The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) will hold their 35th annual NORTHEAST™ trade show March 9, 10 and 11 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center of Secaucus, NJ. The association announced the educational seminar schedule as well as a list of booth exhibitors.
The weekend will start on March 9, with a Leadership Forum held by SCRS and the AASP/NJ. The East Coast Resolution Forum welcomes representatives from national and local automotive repair associations on March 9 at 1 p.m. The forum will go until 5 p.m. and will invite association leaders to discuss updates on their organizations’ activities as well as share industry news with their peers. The meeting provides associations from across the country with a chance to network and learn from other associations.
Then at 6pm, Mark Olson of VeriFacts starts the NORTHEAST™ seminars with “Shop Differentiation: How to Make Your Shop Stand Out, followed by Future Cure’s Tom Beck presenting Drying Waterborne: What You Need to Know NOW.” Larry Montanez III of P&L Consultants / IACDA will also be on hand March 9 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., discussing OEM Repair Procedures vs. Repair Standards in the first of a two-part series. Kristen Felder and Elizabeth Blackman of CollisionHub will close out March 9’s seminars with SOS: A Social Media Intervention. For a full schedule of the weekend’s seminars please see below.
Then an after hours a Vendor Appreciation after party will be held from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.
“There isn’t anywhere within 500 miles where you can get education and information along with so much new equipment and products that specifically deal with our industry,” AASP/NJ President Jeff McDowell said. “I’ve been saying it for 35 years and God willing, I’ll be saying it for another 35. If you’re in the automotive repair industry, you need to be at NORTHEAST™.”
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced February 8 that Tenneco, a global vehicle supplier, is expanding its production lines, adding new equipment and increasing its workforce by 350 additional employees at its existing facilities in Hartwell.
“Tenneco is an important player in the automotive industry, and we are pleased they have expanded their presence in Georgia,” Deal said. “Georgia’s comprehensive logistics system and skilled workforce are two of our many key selling assets because they give companies like Tenneco easy, efficient access to their markets as well as a world-class workforce.”
Tenneco is one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers and distributors of emission and ride control products and systems for the automotive original equipment market and aftermarket. The company is expanding existing lines and installing additional production lines at its Hartwell manufacturing facility, where automotive shock absorbers and struts are produced.
Hart County has been a Georgia Certified Work Ready Community since 2009, indicating that the county has a ready pool of labor specifically trained for a range of positions, including those in the manufacturing industry. Tenneco has called Hart County home since the 1960s, and already employs a mix of more than 750 full and part-time workers at its Hartwell facility.
Toyota Industries Corp. announced plans to open a $350 million automotive parts plant in Jackson County in northeast Georgia, creating 320 jobs, in early February.
The plant will create automotive compressor parts and will be built near a related assembly plant off I-85 in Pendergrass, GA. The automaker expects the plant to be completed in late 2013, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“In opening this new Georgia manufacturing facility, Toyota Industries Corporation sends a very clear message about its confidence in our state’s ability to help them remain competitive in global markets,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in a news release.
“Projects such as this underscore Georgia’s record of success in attracting international investment to our state,” Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, said to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Courtney Bernardi, director of economic development for the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce, expected the plant bolsters the area’s manufacturing base and to pay higher than the county’s average.
Mississippi lawmakers are trying once again to get an online car insurance verification system set up in their state after Gov. Haley Barbour vetoed a similar proposal last session, Online Auto Insurance News reports.
It might be a while before we see whether Gov. Barbour finds the tweaks made by the bill’s authors to be satisfactory. But if the legislation does get signed into law this time around, it may have some uninsured motorists scrambling to find a cheap down payment auto insurance policy.
Having a verification system set up in the state would make it much easier for police and Department of Revenue employees to find out the coverage status of particular drivers. That means uninsured motorists would be that much more likely to get caught and slapped with fines and other penalties.
The verification system would work by aggregating policy information from insurers on all the cars registered in the state. If a registered auto shows up as having no matching insurance policy, state officials would be able to suspend the license or registration and hit the driver with a $300-$500 fine.
Police would also be able to access the database. If an officer were to pull a driver over for a separate infraction and find that there was no matching policy in the database for the car, the motorist could be cited.
A third point at which uninsured motorists could be caught is when they go to register their cars. If the bill’s signed into law, car owners would need to have a valid policy already in place before registering the vehicle.
In each of these scenarios, the information contained in the database would supersede the information on any proof of insurance cards furnished by the driver.
Last session, Barbour vetoed the legislation because of a lack of cost projections and a concern that the Department of Public Safety should not have to worry about catching the owners of uninsured vehicles.
The new bill splits the responsibilities between the Public Safety and Revenue departments, but there does not appear to be much change on the cost side.
Mississippi state law requires that all drivers have liability insurance and keep their insurance card in their vehicles at all times to prove that they are covered. In Mississippi, the minimum liability requirements are $25,000 per person for a single accident, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage. You may also see this referred to as 25/50/25.
The Texas Independent Automotive Association (TIAA) held their monthly members meeting on February 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the County Line BBQ on I-10 in San Antonio.
The night’s speaker was Andre Eames from the State Comptroller’s office. He talked about sales taxes, e-filing and making sure certain records are kept. He also let attendees in on a great tip: putting the number of the business owner on all the forms. Eames said they have experienced problems when calling on businesses about issues with their forms, oftentimes the Bookkeeper or Secretary doesn’t relay the message to the owner. By putting the owner’s contact information on all forms businesses can avoid this issue.
He also stated body kits, lift kits and performance upgrades are taxable along with the labor.
Next month’s meeting will be held on March 15 at 6:30 p.m. The location is TBA. The speaker will be from local channel KLRN. They will speak about how shops can donate a service for their upcoming 46th annual Blazing Gavels charitable auction. For more information about the auction please visit blazinggavels.com.
For more information about the association please visit www.tiaa.net.
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association (NWLCRA) held their first meeting of 2012 on January 10 at the Country Tavern Barbecue in Shreveport, LA.
The association announced their new officers for 2012 at the start of the meeting. The 2012 Officers are as follows; President, Chris Fielder, Vice President, Ken Stephenson, Secretary/Treasurer, Bill Burnside.
The meeting’s guest speakers were Darren Moore, Regional Manager with Alloy Wheel Repair, and Adam Wright, Area Manager with Alloy Wheel Repair.
Darren began by stating that Alloy is a mobile wheel repair service; if a damaged wheel is painted, they come to your location and repair the wheel. They don’t do any welding, so if pieces of the wheel are missing, they won’t be able to repair the wheel. They are able to repair polished wheels and because the sheen on spokes may be different, they are taken on a “case by case” basis. They can straighten a wheel up to 24”, so they can repair most bent wheels. They mainly work on a schedule, but will take “emergency” calls.
They are a nationwide company, so if the wheel is repaired in our area and your customer is on vacation in California when a problem with the repair occurs, they can find an Alloy Wheel Repair shop in California for the warranty work. Alloy works out of their trucks and trailers, which are fully equipped. Because they have their own compressors, spinners, and other equipment, they don’t need to use anything in your shop.
The San Diego chapter of the California Autobody Association (CAA) held their first meeting of 2012 on January 24th at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse.
The 40+ people in attendance witnessed the swearing in of the chapter’s new officers by Dave Picton, the California Autobody Association’s (CAA) incoming President for 2012. Dave came down from Sacramento to swear in the officers and give a brief summary of the state of the collision industry. He also provided bullet points of what the state CAA is going to be working on and addressing as this year continues.
The new CAA San Diego officers for 2012 are as follows: Secretary, Amanda Smith, Mitchell International, San Diego; Secretary, Angie Hernandez, Mitchell International, San Diego; State Board Rep., Monte Etherton, Fender Mender, Encinitas; Vice President, Simon Freese, Drew Collision Center, La Mesa; President, Shon Craft, Rancho Collision Center, San Diego; Treasurer, Hop Sanchez, FinishMaster, Vista; Sergeant at Arms, Kurt Liobl, Mossy Auto Group, San Diego.
Dave Picton also presented the honorary lifetime membership award to Dale Delmege of Chelsea Group, Inc., and DD Partners, Inc., in recognition for his dedication to the collision industry, the CAA, and the group’s members. Dale has donated countless hours educating various CAA chapters and members across the state with his thought provoking presentations.
For more information about the CAA please visit www.calautobody.com.
BodyShopBids, an online and mobile platform that enables consumers to solicit custom auto repair estimates by uploading a photo, announced February 21 its expansion to the state of California.
Accessible for free via iPhone, Android and the Web, BodyShopBids connects consumers who need auto body repairs with body shops through a unique bidding system. Consumers upload a photo of their damaged vehicle and receive several custom quotes from nearby body shops within 24 hours. From there, the consumer can select an estimate and book an appointment with the body shop.
The west coast move comes weeks after the company announced its expansion to the Pacific Northwest. The BodyShopBids network will initially focus on California’s major metro areas, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland and Anaheim.
“The response from body shop owners across the country has been outstanding,” said Brad Weisberg, founder and CEO of BodyShopBids. “Body shops are recognizing that this technology fills a void in the industry, and that consumers are demanding information in ways that have never before been possible.”
In a letter to State Farm CEO Edward Rust Jr., Don Harvey, of International Collision Service in Englewood, NJ, questions why State Farm does not acknowledge cost accounting programs and practices in setting paint allowance rates. Harvey has previously contacted senior State Farm management to no avail. His letter follows:
Feb 15, 2012
State Farm Insurance Co.
Mr. Edward B. Rust Jr.
One State Farm Plaza
Bloomington, IL 61710
Dear Mr. Rust,
Please take a moment to look at an issue regarding customer satisfaction and a “Good Neighbor” responsible commitment to proper repairs.
Paint material has been an issue often questioned and not properly acknowledged.
Several years ago the Department [of Banking and] Insurance Commissioner Steven M. Goldman issued a Bulletin #07-20 (copy enclosed for your review CLICK HERE encouraging insurers to utilize paint cost accounting software programs and manuals. Just after the issuance of this bulletin, State Farm (Northern NJ) changed their paint calculation from a multiplier of $23.00 per paint hour to $28.00 per paint hour. That was November 2007. Since that time, as we all know, all oil-derived product prices have dramatically increased, however State Farm has not acknowledged (NJ office: Mr. Charlie Holmes) any legitimate paint cost programs or software, holding [instead] to their antiquated $28.00 per hour calculation with no deviation.
Automotive paints used on today’s advanced vehicles require many different tints to achieve the look and appearance duplicating the original finish. Therefore all pricing cannot be properly and FAIRLY determined by one multiplier, this is why the paint cost accounting software programs are so important: FAIRLY compensating the repairer for materials used on the specific vehicle (color) being repaired.
Mr. Holmes has repeatedly stated that State Farm holds true to their survey studies. What is interesting about that is twofold:
1) State Farm (northern NJ) hasn’t sent anyone out to survey the shops in many, many years, leaving it to the shops to call State Farm and get an authorization # before being able to even get to the survey.
2) I find it interesting that if State Farm only uses their survey to change rates and materials, why after a short time and no apparent survey, did the multiplier change in late 2007 after the Bulletin issued by the State of New Jersey, from $23.00 per hour to the current rate of $28.00 per hour?
Most insurance companies are acknowledging the cost accounting software programs plus a mark-up as the programs use an average COST to the repair from the suppliers.
In closing I hope that you will review this letter and change the way State Farm, NJ, is conducting business and [have] The Good Neighbor do the right thing, properly and fairly returning vehicles to pre-accident condition.
Don W. Harvey
International Collision Service
Englewood, NJ, 07631
(Copy of Mitchell Refinishing Calculator Notes enclosed for your review CLICK HERE)
Don W. Harvey
international collision service
328 South Van Brunt St.
Englewood, NJ 07631
CARSTAR held their annual outlook teleconference on February 9; CEO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, David Byers, detailed the 2011 results for the MSO as well as their goals for 2012.
According to Byers, 2011 was a "very solid" year for the MSO; sales totaled over $600 million and exceeded the group's objectives for the year. 2011 was also a big year for continued growth and acquisition of new locations, which will also continue to be an objective for 2012.
"We have acquired 17 new locations in the last few months," said Byers. CARSTAR plans on focusing on growth in California especially for 2012. Byers also said that the new stores that were acquired in 2011 were very successful--seeing 50 percent higher revenues than stores acquired in 2010.