commerce platform, is now available for free to collision repair facilities in the United States and Canada. creates a marketplace where collision repair facilities can list parts they have on hand for sale or trade to other collision repair facilities or publish a parts wish list. Parts suppliers or other collision repair facilities can view shops’ wish lists and submit offers via email directly to the repairer from for the listed parts.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

As the auto body repair industry continues to evolve, requiring increasing levels of sophistication, it is driving the need for better technology to capture, analyze and report on the key metrics needed to be successful in today's repair businesses.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

Farmers Insurance announced late yesterday that Caliber Collision Centers has been awarded the 2011 National Multiple Shop Organization of the Year Award for outstanding operational and customer satisfaction management.

Under the leadership of Steve Grimshaw, President and CEO and Mark Sanders, Chief Operating Officer, Caliber Collision delivered the proactive management and self-discipline required by Farmers to further improve Farmers policy retention and customer value.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS
Monday, 30 April 2012 21:43

Boyd Group Reports Record Sales in 2011

© CollisionWeek. All rights reserved. 201016237 No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.

The Boyd Group Income Fund reported record sales in 2011 thanks to several acquisitions made throughout the year that added $94.1 million to the company's top line. The company also reported a same store sales increase of 6.0 percent, a more important indicator of business conditions.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

By Ed Attanasio

Wallauch, 75, is a long-time car enthusiast who currently owns four vehicles and a motor home. He is the newest Chief of the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) replacing Sherry Mehl. We sat down recently with Wallauch to talk about his first month in the position, to assess his goals for the organization and what he’ll be doing in relation to the collision repair industry and the issues surrounding it.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

Assured Performance Network announced today that Nissan and Chrysler have been added to the 100% Write Rebate Rewards Program.  Now, members can earn 100% Write Rebates from three Auto Manufacturers: General Motors, Nissan and Chrysler.  The 100% Write Rebate Rewards Program provides a rebate to body shops when they repair a vehicle using 100% OEM collision repair parts as defined by the program.   The program is designed to provide an incentive for the shop to provide the highest level of fit, finish, durability, safety, and sustained vehicle value for the vehicle owner by using new OEM parts.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

Of the more than 759,000 automotive technicians working in the United States, 20 outstanding individuals have qualified for the prestigious 2012 World Class Technician Award. The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) work together to recognize these professional technicians who have tested and obtained ASE certification in 22 specialty areas during the 2011 test administrated by ASE.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS


Matrix System Automotive Finishes, a Michigan-based company that distributes nationwide and in Canada, recently launched an entire line of toners that deliver 3.5 pounds per gallon or less VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions. This revolutionary technology offers customers exceptional hiding with ease of application and no need to upgrade shop equipment.

Matrix, a leading U.S. aftermarket automotive paint manufacturer, unveiled its new line at the NACE Show in Orlando, Florida last October where professional vehicle refinishers were the first to discover the Matrix System’s MPB-LV Premium Low VOC Basecoat system. MPB-LV (Matrix Premium Basecoat-Low VOC) sprays like other premium high VOC solvent systems, which makes it “hard to believe that it is low VOC,” Ken Papich, Director of Sales, told Autobody News. Additionally, the MPB-LV utilizes the Matrix System Color Variant Selector System to ensure a great match every time. The new premium low VOC basecoat gives the California and Canadian markets, and other regions contemplating low VOC regulations, the opportunity to choose between waterborne or low VOC solvent basecoat.

See pdf and photo, please click HERE

Published in Paint
Saturday, 28 April 2012 16:32

National Auto Body Show and Shine San Diego

Check it out: HERE

Published in WESTERN NEWS

Leif’s Auto Collision Centers, Oregon

A long-established New York auto body shop owner who has successfully won over $1 million from insurance companies announced recently lawsuits seeking nearly $3 million from the trio of State Farm, Allstate and Adirondack Insurance.

Mike Orso, the president of Nick Orso’s Body Shop of Syracuse, New York, is suing the insurers for a variety of reasons, including shorting the shop on payments and the continued battle of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) vs. aftermarket parts.


BAR CHIEF Job Description—

  • Oversee an agency with about 640 employees
  • Oversee 5,177 registered body shops in California
  • Manage an operating budget of about $188 Million
  • Supervise a statewide network of 12 field offices

Who is John Wallauch and how did he get to be the new Sheriff for California’s auto repair industry?

To read or download this article in PDF format with photos click HERE


Published in WESTERN NEWS
  • To strive for collision repair excellence ...
  • To affirm and defend the rights as independent business owners,
  • to serve our clients based upon our one-to-one contractual relation
  • ship with those clients without any 3rd party interference...
  • To resist any Influence of outside entities that would mandate the
  • use of inferior parts, materials and/or techniques that would be
  • utilized in the repair of our customers’ vehicles.
  • To Increase Consumer Awareness as to any 3rd party efforts to
  • negate, dilute, or otherwise compromise the rights of vehicle owners.
  • To support the actions of those entities when said efforts are
  • consistent with the best interests of vehicle owners.
  • To facilitate Consumer Protection in any administrative, investigative,
  • or political process that may attempt to affect or influence the rights
  • of vehicle owners and/or those who seek to serve them.
  • To encourage our collision repair clients to promote ethical business
  • practices that will benefit the industry and the vehicle owner.
  • To Promote our name and mission recognition among consumers.

Sharing the Message with CCRE President Tony Lombardozzi

To view this article and the Related theCCRE Seminar article as a PDF with photos CLICK HERE


Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

Grab some barbecue, enjoy a car show and aid cancer patients at the same time this Sunday by supporting the BBQ & Car Show Fundraiser in Vacaville.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., drop by A-1 Auto Body, 1306 Callen St., for an all-you-can-eat feast of pulled pork and barbecued beef sandwiches, roasted chicken and roasted turkey sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers.

Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Donations are also appreciated.

The car show will feature hot rods, race cars, sprint cars, Harleys and street bikes.

The show is in honor of Ryan Bartlett, a 21-year-old Vacaville resident whose prized possession was a bright orange Chevrolet Camaro and who lost his battle with cancer in January.

Proceeds will go to Pink Lemonade,, to help provide meals and comfort to cancer patients during their treatments.

For more information, call Joey at A-1 Auto Body at 448-7101.

Published in WESTERN NEWS

Maaco Auto Body and Paint in the Fremont, Newark and Union City areas, is donating a complete car paint voucher to Washington High School. The paint job will be raffled during the school’s Ninth Annual Car Show to raise money for tools and equipment needed by the school’s auto shop department.

"The first year we sponsored Washington High's car show, we thought it was a nice thing to do for the kids and the community,” Frank Barnard of Maaco Auto Body and Paint said. “I didn't expect it to be big or very interesting, but I had the best time. The kids and Doug Natale do an incredible job organizing the event, and the cars that get displayed are fantastic. You can expect a bit of everything from old classics to wildly modified hot rods to modern cars with outrageous engines, sounds systems, you name it."

Organized by students and automotive technology instructor Doug Natale, the event will close out the school year and will display student automative projects on May 12, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The event has grown to be a significant car show in the region,” Barnard said. “Scores of vehicle owners come from all over the San Francisco Bay Area to display classic cars, hot rods, motorcycles and trucks.”

Registration costs $20 for cars or motorcycles, and $7 for bicycles, plus two cans of food per vehicle. Registration continues from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., and there is no early registration.

Participants at the car show will have the chance to win great prizes, such as gift baskets, raffle items and certificates--all while supporting good causes. The school partners with the Tri-City Homeless Shelter and Mission Valley ROP (Regional Occupational Program).
For more information about the event or any of Maaco Auto Body and Paint’s services, call 510-745-9770, view the shop on the web at or visit 37414 Centralmont Place in Fremont.

Published in WESTERN NEWS

BodyShopBids, a Web-based bidding mechanism that allows consumers to solicit repair estimates from local body shops, announced that it will help cover repair costs for vehicles that were damaged during recent tornados in the Dallas metro area. BodyShopBids said it will pay for 25 percent of out-of-pocket repair costs on consumer vehicles that were damaged in the storms throughout the month of April.

Chicago-based BodyShopBids provides a Web and mobile platform to connect consumers who need auto body repairs with body shops through an online bidding system. Users are able to upload photos of their damaged vehicles and receive custom quotes from local body shops for free.

“For those Dallas-Fort Worth residents who suffered damage to their vehicle, we're hoping to alleviate at least some of the stress by providing a simple solution to get their cars back into shape and defray some of the costs," said Brad Weisberg, founder and CEO of BodyShopBids.

For more information, visit


Benefiting the Collision Repair Education Foundation Sponsored By The Atlanta Committee     
In 2011, the collision industry provided $4.1 million in support to secondary and post-secondary collision students and their school programs through the Collision Repair Education Foundation.

Through monetary and in-kind product donations, the 2011 Collision Repair Education Foundation donors helped to provide student scholarships, student tool grants, school equipment and supply grants, the 3rd annual Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant, and much more. Since 2008, when the Collision Repair Education Foundation became a purely philanthropic organization, the organization has provided $7 million in school and student support through industry donors.  Learn more - click here.

The Atlanta Golf Tournament event is a fundraiser and proceeds support secondary and post-secondary collision students in the greater Atlanta area.  We encourage you to learn more about this important fundraising event and participate and/or sponsor. By doing so, you are directly supporting and benefiting our industry in Atlanta and Georgia.

Collision Repair Education Foundation Tournament Info
Wednesday, April 25th
Registration: 10:00am - 12:00pm
Shotgun Start: 12:00pm
The Highlands Course at Lake Arrowhead
(770) 479-5500
Waleska, GA 30183

I-CAR Atlanta is hosting the 3rd annual golf tournament to express appreciation to our industry business partners. We would like to offer you the opportunity to join us by sponsoring. 

Registration Forms & Fees are due no later than April 20, 2012.  Checks can be payable to: Collision Industry Foundation. Please email forms to David Kulkis at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please contact David to pay by credit card at (770) 714-6352. If you would like to mail your payment please contact Lee Sullivan at (678) 206-5214 for address. If you have any questions please contact David, Lee or Jerry Poirier at (404) 886-3487.


The Florida Collision Industry Legal Seminar was a resounding success! The event began promptly at 11:00 AM on April 14 and continued until well after 6:00 PM that evening with  a couple of short breaks and a 45 minute lunch. Many new friendships were forged with others who shared the same views and concerns.

Over 60 people attended the event from as far away as Oregon, Minnesota and New York and many states in between, and based upon the reports received throughout the day, they were encouraged by the information shared by Ray Gunder, Bret Geohagan (legal counsel for Gunder’s Auto Center, Inc.) and Barrett Smith of Auto Damage Experts, Inc.(ADE).

In a poll taken during the initial introductions, the one recurring motivation for most everyone’s attendance was to learn how to regain control of their business and its profitability.

“From discussions during the meeting and during breaks, the State Farm Parts Procurement program seemed to be one of the straws straining the camel’s back and collision repairers ‘are mad as heck and are not going to take it anymore’ and are seeking alternative methods of operating their businesses” said Ray Gunder.

“We were asked by many in attendance if we could “take the show on the road” stated Barrett Smith of ADE, and in discussing with Ray and Brent, while humbled, we agreed that if there was enough interest in any given market to arrange the travel and accommodations, we would gladly consider sharing the message with others”

Barrett went on to say: “There’s a significant thirst for this knowledge as industry professionals are just plain tired of the status quo and struggling to keep their businesses viable”. “Repairers Spend So Much Time Taking Care of Business, They Often Fail To Take Care of Their Business.”


Paul Hawks, owner of Bernie's Body Shop in Lakeland, Fla., is using a limited power of attorney signed by his customer and has filed a breach of contract suit against Progressive Insurance Co. on behalf of his customer, a Progressive policyholder who asked that his name be withheld.

The lawsuit is the result of the nation's fourth largest personal auto insurer's refusal to pay for repair-related body materials. The insurer's position is that body materials are not reimbursable because they are part of a repairer's "cost of doing business."

"It's most unfortunate that a repairer must take these legal steps but the under-payments and non-payments are continually increasing as insurers squeeze consumers and their repairers," Hawks said.

"I'm sick of being intimidated by insurance companies. While rent, lights, advertising and such are (the cost of doing business) body materials are not?"

Hawks' shop is in Lakeland, the same city where Gunder's Auto Center is located.

Ray Gunder, owner of Gunder's Auto Center, has successfully sued insurance companies in similar lawsuits. See related stories or search "Gunder" on

Gunder and Barrett Smith of Auto Damage Experts, conducted a free legal seminar to help collision repairers recover the full costs required for a proper and thorough repair. The seminar was at 11 a.m. April 14 in Lakeland. See story this issue.


Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens invites you to attend one of his REGIONAL JOINT Meetings of the following committees.

  • Life, Annuity, and Long Term Care Insurance Stakeholder Advisory Committee
  • Health Insurance Stakeholder Advisory Committee
  • P&C Insurance Stakeholder Advisory Committee
  • Safety Fire Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Wednesday, 05-09-12 @ 9:30 a.m. – Macon (Location To Be Announced Soon)
Wednesday, 05-09-12 @ 3:00 p.m. – Albany (Location To Be Announced Soon)
Thursday, 05-10-12 @ 3:00 p.m. – Statesboro  (Location To Be Announced Soon)
Friday, 05-11-12 @ 10:00 a.m. – Atlanta (Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner)

Need more info? Contact GCIA Executive Director Howard Batchelor at 770-367-9816 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Dallas-based Service King plans to embark on an ambitious national expansion led by new president Cathy Bonner intended to double revenue over the next five years. Service King Collision Repair Centers is actively looking for private equity to help fund a national expansion effort.

The chain of collision-repair centers, founded in 1976 by current chairman Eddie Lennox, recently opened seven shops in Houston and the fact that some were profitable after three months prompted Lennox to expand beyond Texas. Jennifer Kirk, vice president of marketing for Service King, said Lennox is spearheading the effort. Lennox announced the growth strategy internally to the company’s 1,500 employees in a video broadcast April 17. “We were able to experiment with a lot of things in Houston that might work for us nationally,” said Lennox, 57, a former body-repair man who started Service King in a three-bay tin building in West Dallas.


The owner of a Watertown, NY, auto body repair shop said plans for an additional location in the town of Pamelia remain indefinite, following the County Planning Board’s site plan review March 27.

Junior J. Stefanini, owner of Body Pros, 17940 U.S. Route 11, submitted plans for a project that includes a 100-foot-by-200-foot auto body repair building, a 60-foot-by-160-foot retail plaza with four storefronts and a 50-foot-by-100-foot storage building on a 15-acre site on U.S. Route 11, next door to Space Age Pools and Spas.  According to Andrew R. Nevin, senior planner for the Jefferson County Planning Department, the proposed business would generate about 20 employees. The Planning Board sent the project back to the town of Pamelia as “a local concern” with some comments made about the site’s layout.

“We’re noting that the local board should consider the need possibly to relocate parking to the side or rear of the buildings or require additional landscaping to buffer the front yard and this other side yard per their zoning law requirements,” Mr. Nevin said.

The Planning Board said the plans should also include more details about anticipated drainage from parking lots to assess the possible impact on a stream that runs along the back of the property.

While Mr. Stefanini said the submitted site plan may not necessarily the exact one he would want to construct, he is hoping to eventually offer more business to the Fort Drum community.

“Sometime in the future I look forward to building in the town of Pamelia, but as of right now, I have no plans of breaking ground any time soon,” Mr. Stefanini said. “It really just comes down to what it’s going to cost to build something.”

He added, “I hope to build a body shop out there in the near future and, hopefully, bring more jobs to the area.”


A sixth Baltimore Police officer was sentenced April 13 for his role in a massive kickback scheme involving an auto body shop, receiving two years in prison and being ordered to pay $24,000 in restitution.

Officer Rafael Concepcion Feliciano Jr., 31, admitted last year that he referred accident vehicles to the Majestic Auto Body shop in Rosedale after being introduced to the store's owners by a fellow officer, Rodney Cintron, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors estimate that Feliciano alone caused a loss of between $120,000 and $200,000. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Feliciano to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay restitution of $24,084, of which $10,000 will go to the Baltimore Police Department, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland.

Fifteen officers pleaded guilty in the scheme, and another was convicted by a federal jury, while dozens more were implicated in the probe. The six officers who have been sentenced have received between eight and 30 months in prison, putting Feliciano's sentence on the higher end.


March 28th, 2012---Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) described the Senate legislation to combat auto insurance fraud which costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year. The legislation would create stronger penalties for individuals who commit insurance fraud and stage auto accidents.

“Auto insurance fraud costs New Yorkers over $1 billion every year, driving our already expensive auto insurance premiums even higher. Stronger penalties are needed to combat auto insurance fraud and protect law-abiding drivers from criminals who steal from our pockets and jeopardize our safety,” said Senator Fuschillo, who supported the legislation in the Senate.


March 22---The New York State Senate passed three bills to combat auto insurance fraud, which costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year, as well as legislation that would impose stronger criminal penalties for staging auto accidents. Recent cases of auto insurance fraud have uncovered massive crime rings, including doctors, lawyers and scam artists who staged accidents and used New York's no-fault insurance program as their own giant state-sponsored, ATM machine.


Paul Amato, who owns Amato's Auto Body in San Diego, will be the first one to tell you that he's totally nuts. When he spoke recently on shop efficiency at the San Diego chapter of the California Autobody Association monthly members meeting, Amato prefaced his presentation by saying, "I might offend some people, so be prepared."

Armed with examples of each of his shop efficiency tips and a few gag props, Amato opened his presentation by handing out some nuts. "I'm really nuts--so here's some nuts," said Amato. He broke out a pink elephant nutcracker that he introduced at the beginning of the night as the anti-trust rules were read; he called it 'the elephant in the room.' He used this elephant to crack the handed out nuts that represented topics like aftermarket parts, DRPs, etcetera, but continued to reiterate, "we can't talk about it," CRACK, "but we can't talk about it."

Published in WESTERN NEWS

Autobody News columnist Rich Evans, owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks and award-winning painter and fabricator, co-sponsored an exclusive fundraising event held April 13 at the Lush Lounge in Long Beach.

‘The Party,’ co-hosted by Motor Media and Swipe 4 The Kids, raised awareness and $2200 for America’s Baby Cancer Foundation and the Orange County chapter of JDRF (formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). The guest-list only event featured a silent auction which included several unique items, including autographed footballs from former NFL stars Vince Ferragamo and Mike Lansford, autographed guitars and luxury watches.

Spinning eclectic tunes for ‘The Party’ was guest DJ Chris Vrenna, formerly a drummer for Nine Inch Nails and keyboardist for Marilyn Manson.  In 1994, Vrenna won a Grammy for his live performance with Nine Inch Nails at Woodstock.

Racing personality Gordon “Lug Nutzz” Stewart, who has covered extreme sports, entertainment and the music industry on several radio and TV networks, hosted the party with his own brand of charitable enthusiasm.

Published in WESTERN NEWS

The Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA) and the California/Nevada/Arizona Automotive Wholesalers’ Association (CAWA) hosted their third annual Aftermarket Joint Summit on February 18, 2012 in Sacramento, CA. More than 70 members representing independent repair facilities and aftermarket parts’ manufacturers and distributors were in attendance at the Joint Summit to find common ground between the organizations and create a unified plan to strengthen the automotive repair industry as a whole.

The morning kicked off when Dennis Montalbano, owner of German Auto Repair, Inc. and the ASCCA Immediate Past President and Joe Bergieker, Robert Bosch Corporation; and CAWA Manufacturers’ Advisory Council, made a presentation called “Strength in Industry Unity.”

To read or download this article as a PDF with photos click HERE and save

Published in WESTERN NEWS

West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw announced April 12 that Liberty Mutual and Greg Chandler’s Frame & Body in St. Albans will halt their use of "junkyard parts" in repairs of new vehicles.

The terms of the Preliminary Injunction Order with Liberty Mutual and the body shop provide that the defendants will immediately cease repairing vehicles that are three years old or less with salvaged parts until all issues raised in Attorney General McGraw's complaint are fully resolved. Liberty Mutual also agreed that it would provide the State with a list of all West Virginia consumers whose vehicles were repaired illegally within the last three years using salvaged parts.

"It's important to notify West Virginians who have been victimized by Liberty Mutual’s unlawful policy," Attorney General McGraw said. "Consumers likely have no idea their vehicles were repaired with junkyard parts."

In one case, a consumer filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s office in December 2011 after experiencing problems with her 2009 Chevrolet Aveo, which was repaired by the body shop in the fall of 2011. When the vehicle was returned to her after repairs, the customer noticed "the rear hatch did not line up and there was a gap between the driver’s side hatch and the quarter panel big enough to put my fingers in."

She then reviewed her invoice which showed that "like-kind and quality" parts were used to replace the driver’s side quarter panel. It wasn’t until she saw news coverage about Attorney General McGraw’s lawsuit against Liberty Mutual that she realized her car had been repaired with "junkyard parts."

"State law requires insurance companies and body shops to secure a consumer’s written authorization before repairing a new vehicle with salvaged parts," Attorney General McGraw said. "Liberty Mutual intentionally withheld this material information. Consumers had no notice that their vehicles had not been repaired with new parts."

Darrell McGraw filed the lawsuit against Liberty Mutual and body shop owner Greg Chandler late last year, alleging that the body shop followed an illegal insurance policy to install used or aftermarket crash parts on vehicles manufactured within three years of the date of the crash. "Crash parts" in this case generally refers to exterior or interior fiberglass or metal materials that make up the body of the vehicle, like fenders, bumpers, door panels and wheel wells. The suit listed repeated violations of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act by Liberty Mutual and Greg’s Body Shop. McGraw’s office alleged that Liberty Mutual required body shops to repair vehicles with reconditioned, re-manufactured, and used parts in violation of West Virginia law. In addition, he said Liberty Mutual failed to provide the proper notices and written statements to consumers.

"The safety and economic well-being of Liberty Mutual's customers are always our primary considerations," company spokesman Glenn Greenberg said in a statement. "Any decision we make concerning the use of a specific part for a damaged vehicle is made without compromising neither our customer's safety, or the manufacturer warranty."

But according to McGraw, the policy violates a state law that prohibits body shop owners from installing used crash parts on newer vehicles without the owner's consent.

The Attorney General's Office became aware of the practice when a former body shop manager for Joe Holland Automotive came forward with a complaint.

The manager said that a Liberty Mutual agent tried to implement the policy. When Joe Holland refused, the insurance company revoked its status as a "preferred" body shop, which is a contractual agreement between the two companies that allowed Joe Holland to save time and money by writing estimates and repairing damaged vehicles without the prior approval of an insurance agent.

The case has also provoked objections from recyclers to the use of the term "junkyard parts."

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

Join inter-industry professionals as the collision industry gathers fro the 2012 I-CAR Industry Event, July 18 – 20, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio on the River Walk in San Antonio, TX.

Driving Excellence

As an attendee you can:

  • Gain knowledge from industry thought leaders and their views on the latest in collision repair technology, business and professional performance topics.
  • Network with the collision industry at the I-CAR Networking Reception & Sponsor Showcase, the Collision Industry Conference meeting (CIC), the Education Foundation Golf Fundraiser, other industry meetings, and more.
  • Recognize the accomplishments and dedicated work I-CAR instructors and volunteers in their commitment to bringing excellence to the industry.
  • Display your company’s support of technical training to the entire industry by participating as an event sponsor.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

AkzoNobel F.I.T. Lunch Program
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Beyond “Green” – Sustainability & Collision Repair A compelling hour of information where you will be challenged to re-think your perceptions about the concept of sustainability and its practical application within the collision repair industry. Make solid links with the theories of sustainability and the practical needs of a collision repair business to be profitable. Presenter: Mike Shesterkin, Director of Sustainability and New Business Innovations, AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings Americas

General Session
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
I-CAR is driving excellence with industry thought leaders' views and panel discussions on today's hottest recommended repair procedures, business and professional performance topics.

Networking Reception & Sponsor Showcase
6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

Technical Presentations
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Volunteer/Instructor Clinic
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Find out the latest in volunteer and committee support directly from I-CAR Field Operations and offer your opinions for future development in an open forum. Discuss future I-CAR course development, increased instructor support, and best practices for effective classroom presentations.

Volunteer/Instructor Recognition Dinner
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday, July 20, 2012

7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

Regional Breakout Sessions
8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Volunteer/Instructor Closing Session
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Business casual attire is required for all events at the meeting.

Monday, 16 April 2012 16:17

CIECA's 2012 Implementation Conference

The fourth annual Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) Implementation Conference will be held September 11-12 in Northbrook, IL. The one-and-a-half day conference will focus on case studies of existing implementations, as well as how to implement the CIECA standards. The CIECA conference offers business and technical personnel involved with application systems guidance to implement strategic and tactical plans for integrating the CIECA standards and improving their application processing. Two concurrent tracks with Business and Technical sessions will offered.

The event will be held at the Chicago/Northbrook Hilton in Northbrook, IL where special conference rates will be open until August 25. Registration is open to CIECA and non-CIECA members with a discounted rate for CIECA members.

Registration can be done HERE

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 23:12

ASA White Paper on Crash Parts Policy

The Automotive Service Association’s Collision Division has completed a white paper on the development of ASA’s recent official position statement on replacement crash parts. Following work group discussions by the ASA’s Governmental Affairs Committee and Collision Division Operations Committee, these teams set out to create a balanced and contemporary update to the association’s 1997 crash parts policy.

The white paper, which can be downloaded from the ASA website at, provides a historical look at ASA’s crash parts position, along with today’s expectation for the highest possible level of quality aftermarket parts.

ASA’s contemporary policy calls for collision repair facilities and insurance vendors to disclose to the consumer all part types being recommended, along with the part description and warranty information.

In recognizing the value of a competitive parts market, the updated policy maintains that the original equipment manufacturer part is the standard, while supporting replacement crash parts that are certified and verified in which quality is based on empirical and measurable evidence equal to the OEM part.

Although ASA’s members maintain that original equipment manufacturer parts are the standard for parts specifications, these independent business owners also see the positive effects a competitive marketplace has on producing higher quality parts.
ASA’s members, through their hands-on experiences, are aware that providing the best possible repair for an individual consumer must take into account the individual’s economic circumstances, with quality and safety at the forefront of the repair plan. ASA’s membership also recognizes the importance of fact-based, verifiable evidence that speaks to the quality and responsiveness of replacement crash parts.

“Collision repairers want to use the best possible replacement crash parts for collision repairs and are aware that no two repairs are the same. The measurable and verifiable data of replacement crash parts is essential for the repair community to determine the various levels of quality in the parts market. Aftermarket parts built to the standard of original equipment parts raises the bar of quality and advances a competitive parts market,” said Dan Stander, ASA Collision Division director and co-owner of Fix Auto Highlands Ranch, Littleton, CO.

On behalf of its members who serve the motoring public, the association appreciates its new and ongoing relationships with ASA’s associate members, including its newest associate member in the collision parts segment, Cornerstone Auto Parts. ASA’s recent partnership with Diamond Standard Parts also underscores the association’s position regarding replacement crash parts.
The quality of replacement crash parts is an issue that continues to be monitored by ASA’s Collision Division Operations Committee.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

Our next General Meeting will be Tuesday, April 17, 2012 from 1 - 5 pm, at the Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs, California. The general meeting is open to all and will be held in conjunction with the Equipment & Tool Institute ToolTech 2012. General meeting agenda is available here.

The Vehicle Security Committee (VSC) will also meet on April 17th from 9:30 - Noon at the Riviera Hotel. VSC meeting agenda is available here. 

Details about ETI ToolTech 2012 are available on the ETI website at

The National Automotive Service Task Force is a not-for-profit, no-dues task force established to facilitate the identification and correction of gaps in the availability and accessibility of automotive service information, service training, diagnostic tools and equipment, and communications for the benefit of automotive service professionals. NASTF is a voluntary, cooperative effort among the automotive service industry, the equipment and tool industry, and automotive manufacturers.

Published in WESTERN NEWS

CARSTAR announced March 21 that it has named three new members to its Insurance Relations Committee to help strengthen the lines of communication on the insurance issues facing the company and its shop owners.

The CARSTAR Insurance Relations Committee is a subcommittee of the Advisory Board, which is composed of franchisees who meet at least quarterly with the CARSTAR Insurance Relations Department to discuss store and industry insurance issues. This committee provides insight around the annual CARSTAR conference, industry issues (parts, CSI, refinish, rental, etc.), direct repair program management, aggregated performance numbers, concession based agreements and more, according to CARSTAR.

Joining the CARSTAR Insurance Relations Committee as new members are:
• Doug Pike, Pike’s CARSTAR Collision in Madison, OH
• Heath Harris, Steve’s CARSTAR Auto Body in Arnold, MO
• Sheri Johnson, ACS CARSTAR in Naples, FL

Returning to the CARSTAR Insurance Relations Committee are:
• Scott Hotalen, Vice Chair, Stanton’s CARSTAR in Binghamton, NY
• Dan Young, Co-Chair, CARSTAR Corporate in Overland Park, KS
• Doug Kelly, Collision Automotive CARSTAR in E. Hartford, CN
• Lynnette Greenemeier, Highland CARSTAR Auto Body in Denver, CO
• Corey Liss, Liss CARSTAR Collision in Crown Point, IN
• Jeff Middleton, Exhibition Automotive CARSTAR in Kent, WA

“We thank all of our Insurance Relations Committee members for their service and support that benefit all CARSTAR independent store owners,” said Dan Young, senior VP of Insurance Relations of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “It is important to have an open line of communication between the CARSTAR leadership team and the independent store owner as we work with our national insurance partners. They contribute a tremendous amount of time and intellectual capital helping lead and grow this organization. ”


Published in Insurance Actions
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 15:57

Masters School of Autobody Management

Masters School of Autobody Management's will hold a one-day class:
The Nuts and Bolts of Sales and Estimating
June 22, 2012
Galesburg, Ill.

This one-day class focuses on two things: maintaining a reliable system to receive cars to write estimates and build your bottom line while maintaining relationships with insurance companies. Using the Masters Forgettables, you will earn your tuition back with the first day of estimates.


ALLDATA and CARSTAR Franchise Systems, Inc. have entered into a strategic agreement in which each of CARSTAR’s more-than-400 shop locations throughout 31 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces will use ALLDATA Collision S3500 as their preferred provider of OEM collision repair information.

ALLDATA Collision S3500 is a repair information system designed specifically for the collision repair industry. The system provides users with OEM procedures such as sectioning and structural repairs, handling of new materials, and panel removal and replacement through a database of more than 32,000 vehicles. The system also provides diagnostic testing data and procedures for resetting and reprogramming electronic systems, vehicle-specific mechanical repair procedures, and technical service bulletins, according to ALLDATA.

"We are excited about the expansion with CARSTAR," said Wayne Mitchell, director of sales and operations for ALLDATA. "This agreement furthers our relationship while providing CARSTAR franchisees the most up-to-date and complete OEM repair information to streamline repair processes.”

“ALLDATA Collision is a natural fit for our franchisees and we are very happy to be entering into this alliance with all of our North American locations," said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR. "The depth of the product supports our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction while making our shops efficient. ALLDATA Collision is a partner our shops can trust."

ALLDATA currently serves more than 80,000 automotive repair facilities with OEM repair information, shop management software and customer relations tools. For more information, visit

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

GreenSweep is a pollution prevention and energy reduction program designed specifically for the collision repair industry. It was set up to make it easier for body shops to manage and improve their environmental performance. The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) announced it has teamed with GRC-Pirk Management Company---an EPA-recognized, registered professional engineering firm---to provide the GreenSweep program, tailored to the needs of the SCRS membership.

"The collision repair industry faces unique challenges in reducing its carbon footprint," said GRC-Pirk President Steven Schillinger. "Not only do they have to manage energy output, they have to deal with chemical emissions from their refinishing departments. The SCRS-sponsored program handles both requirements, making it of special interest to body shops."

GreenSweep offers repairers a complementary set of environmental products and services. It assists shops in measuring, tracking and recording the environmental performance of their facility, including the measurement of baseline and ongoing business emissions. It also helps the shop develop and implement a plan for remaining compliant with the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy's ENERGY STAR energy management guidelines.

"The goal is not to establish a one-shot sustainability," said Schillinger, "but to display consistent performance improvement over time."

In addition, GreenSweep offers enrollment in the SCRS-recognized Green Sustainability School – a free, ongoing monthly training service for collision repair managers and employees with curriculum designed to keep body shop professionals up-to-date on green practices and technology.

Once a shop is certified – a service managed and provided by EPA-recognized third-party GRC-Pirk – it is then listed on the website, a validation that the business is officially recognized as "green" by federal, state and local authorities.

The opportunity to be recognized and create an effective, localized marketing campaign around environmental practices – SCRS notes the GreenSweep program includes marketing collateral – is only one of the advantages for repairers enrolling in the program, which more than pays back its service fee. Improved energy efficiencies reduce utility expense and operating costs. Green operators benefit from tax credits and deductions as well as city rebates and subsidies. Some garagekeeper's liability insurance providers even offer discounts to environmentally responsible policyholders.

"Adopting sound environmental practices is not only the right thing to do, but it can provide a collision repairer with some competitive advantages," said Schillinger. "It is exciting to bring our expertise to the industry, and we look forward to helping SCRS members reduce their environmental impact and become more efficient operators in the process."

"SCRS pursues opportunities and strategic partnerships that position its members to succeed not only in the present, but in the long run," said SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. "This often includes placing new tools, progressive solutions and cost saving measures at their fingertips, exemplified by our agreement with GRC-Pirk and the rollout of the SCRS-recognized GreenSweep program. As the industry moves forward, optimal energy and pollution performance will play an increasingly large role in repair facility success, creating distinction between the SCRS members making use of the program and the other facilities operating within the market. We are honored to make this program available to our members, and thank GRC-Pirk for putting together such a robust program for our organization."

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) is gearing up to select its second annual “Head of the Class Award” winners, to honor up to seven aftermarket companies that continually invest in employee education and training. The award was created in 2011 and will be administered by the AAIA Education Committee on behalf of the association.

“This is a chance to take pride in the commitment to continuous learning,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. “We are delighted to once again have the opportunity to distinguish companies who set themselves up for advancement and growth by encouraging their employees to participate in available education and training opportunities. This benefits not only the businesses themselves, but also the entire aftermarket industry.”

One “Head of the Class Award” will be presented to an AAIA member company in each industry category, including manufacturer, warehouse distributor, independent jobber/parts store, retailer, national service chain, independent service and repair shop and manufacturers’ representative. Applicants must include information directly related to the education and training practices of the company, including what prompted the company to invest in training, the types of training accomplished, the initial goals, their experiences, results of the training and any future plans.

Applications are due by Tuesday, July 31, and winning companies will be notified in September. Winners will be selected by the AAIA Education Committee, and then recognized during AAPEX 2012 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Application forms and full submission requirements are available at Please fax or e-mail the nomination form and supplementary documents to Sue Kalish, senior director, education, AAIA, at 301-654-3299 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information, call 301-654-6664.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

The Collision Repair Education Foundation has announced the unanimous appointment of Chris Evans, State Farm Insurance Companies, to chairman emeritus on the board of trustees in recognition and appreciation of his service to the foundation. To be eligible for appointment, past chairmen must have completed a full term as chairman of the foundation, and have made significant contributions to the foundation through time, effort and/or monetary contributions.

Evans served as chairman of the Collision Repair Education Foundation Board of Trustees from 2008-2010 and played a vital role in transitioning the organization into its philanthropic role within the collision industry. In this new role as chairman emeritus, he will provide ongoing counsel and expertise to the board of trustees.

Collision Repair Education Foundation Board of Trustees Immediate Past Chairman Doug Webb of CSi Complete noted, “Chris’s service to the foundation has been remarkable in every way. As chairman during 2008 and 2009, he assumed full responsibility for the migration of the foundation. The fact that the Collision Repair Education Foundation now stands alone and is a full philanthropic 501(c)(3) is testimony of Chris’s skill. Not only did it take great leadership skills but it also took tremendous interpersonal skills and Chris was more than up to the task.” 

Evans currently serves as claim consultant for State Farm Insurance and has more than 25 years of experience in the industry. He is also active in SkillsUSA, serves on the board of directors for I-CAR, and is a CIC Committee Co-Chair.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Camden Iron & Metal, based in Camden, N.J., is relocating its scrap processing operations from Philadelphia to Camden.

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the company’s decision to relocate its scrap processing operations to Camden follows attempts to relocate and consolidate operations in the Philadelphia area. The company had acquired an abandoned 44-acre facility in Eddystone, Pa., and had planned to install a large auto shredder at the location.
However, strong opposition by residents surrounding the Eddystone site bogged down the company’s plans to relocate. And, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the final decision to relocate to Camden came after Pennsylvania Gove. Tom Corbett rescinded a $31.1 million pledge made by the former governor to build a pier on the Delaware River at Camden Iron’s proposed location.

The I-CAR vision is that every person in the collision industry, current and future, has the necessary knowledge and skills relevant to their position to achieve a complete and safe repair.

In 2011, the collision industry provided $4.1 million in support to secondary and post-secondary collision students and their school programs through the Collision Repair Education Foundation.

The Atlanta Golf Tournament Fundraiser event is a major fundraiser and proceeds support secondary and post-secondary collision students in the greater Atlanta area.

I-CAR’s mission is that I-CAR will be the leader in research, development and delivery of quality, convenient, cost-effective educational programs for the collision industry. For more information on I-CAR please see the website at

Collision Repair Education Foundation Tournament Fundraiser Info

Wednesday, April 25th
Registration: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Shotgun Start: 12:00pm
The Highlands Course at Lake Arrowhead
(770) 479-5500
Waleska, GA 30183

I-CAR is hosting the annual golf tournament to express appreciation to their industry business partners. They would like to offer you the opportunity to join them by sponsoring. Download the Sponsorship Form – click here.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012 14:57

Georgia Labor Rate Survey Complete

The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) recently completed their 6th Annual Labor & Materials Rate Survey for Metro Atlanta. The Survey was conducted by CSi Complete to ensure unbiased data collection. CSi Complete is a provider of customer satisfaction indexing to collision repair, insurance companies and other service industries and you can learn more information about the company by visiting their website at

Go to GCIA website for results


Leif's Auto Centers, of Portland, Ore., will start a new statewide educational campaign called "Ask Leif's" on May 14.

The idea is to provide expert assistance and advocacy for consumers, connecting with insurance company liaisons and the state of Oregon Insurance Commissioner to help settle disputed claims in a fair and equitable manner, said Leif Hansen, owner of Leif's Auto Centers.

"With thousands of auto claims in Oregon settled in bad faith, we recognize a market for unbiased, factual information and help for consumers dealing with professionals from the insurance industry, Hansen said.

"Utilizing social media in addition to an annual $2- million awareness campaign, we will be able to help Oregonians that are being shorted by rogue drive-in and field estimate policies, denying of claim benefits, DRP policies and total loss problems."

To help expedite the flow of information, Hansen is asking all major tier one and tow insurance companies to provide him with a permanent contact person to communicate with. That person should be able to assist in alleged bad faith and other claim disputes as they arise.

Leif's Auto Centers has 11 locations in the Portland, Salem, Medford and Vancouver, Ore., markets.

For more information visit or call 503-969-8502.

Published in WESTERN NEWS
Monday, 09 April 2012 17:07

Small Community Gets New Body Shop

Premier Auto Body & Paint opened for business in September 2011 in Heber-Overgaard, AZ, an LDS community, population 2722. It’s a very small town close to my own small hometown in Arizona. Scott, Amanda, and LeGrande McLaws work in the shop full time. The family recently relocated to Arizona from South Dakota to fulfill their lifelong dream of owning their own body shop.

Office Manager Amanda McLaws said this is Scott’s first business, after working in the auto body industry for 15 years. She said they moved up to Heber/Overgaard in July, but Scott grew up in Joseph City. Before moving, the two lived in Rapid City, S.D., for 10 years.

To read or download this article as a PDF with photos click HERE

Published in WESTERN NEWS

We asked John Thomas, owner of Thomas Auto Body Shop in Hingham, MA, about his company as it passes its 50-year anniversary this year. The following is an edited version of our conversation.

Monday, 09 April 2012 16:52

Winter’s dry roads ding body shops

Jerry Wientjes, owner of McCarran Auto Body, is accustomed to a flood of vehicles at his shop every winter. But not this one.

Wientjes, whose career in automotive restoration spans 35 years, says McCarran Auto Body usually sees a roughly 70 percent increase in cars at its shop during wet winters when roads freeze and unlucky motorists spin out and crash.

Click here to read article

Published in Mainstream News Links
Thursday, 05 April 2012 15:47

LKQ Announces Promise of Protection Program

LKQ Corp., the largest provider of aftermarket and recycled collision replacement parts and refurbished collision replacement products in the nation, has announced what it describes as "the strongest warranty protection in the aftermarket category."

Effective immediately, LKQ says it will indemnify licensed auto repair shops against injury or damage caused by a defective aftermarket vehicle replacement product distributed by LKQ. LKQ says its "Promise of Protection" is unique in the auto parts industry offering unparalleled product liability indemnification.

"We have always stood behind our product quality and offer lifetime warranties for all of our aftermarket crash parts, that's not new," said Rob Wagman, president and CEO of LKQ. "Our Promise of Protection goes one giant step further by offering product liability indemnification. This new program clearly demonstrates our higher level of quality assurance beyond the lifetime warranty, so our customers can be totally confident when buying and using our products in their repair businesses."

LKQ says its alternative parts offering has the industry's widest assortment of products including CAPA and NSF certified parts, ISO-9001 and TS-16949 manufacturing by many suppliers and Platinum Plus parts distributed through its ISO-9001 facilities. In addition, the company's proprietary quality assurance program, AQRP, is available to LKQ's insurance and fleet customers.

The LKQ program invites comparison with that recently announced by Diamond Standard (see Diamond Standard announced that it would offer $40 million of insurance coverage for shops against any liability claims arising from the use of Diamond Standard's NSF certified parts.

The Promise of Protection is subject to certain terms and conditions. For more information visit

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 17:53

MA AASP Joins Right to Repair Coalition

The Massachusetts Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) announced that it has officially joined the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition. AASP is a large coalition of full-service, high-tech mechanical repair shops and auto collision repair shops that reach into every corner of the state.

“Many of the finest auto repair companies in Massachusetts call AASP their trade association,” said Art Kinsman, spokesman for the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition. “So we are excited to welcome AASP to the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition.”

The Right to Repair legislation and the Right to Repair initiative petition for a ballot question would establish a level playing field where independent repair shops can compete fairly with their franchised dealer counterparts. Car manufacturers would simply be required to sell all dealer-quality repair and diagnostic information to independent repair shops.

AASP’s mantra has always been ‘education matters’, and as such, they have long been a great resource for automotive information and knowledge. AASP’s endorsement of Right to Repair is important because it highlights that today’s automotive technicians can serve consumers best with a combination of extensive training and proper access to all repair and diagnostic information necessary to repair today’s sophisticated vehicles.

AASP joins such other associations such as the New England Tire and Service Association, American Car Care Centers, the Service Station Dealers of America, the Automotive Recyclers of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Locksmiths Association, Midas, Meineke, the MassachusettsMotorcycle Association, Valvoline, Bridgestone-Firestone in supporting Right to Repair legislation in Massachusetts. Right to Repair is also supported by consumer advocates such as AAA and the Consumer League for Economic Auto Repair (CLEAR) and the American Military Society who advocates for the economic well-being of soldier’s families at home.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

From 2007 to 2009 State Farm Insurance, the nation's largest auto insurer, tested a parts ordering program with repair facilities who participated in their DRP program in California and Indiana. That program revolved around a parts discount to State Farm from the auto manufacturers, which was facilitated through an electronic parts ordering program. In April of 2011, nearly two years after the conclusion of the previous test program, State Farm released an online video discussing future parts ordering initiatives. That same month, Insurance & Technology published an article referencing a report released by Stephen Applebaum and the Aite group, which clearly stated that "State Farm is leading the way to greater control of the auto repair procurement process with its announcement of a new electronic parts-ordering initiative."

While the article was brief, Applebaum's post on the Aite site elaborated that "the U.S. collision industry repairs about 10 million vehicles annually, at an average cost of about US$3,000 each, for a total of approximately US$30 billion. Of that, parts represent 33%, or about US$10 billion. Given the level of influence carriers exert and that much being spent on parts, it is inevitable that carriers will seek to gain greater visibility into, and control over, the parts procurement process.  After all, each percentage point is worth US$100 million to someone." Less than a year later, in the early months of 2012, the carrier began testing the program - an online parts-ordering/bidding software program developed by a New Zealand firm called PartsTrader - in areas of the United States such as Tucson, AZ and Birmingham, AL. State Farm facilitated the rollout in test areas with both the parts vendors as well as the repair shops in their network. In a letter issued to parts suppliers, State Farm wrote "All repairers currently participating in the Select Service program have agreed to use automated replacement parts locating services or applications if requested by State Farm, and will be required to use PartsTrader. Suppliers registered with PartsTrader will have the ability to provide competitive pricing on the entire parts order through the quoting process which may provide opportunities to increase sales volumes." Other communications were sent to repair facilities outlining the electronic parts ordering and estimate workflow process. Under the program, State Farm instructs the repair facilities to follow workflow steps, such as: Write a complete estimate with the OEM parts listed in the database and save in preliminary status. Export the estimate to your EMS directory. The PartsTrader software will pull the parts list into the application automatically. Within PartsTrader, forward the quote request to all part suppliers (quote time is adjustable by the repairer). When the quote time expires, review quote responses and order selected parts. Update the estimate with the selected part types and prices. Upload the committed estimate. Note: The same procedure should be followed on supplements. In cases where a "recycled" assembly is required, select the "recycled" part type on the estimate with a price of zero dollars so that the suppliers recognize the need for an assembly. State Farm Auto Claims Consultant, George Avery, was quoted in a CollisionWeek interview discussing the new program in April of 2011, indicating that "the feel this time is a little bit different in that we are committed to exploring this because we see the benefit for the repairer, the supplier, the customer and, of course, us. The test before, there was a lot of learning there, that points to the fact that parts procurement offers a lot of efficiencies to be gained." However as the test rolls out, many in the industry are wondering what benefits truly exist for the repairer, the supplier and the customer? The benefit to State Farm is clear; there is an obvious savings for the carrier through the use of the program.


Below is a real example of the resulting quotes from the bidding process for parts necessary to repair front-end damage on a job requiring only 4 parts: 3 bumper components and a lamp.

These slides are screen captures of pricing bid on by OEM dealers where the PartsTrader program is currently testing in the United States. As you can see, one dealer maintained the OEM MSRP list price, while the other two offered a 15.46% discount off the list price, reducing the list price by $54.42. You will also notice that the margin on the discounted parts is 2% lower than the part with the MSRP pricing. What this means is that the repair facility will make $25.00 less profit on this part and the dealer will make $29.42 less in profit. The insurance carrier will save $54.42 due to the reduction in the list price. Will the consumer ever see any of these savings, or do these savings increase the carrier's profit margin?

On this part, the two of the dealers have offered a 23.52% discount on the list price, with a 2.01% decrease in margin. This equates to a $5.66 loss in profit to the repair facility, a $7.97 loss to the dealer and a $13.63 savings to the insurance carrier.

On this part, two of the dealers have offered a 23.39% discount on the list price, with a 2% decrease in margin. This equates to a $2.57 loss in profit to the repair facility, a $3.62 loss to the dealer and a $6.19 savings to the insurance carrier.

As you can see, on this part, two of the OEM dealers have offered a 22.09% discount on the list price, with a 2% decrease in margin. If the shop selected OEM, this equates to an $18.29 loss in profit to the repair facility, a $25.20 loss to the dealer and a $43.49 savings to the insurance carrier. However, this slide also contains 3 "Recycled Grade A" part options. The cheapest used part is listed at $25.00 cost. Hypothetically, if the repairer were to bill this part with a 25% markup, that part would list on the estimate for $31.25, producing $6.25 in profit to the repair facility. In comparison to the OEM part with the OEM MSRP, the used part could equate to a $62.65 loss in profit dollars to the repair facility, while saving the insurance carrier $165.61.

Looking at this scenario, a small repair with only 4 front-end parts, the numbers appear to be staggering. If the cheapest part was selected in each of these occasions, the overall parts order would result in the repair facility losing $95.88 in parts profit in comparison to if all the parts were ordered using traditional OEM MSRP; conversely, this program will save the insurance company $239.85.

Every collision repairer could ask themselves, is this a win-win situation? For anyone looking to understand the impact on their business, there are numerous resources available to repair facilities to analyze the economic impact that adjustements to profit centers, such as this, can have on your bottom line.

Aside from the loss of real money associated with parts dollars, there are additional expenses to consider as well. There is a waiting period before an estimate can be locked while the repair facility waits for quotes. Once those quotes are received, each part price needs to be manually re-entered into the estimate before it can be committed. This particular example only has 4 parts; how much administrative cost is associated with that task if there are 40 parts? What is the cost of potentially dealing with multiple suppliers to maintain the most "competitive price"?

It is too early to have answers to many of these questions, but repair facilities in the U.S. would be well served to start looking at how programs such as this impact your business now, and how you wish to react to them in the interest of your business' health and welfare.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

The Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes A-Plus™  University and Summit Software and Marketing have teamed up to create a special “Digital Marketing Advanced Business Class” specifically for collision repair facilities.

This four-hour workshop will be held Thursday, April 26, 2012 in San Diego, CA (at Petco Park, home of the Padres), and includes an exclusive stadium tour, dinner and suite to later take in the Padres vs. Washington Nationals baseball game.

Designed to meet the challenges body shop personnel and decision-makers face in today’s rapidly changing digital and information age, the workshop is recommended for collision shop owners and managers. Frank Terlep, CEO and Lead Sherpa of Summit Software and Marketing Solutions will facilitate the program.

Published in WESTERN NEWS

Of the more than 759,000 automotive technicians working in the United States, 20 outstanding individuals have qualified for the prestigious 2012 World Class Technician Award. The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) work together to recognize these professional technicians who have tested and obtained ASE certification in 22 specialty areas during the 2011 test administrated by ASE.

The 2012 World Class Technicians are:

  • Chris M. Beckhans, Centereach, N.Y.
  • Thomas R. Bowles, Heathsville, Va.
  • Michael C. Cain, Grapevine, Texas
  • Stephen P. Clark, Sr., Kingwood, Texas
  • Paul T. Dawson, Highland, Utah
  • Timothy W. Feldhaus, Kettle Falls, Wash.
  • Ricardo G. Garcia, Crystal Lake, Ill.
  • David D. Houk, Springtown, Texas
  • Victor A. Jackson, Mount Laurel, N.J.
  • James W. Kendig, Springfield, Ohio
  • Craig A. Lampe, Grapevine, Texas
  • Kirk A. Mahaffy, Grapevine, Texas
  • Robert A. McNamee, Hinckley, Ill.
  • Dale B. Nicholson, Shakopee, Minn.
  • Guy H. Rennow, Grapevine, Texas
  • Jeremy K. Richardson, Windsor, Pa.
  • Thomas A. Southward, San Diego, Calif.
  • David M. Utz, Villa Ridge, Mo.
  • James R. Whelan, III, Petersburg, Va.
  • Jeremy J. Wiggins, Huffman, Texas

“The AAIA World Class Technician Award is for automotive diagnostic and repair professionals what the Super Bowl is for professional football players or what the Stanley Cup is for hockey players,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. “Just imagine the knowledge and skills needed by a technician to pass 22 ASE tests. These folks are truly the best of the best and we are proud to be associated with them through our annual recognition in conjunction with ASE.”

“This recognition partnership between AAIA and ASE goes back 26 years and represents the most significant achievement award available to our ASE-certified professionals,” said Tim Zilke, ASE president and CEO. “ASE is grateful for the support AAIA provides to our service professionals in recognizing these outstanding individuals each year and we celebrate over a quarter century of this commitment to excellence with AAIA.”

Since the World Class Technician recognition was established 26 years ago, only 1,833 technicians have been honored. Recipients receive a special certificate signed by the presidents of ASE and AAIA, a logo medallion and embroidered shoulder insignia. Additionally, their name is perpetually inscribed in an honor book located in the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS
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