CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts is celebrating its 22nd anniversary in 2011, and many of its top franchisees today have been part of the organization for two decades.
CARSTAR CEO David Byers honored these long-standing CARSTAR stores on stage during the annual awards ceremony on September 25.
Automotive News is reporting that the UAW has ratified a four-year labor agreement with General Motors by a 2-to-1 margin -- marking another milestone in the automaker's post-bankruptcy restructuring.
The union, in a statement, said the vote was 65 percent in favor of the agreement among production workers. Among skilled trades workers who voted, 63 percent approved the deal, the UAW said.
The union reached a tentative agreement with GM on Sept. 16.
GM is the first of Detroit's three automakers to negotiate a settlement with the union. The UAW is now engaged in final talks to secure a labor accord with Ford Motor Co. The union's contract with Chrysler has been extended through Oct. 19.
GM CEO Dan Akerson and CFO Dan Ammann plan to brief financial analysts on terms of the deal at 2 p.m. ET today.
Under the pact, GM's 48,000 hourly workers have traded the promise of generous pay and benefits for job security and compensation gains that are more closely tied to the automaker's health, profitability and quality advances
The San Diego chapter of the California Autobody Association (CAA) held their monthly members meeting on September 27 at 7p.m. at Tom Ham's Lighthouse in San Diego. The meeting's guest speaker was Frank Terlep of Summit Software and Mobile Solutions.
Frank's focus was digital marketing and how shops can better use digital marketing to capture more cars, customers and revenue.
Digital marketing produces exact, measurable results and allows customers to reach a more targeted audience than traditional marketing efforts. The cost is also dramatically lower than that of traditional marketing. Frank's presentation focused on how to use email, web, mobile and text services and social media to accomplish marketing for shops.
"82% of consumers will purchase a product or service from a company when marketed to consistently for 24 months," said Terlep.
The first order of business for shops to start taking advantage of the large amount of 'digital consumers'--people who regularly use digital markets--is to increase their web presence. Terlep talked about a few ways to go about doing this including using social media sites, review and location sites, and creating a company newsletter; however the number one way should be to have a complete and engaging company website.
"Treat your website like your online lobby," said Terlep.
Chief™ Automotive Technologies is offering its best pricing of the year as part of a full menu of show specials that start now and extend through NACE 2011 in Orlando next week (Oct. 5-8, 2011). The company is offering special pricing and free gifts for a wide range of Chief and Chassis Liner™ frame machines, Chief computerized measuring systems and Elektron® resistance welders.
Contact your local Chief distributor or come to Chief NACE booth #N803 to take advantage of the following offers:
· Pulling. Get special pricing on a 22-foot Goliath®, 20-foot Impulse® E-VHT or 20-foot Titan® 360 frame machine, with even greater savings available when combined with a Chief computerized measuring system. Plus, choose 12 months interest-free financing (with approved credit) or a free Helios 220 induction heater (while supplies last).
· Computerized Measuring. Buy a new Velocity® or Velocity Max computerized measuring system at a low show price and get an even better deal when combined with a full-size Chief frame rack. Plus, choose 12 months interest-free financing (with approved credit) or get the first year of specifications for just $1 (regularly priced at $999).
· Entry-Level Measuring. Order a new Vector® computerized measuring system with special pricing and receive 12 months interest-free financing (with approved credit).
· Truck Package. Buy a Chassis Liner Truck ’N Revolution™ frame machine and any Chief computerized measuring system (Vector, Velocity or Velocity Max), and get show pricing on the measuring system plus a choice of 12 months interest-free financing (with approved credit), one of year of specifications for $1 (a $999 value) or show pricing on the Chassis Liner rack.
· Resistance Welders. Contact your local Elektron distributor or visit Chief booth #N803 booth or Elektron booth #N403 for special show pricing.
The Chief Titan and E-VHT pulling systems will be on display in Chief booth #N803, along with Chief computerized measuring systems, the Chassis Liner Lift ’N Rack Pro™ and a full line of Elektron resistance welders. Just a few steps down the aisle, Elektron booth #N403 will feature Elektron welders, including live demonstrations, and the new Chief EZ Liner™ Express.
For more information about the full line of collision repair equipment available from Chief, contact your local distributor, visit www.chiefautomotive.com or call 877-644-1044. For more information about Elektron products, contact your local distributor, visit www.elektron-bremen.com or call 855-932-WELD (9353). To register for NACE, visit www.naceexpo.com. Chief and Elektron are also active on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles is getting ready for their very own reality show! The show is going to focus on the field offices up and down California.
The show will be called ‘California DMV: Field Offices’ and it will premiere on TruTV. The show is co-produced by new ‘Two And A Half Men’ star Ashton Kutcher. The show will look at what its like to work at one of the few state departments that touches nearly every Californian. The DMV show will shoot from several offices up and down California but there is no official premier date yet.
Billed as a "fun and fast paced" series, the countless mental meltdowns that erupt at DMVs around the country should prove entertaining for the home viewer. The show will focus on "hard-working personnel who deal with everything from issuing licenses and registering vehicles to maintaining accident records and investigating complaints."
California automobile dealers must start labeling salvaged vehicles with a red warning sticker under a new law signed Sept. 26 by Gov. Jerry Brown. A.B. 1215 will take effect July 1, 2012. The new law also requires dealers to use electronic vehicle registration for all car sales and allows dealers to charge consumers more to recoup added costs. About half of California's dealers already participate voluntarily in the electronic registration system.
Assembly Bill 1215 also allows dealers to raise their documentation fees for processing auto purchases and lease agreements from $55 for new- and used-car purchases and from $45 for car leases. The increase for dealers that participate in electronic vehicle registration would be to $75, and, to $65 for dealers that do not. Even with that jump, document charges in California will be the second lowest allowed in the nation. Registrations also will be processed much faster. Consumers will wait only a month for their license plates, instead of as long as six months under the current system.
Fees for participating dealers would be annually adjusted by the Department of Motor Vehicles due to changes in the California Consumer Price Index.
The law requires dealers to warn buyers whether a vehicle for sale has been previously totaled or salvaged. California law already requires the seller of a salvage vehicle to disclose to the purchaser that the vehicle has been declared a total loss salvage vehicle (Cal. Veh. Code 11515(h)(1))).
Under A.B. 1215, dealers are prohibited from displaying or offering for sale a used vehicle unless the dealer first obtained a report on the vehicle from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) to check whether the auto has a branded title. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System is a database of totaled autos administered by the U.S. Justice Department.
Under most states' laws, a salvage vehicle is a vehicle that has been wrecked or damaged to such an extent that it is considered too expensive to repair. In almost all cases, salvage title is given to any vehicle that has sustained damage worth 75% or more of its value. Requirements are going to vary by state. In Florida, a car has to be damaged to 80% of its value before the accident. Vehicles in Minnesota are considered salvaged when they are declared "repairable total loss" by an insurance company, were worth at least $5,000 before the damage or are less than six years old.
The title, license plates, and a required fee are submitted to the state department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and a Salvage Certificate is issued for the vehicle.
Although many salvage vehicles are expertly repaired, some vehicles: are not properly repaired and/or tested and may be dangerous to operate and have been repaired with stolen parts. In California, if the Highway Patrol or DMV determines the vehicle or its parts have been stolen, the vehicle cannot be registered and the vehicle or parts will be seized. A revived salvage vehicle is one that was reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by the owner or insurance company as a total loss and now has been restored to operational condition.
All sellers, including dealerships, are legally required to disclose the vehicle's salvage title and history, but the law is difficult to enforce, especially when cars come in from another state.
The bill is supported by such groups as the California New Car Dealers Association, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) and the National Salvage Vehicle Reporting Program. Opponents include CarFax, which publishes vehicle history reports.
"No other state can match the built-in protections and convenience awaiting Californians," Peter Welch, president of the state's dealers association, said in a statement. "Like every small business, dealers want to focus on customers instead of paperwork."
Consumers also will benefit from the new warning sticker requirements. California is the first state in the nation to adopt that mandate. All new- and used-car dealers must post a red sticker on any used car flagged in a federal database as junked, salvaged or flood-damaged.
"Consumer advocates have long sought the protections offered in this bill," said Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety. "For the first time, auto dealers will be required to provide vital information about a vehicle's safety, reliability and worth before consumers even start negotiating."
The California Department of Consumer Affairs has found that more than 700,000 structurally damaged and 150,000 salvaged vehicles are returned to streets and highways every year without a safety inspection, and pose a potential hazard to all of the state's motorists
The State of California currently "brands" its titles with a vehicle's past history as follows:
Salvaged: Vehicles marked with a "salvaged" brand were involved in an accident or incurred considerable damage from another source, such as a flood or vandalism. This brand includes previously dismantled (junked) vehicles.
Original Taxi or Prior Taxi: Vehicles formerly used "For Hire" which usually have high mileage.
Original Police or Prior Police: Vehicles formerly used by law enforcement and which usually have high mileage.
Non-USA: Vehicles manufactured for use and sale outside the United States which have been converted to meet Federal and California safety and emissions standards.
Warranty Return or Lemon Law Buyback: Vehicles which have been returned to the manufacturer under California's Lemon Law.
Remanufactured; Vehicles constructed by a licensed remanufacturer and consisting of used or reconditioned parts. These vehicles may be sold under a distinctive trade name
Automotive News' writer Donna Harris has reported that the National Automobile Dealers Association's board of directors has chosen William Underriner as the group's 2012 chairman. The board also elected David Westcott 2012 vice chairman, placing him in line for the 2013 chairmanship. Both will take office in February, 2012.
Underriner, 59, is president and co-owner of Underriner Motors in Billings, Mont., which operates Honda, Hyundai, Buick and Volvo stores. He currently is NADA's vice chairman and its Montana director and has served three terms as NADA treasurer.
Westcott, 64, is president of David Westcott Buick-GMC-Suzuki in Burlington, N.C. He is NADA's North Carolina director and has been a new-car dealer since 1981.
The Florida Auto Collision Alliance is looking to reinvigorate two chapters in the state's largest metro areas--Orlando and Miami.
The group's current active chapters include Jacksonville, South Florida, Tampa, Lakeland and Space/Treasure Coast.
According to FACA's Executive Director Cathy Mills the Orlando chapter was active several years ago but has fallen away from that currently.
"Orlando is such a large market. They have reached out to me and expressed a desire and need to bring the association back," said Mills.
The FACA has been actively strengthening their membership since Mills' appointment in January of this year.
"We also are looking at expanding in Miami where they too have reached out and expressed a need and desire to start a chapter there," said Mills.
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association will hold their monthly members meeting on October 4 from 6:30p.m. to 7:30p.m. at the new Louisiana Glass and Mirror location; 2201 California Drive, Bossier City, LA.
Ken Stephenson of Louisiana Glass and Mirror is hosting this month's meeting and will provide members with a cookout during the meeting. Ken has arranged for the meeting's guest speaker to be Rick Mathis of Sika Corporation. He is bringing some very interesting crash footage for the group to see.
Rick Mathis has been in the industry for 31 years, mostly in the automotive OEM and Aftermarket business both in sales and training positions. He served 14 years as ASE Advisory Counsil Member, 9 years as AGRSS Committee Member, has served terms on Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Insurance Advisory Council, and has also been a continuing education provider for insurance agents for 14 states.
For more information please visit www.nwlcra.org.
Reported rumors about one major multiple shop acquisitions were confirmed October 5.
Caliber Collision Centers, operator of several collision repair facilities in California and Texas, announced October 5 it has signed an agreement to acquire 911 Collision Centers.
Recognized as one of the premier collision repair companies in the southwest, 911 Collision Centers has seven locations including four locations in Tucson, Arizona, one location in Scottsdale, Arizona and two locations in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Centers’ Chief Executive Officer announced, “Our acquisition of 911 Collision Centers sets a new cornerstone in Caliber’s continued expansion plans. After spending time with 911’s management team, it quickly became apparent that 911 Collision Centers provides Caliber with the perfect opportunity to enter the Arizona and Nevada markets behind a well-established, high quality brand.”
“Partnering with Caliber Collision Centers will allow us to grow exponentially over the foreseeable future while sharing corporate best practices and operational efficiencies across the Arizona, Nevada, Texas and California markets” said Michael Quinn, Chief Executive Officer of 911 Collision Centers.
This is Caliber Collision Centers first expansion into locations outside California and Texas and increases the company’s total number of locations from 84 to 91.
For more information about Caliber Collision Centers, visit www.calibercollision.com.
Rumors are still unconfirmed about a tie up including Texas based Service King Collision Repair Centers.
More details as they become available.