Items filtered by date: November 2011
Monday, 28 November 2011 18:41

GM to offer Free Loaners to Volt Owners

Automotive News has reported that General Motors said that it will provide free loaner vehicles to Chevrolet Volt owners to offer "peace of mind" as federal safety regulators investigate fires that have occurred in the plug-in hybrid's battery pack after crash testing.

In a conference call with the media, General Motors executives tried to tamp down growing concerns over the Volt's safety after officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday opened a formal investigation into the risk of fire in Volts that have been involved in severe crashes.

"I believe in the safety of the Volt," said Mark Reuss, GM president of North America. "Our customers' peace of mind is the most important thing. This technology should inspire confidence and pride, not raise any concern or doubt."

Published in Automaker and Dealers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it will be opening a formal defect investigation into the risk of fire in Chevy Volts following a serious crash after the agency was able to reproduce the events that led to the initial Volt fire, and had a second car ignite last week.

This past May, NHTSA crashed a Chevy Volt. During that test, the vehicle's battery was damaged and the coolant line was ruptured. When a fire involving the test vehicle occurred more than three weeks after it was crashed, the agency concluded that the damage to the vehicle's lithium-ion battery during the crash test led to the fire.

Published in Automaker and Dealers

Many body shops seem to change paint vendors every so often for all kinds of reasons, but Kevin Roe, the owner of 1st Class European Authorized Coachworks in Pompano Beach, Florida has been with DuPont Performance Coatings since 1981 and has no plans to change anything. Why is he such a happy customer and steadfastly loyal to the company?

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

“If it isn’t broken, why fix it?” Roe said. “We started painting cars with DuPont the first day we opened and they have followed through on everything they’ve promised. Sure, we get other paint companies trying to get our business and offering us the world, but I’ve never had any reason to consider a change.”

1st Class is factory certified to repair an impressive array of elite nameplates, including Ferrari, Maserati, Audi, Tesla, Volkswagen, Jaguar and Aston Martin. The shop began working on aluminum-intensive brands starting in 2003 and a year ago they started working exclusively on Ferraris and Maseratis in partnership with Ferrari Maserati of Fort Lauderdale, a local dealership.

With an average ticket of $20,000, you can be certain the owners of these vehicles are highly discerning and expect nothing less than stellar paint jobs each and every time. “These people spend top dollar, so they want it done right,” Roe explained. “We have customers in here who actually use paint gauges to check the thickness of the paint when they pick up their cars. So, it has to be perfect.”

Published in Shop Showcase
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 18:14

Large Body Shop Group Jumps into the SprayZone

With six locations in California and one in Las Vegas, the Autowest Collision Group paints 600–700 vehicles every month—that’s why it’s important that their equipment be top-notch and cutting-edge in every way. By working on any type of car, but specializing in elite brands like Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Porsche and BMW at some of its select locations, the Autowest Collision Group knows that each paint job has to be not just “good enough” but “the very best.”

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

That’s why Autowest Collision Group recently purchased five Ozone paint booths and several prep stations from, one of the leading manufacturers of automotive paint booths. Autowest has been working with for the past three years and is immensely impressed with its products and their proactive overall approach to customer service.

Alex Astts, 40, is the Regional Manager at Autowest Collision. He was hired by the 24-year-old group in 1994 as a detailer and quickly progressed through the ranks, from prep to dispatching, to estimating, and finally to upper management. Initially, Astts auditioned with some repair work and once he felt confident in the company, he coordinated a large purchase of equipment from them.

Published in Shop Showcase

You can be the finest painter in the world using top grade paint and the best equipment available, but if your air isn’t dry, clean, or easily accessible, your finished product won’t hold waterborne or solvent paint either.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

“Water is the new way, but the need for good air has never changed. It is now just more evident,” says Tony Larimer, Director of Sales & Marketing for Dan-Am Co., the exclusive independent importer/distributor for SATA Spray Equipment in the USA & Puerto Rico.

SATA Spray Equipment an internationally known company, manufactures a wide range of spray guns, compressed air filters, respirators for worker health protection, hand held dryers, disposable cups and accessories. Also available from Dan-Am Company is their aluminum piping system for compressed air called Dan-Am Air (DAA). The advent of waterborne paint has more and more body shops talking about the importance of clean dry air, but it isn’t a new concept to Larimer and SATA.         “Over the past few years, the trend has turned toward the use of waterborne technologies,” Larimer explained. “Many are switching due to local ordinances or regional VOC rules that have been place in the past couple years and others are switching to waterborne simply for performance advantages. It doesn’t matter if it’s waterborne or solvent, both require clean air. Shops today also have much higher use requirements and need more Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) than in the past. They’re using HVLP guns, supplied air respirators and blow guns to dry the waterborne paint, and all of this necessitates clean dry air.”

Published in Shop Showcase

As the owner of Icon Collision in Memphis, Tennessee, Tim Russell runs a body shop that fixes approximately 210–230 cars every month, does $6 million in business annually and oversees six busy divisions—including two detailing businesses, a PDR department, a glass division, a retail collision branch and a wholesale body shop. Specializing in high-end luxury vehicles, Icon works with several Memphis-area car dealerships that don’t have their own collision centers, such as Lexus of Memphis, Wolfchase Toyota-Scion, Performance Toyota and Wolfchase Dodge Chrysler Jeep. Russell needed a paint system that will produce top tier paint jobs each and every time, either waterborne or solvent, depending on the job. That’s why he’s pleased to be using both of Pro-Spray’s paint systems—the solvent basecoat and the H2O waterborne basecoat.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

Russell, now 51, worked for sixteen years at a Memphis dealership group running their collision center and servicing their eight dealerships. When the group was sold to a large company, the climate changed rapidly. Russell wasn’t happy with the new corporate environment, so he decided to start his own shop. Icon Collision was opened in 2006 and the business grew at an alarming rate. The shop did $80,000 in sales the first month and doubled that the second month. Today, the business grosses roughly $500,000 every month.

When Russell opened the doors at Icon six years ago, he initially signed with another paint company. “In the end, I left them because their color matches were not accurate enough. We just weren’t able to hit on a lot of the colors. They brought in their managers and it got to where I couldn’t even hit white pearls for Lexus cars anymore and it got embarrassing. So, we started looking around for a better solution.”

Published in Shop Showcase

Proactive body shops are recognizing the inexorable change to waterborne paint, especially in states where the laws are looming, but not yet a reality. Anticipating an advantage over their feet-dragging competitors in the next few years are forward-thinking shops like Old Forge Collision Centers, a 20-year-old company with two locations in Pennsylvania that together repair an average of nearly 200 vehicles monthly.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

Old Forge’s General Manager, Bob Scarpello, 54, is a 30-year veteran of the collision industry and a former painter. Three decades ago, his first job out of tech school was painter’s helper and by continually learning and improving his skills, Scarpello eventually progressed up the ladder into upper management.
One of the first things Scarpello did when he was hired at Old Forge, was to take a long, serious look at converting both of his locations to waterborne paint, he told Autobody News.

“We were one of the first body shops in Pennsylvania to go with waterborne paint. When I came here in 2003, after reading everything I could get my hands on about waterborne painting systems, I realized that it would eventually be coming here. I mean, Europe has been using it for decades, so what are we waiting for?”

Published in Shop Showcase

Sometimes a negative or even tragic event can lead to a positive outcome. When a serious fire hit Collision Solutions in Indianapolis, IN, and destroyed its paint booth, management took the opportunity to make lemonade from lemons. The fire, bad as it was, gave the owners a chance to rearrange the shop’s layout and make some important changes—in this case waterborne. Instead of being paralyzed by the devastation, the shop made some moves. They bought a new cutting-edge ECO Expert paint booth from Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) and converted one of their locations to waterborne paint before any restrictions mandated it. Collision Solutions was soon turning out amazing paint jobs and their crew quickly became fully comfortable with waterborne and the numerous benefits offered by their new GFS paint booth.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

“We took a couple of the prep stations and replaced all of the old equipment with GFS equipment after looking at several companies. We went with GFS based on what people out there in the industry were telling us about the company and its track record.

Owner Aaron Clark, 40, is a second-generation body shop owner whose parents operated a shop more than three decades ago. “I started working in our family’s shop when I was 16 and worked my way up from porter to technician,” Clark told Autobody News. “In 1994, my partner and I opened our own shop in friendly competition with my parents’ company. It was a very successful operation that eventually grew into a two-location business in the Indianapolis area.”

Published in Shop Showcase

When his customers are spending big money on vehicles costing  more than $50,000, and sometimes well into six figures, Jim Frost, the manager at Prestige Imports Collision Center in Lakewood, Colorado, knows his paint jobs have to be top-tier every single time. That’s why he’s enthused on several levels about his conversion to waterborne paint. Frost is very pleased about the performance and the finished product he’s getting with Glasurit 90-Line, BASF’s waterborne product, and Prestige is proud to be a Colorado waterborne pioneer—the very first body shop in the Centennial State to adopt the green approach nearly three years ago.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

Frost, now 41, started working for his father’s shop at age 15. Now his collision center serves three Colorado dealerships: Prestige Imports’: Porsche Audi; Mercedes-Benz of Littleton; and Mile High Honda Acura Mitsubishi. Prestige Imports Collision Center will repair any type of vehicle, but primarily focuses on the European brands its dealership sells, as well as Ferraris, Bentleys, Maseratis and Lotuses, among others.  With 19 employees, this 19,000 square-ft. facility has an average repair ticket of approximately $3,300 and at any given point it’s likely that the shop will have more than a dozen repair orders in-house averaging more than $20,000 each.

Frost conducted an in-depth study before he chose BASF as his paint vendor, he told Autobody News. “We decided to change to waterborne and adopt all of the California laws even before they went into effect there. We analyzed all of the waterborne paint lines that were out there starting a little more than three years ago. We discovered that BASF offered an ideal solution for us in our environment. Many of the cars we repair were originally painted with BASF waterborne from the factory. We liked the product and appreciate their support, so that was a big part of the decision.”

Published in Shop Showcase
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 17:35

Collision Repairer Wins Welder at SCRS SEMA Booth

SCRS and its Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series created plenty of excitement on their own from November 1-4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. One of the many reasons the Society’s booth was crowded with enthusiastic collision repair professionals was a series of prize drawings made possible through the participation of SCRS and its sponsors.

One such prize was the CM253 MIG/MAG Welder donated by Car-O-Liner®, and the lucky winner of the raffle for it was Glen Caudle, Owner of Glendale Collision in Saskatoon, Canada. “I couldn’t believe it when I received the call,” Caudle shared. “I’ve been coming to the SEMA Show for the past four years, but I’ve never won anything like this. I’m so happy to have won this from SCRS, and what makes it great is I already use Car-O-Liner equipment in my shop. We can’t wait to put it to work!”

To become eligible for the drawing, visitors to the SCRS booth had to pick up a “report card” listing all RDE sponsors and their booth locations within the show. The participant then had to visit each RDE sponsor’s exhibit, have a company representative stamp the card, and return the completed card to the SCRS booth for entry into the drawing.

Published in SEMA 2011

The Girl Scouts of Citrus Council joined the industry on the NACE show floor Saturday, October 8th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

The girls met with female leaders in the industry, learned about the influential and transformative work being done by women in this field and explored the expo floor searching for those unique “tools for success” our industry has to offer. Among the women who spoke to the girls was Cathy Mills, Executive Director of the Florida Auto Collision Alliance (FACA).

Mills stated, “I had the opportunity of giving them the opening talk on Saturday morning. With my mother, myself, and my daughter as Girl Scout troop leaders it was a privilege to speak to the girls about diverse career opportunities available in this industry. Speaking to them about a bit of my history in the industry and my journey from a parts driver to the executive director of the FACA. How as long as you give whatever you do 110% you can succeed at anything. I have always been passionate about education and supporting women in the industry.”

This year Collision Hub, who has put the event on for the last two years, also added a panel discussion and lunch hosted by LKQ where the Girl Scouts had a chance to meet with and hear from leaders in the industry on topics ranging from the science behind the collision repair industry to the diverse career opportunities available.

Girl Scouts: Tools for Success was powered by Enterprise Rent-A-Car and was made possible by the generous sponsorship of companies at every level of the collision repair industry.

For more information about this program please visit


Collex Collision Experts, a multi-shop operation with facilities in Michigan and Florida, was awarded CSi Complete’s “Clearly Elite” award for customer satisfaction at the 2011 SEMA Show.

“CSi Complete is blessed to have many outstanding customers, but Collex Collision is most deserving of our 2011 Clearly Elite customer of the year award,” said David Merrell, vice president of sales and service for CSi Complete. “Collex Collision Experts is a valued partner and an exceptional customer service organization.”

Merrell went on to say that the MSO won the award as a result of the company’s continuously high customer service indexing (CSI) and its community involvement.

“It’s a true pleasure to be in an industry that allows me to not just serve people, but give me the opportunity to get to know people’s needs on a much more personal level, always building effective healthy relationships,” said Amanda Gottschling, CSR at Collex in Clinton Township, MI.

Collex serves its surrounding communities by always giving back. Founders of the Wheels of HOPE Outreach program, Collex gives cars to families in need. They’re also platinum sponsors and partners with Safe Haven 4 Kids of Michigan, a program to help abused children.

For more information visit


The National Auto Body Council (NABC) announced the winners of the 16th annual Pride Awards on November 2 at the 2011 SEMA Show. The NABC began bestowing the awards on deserving individuals in the collision repair industry to further their mission to create positive public awareness of the collision repair industry.

Jessica Anderson, a student of collision repair at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, was the only student to receive a Pride Award this year. Anderson is a Skills USA participant who decided she wanted to use her collision training to help people in her community. She observed plenty of students in need of affordable, reliable transportation and saw plenty of cars in the area just waiting to be fixed. Utilizing the resources at her school, she brought a car in need of repair to the mechanical department of her school, then she and her team of dedicated students and instructors finished the collision repair work. That project went to a fulltime criminal justice student with a family of four, previously without transportation. This is to be the first in series of reconstructed vehicles that will be donated to Wiregrass Georgia Technical College students recommended by their instructors. Jessica is working with instructor Mark Tilson to procure more cars and expand the program into the community.

Other Pride Award winners included Jordan Hendler, Joe Gloar, Derek Willemson and Richard Henegar Jr. for heroic efforts in their individual communities. More information about each award winner can be found at


Service King Collision Repair Centers, a Texas-based multiple shop operator  with locations in the Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston and San Antonio markets, acquired B&B Body and Paint in November. B&B operates five high-volume collision centers in Austin, San Marcos and Leander, Texas.

Service King says the addition of B&B Body and Paint positions the company as the largest independently and employee-owned collision repair organization in the United States. With 47 Texas locations throughout Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston, Service King is now able to serve 70 percent of the $1.5 billion total collision market in Texas.

“The acquisition of B&B Body and Paint allows us to start serving the people of South Austin, North Austin, San Marcos, Round Rock and Leander, Texas,” said Service King Austin Market Vice President Jeremy Lennox. “We’re thrilled about the addition of B&B’s talented employees and skilled technicians to our base of over 1,400 Service King teammates throughout Texas.”

“We are very excited about B&B Body and Paint joining the Service King Team,” said Craig Van Cleve, B&B Body and Paint’s owner. “For the past 32 years, our success has been driven by our unrelenting focus on complete satisfaction and respect for our customers and employees. Service King will continue on with these same core values.”

Cathy Bonner, president of Service King, added, “In DFW and Houston, Service King is known as one of the ‘best places to work’ by the Dallas Business Journal, and we plan to bring our same level of health, retirement and career benefits to all new teammates in Austin. The reason Service King is the largest employee-owned collision repair center in the United States is because the people in this company care about their customers and the trauma they go through after a collision.”


John Borek, general manager at Autocraft Bodywerks off South Congress Avenue in Austin, built a spaceship to put in his front yard especially for Halloween this year. The shiny flying saucer looks as if it has crashed into the lawn and is surrounded by yellow “caution: radiation area” tape.

Borek figures it took 80 to 100 hours of labor to put together his out-of-this-world contraption, according to the Austin-American Statesman. Although it’s made mostly of aluminum, the rounded top is a salad bowl. The saucer plays the theme from “The X-Files” and blows smoke.

“I put a fog machine in it. Every year I’ve added stuff, so now it has smoke coming out of it.” said Borek, 47, whose auto body refinishing skills came in handy when creating this Halloween masterpiece. “I could have put a crashed car in the yard, but that probably wouldn’t have been a good Halloween prop.”

The saucer, 8 feet in diameter, is in its second year as a Halloween special. Borek figures he spent $2,000 to put this year’s version together.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011 17:23

TIAA Donates to High School Automotive Program

The Texas Independent Automotive Association (TIAA) presented a thousand dollar donation check to the Automotive Technology Academy on November 16 at a career fair for the North East Independent School District (NEISD) in San Antonio, Texas.

David Bailey, Director of The Automotive Technology Academy, received the check from TIAA’s Membership Director, Hunter Hooge. According to Hooge, the donation funds will be used for tools and uniforms for students. The Academy helps prepare high school students for work in the automotive industry by combining students interested in automotive technologies from several local area high schools into one statewide program.

The Automotive Technology Academy is a state of the art facility where students are challenged to become life-long learners in the ever-changing automotive industry. Any NEISD high school student interested in this curriculum can attend the facility for this two period course. Admittance into the program is by application which is reviewed and followed by an interview with an instructor. The Academy originally opened its doors for the 2006–2007 school year. Prior to this the four high school campuses in San Antonio that were teaching the automotive courses were Roosevelt, Madison, Lee and Churchill. The board’s vision was to have a stand alone magnet program, not only to reduce costs to taxpayers, but also to keep up with the ever-changing automotive technology.

ATA is a three year program designed for students starting in 10th grade and finishing with an internship program their senior year. ATA students have the opportunity to learn automotive brake systems, suspension systems, electrical and electronic systems and engine diagnostics, among other skills.

Having 27 donated vehicles in the program each year allows the students to apply academics with real hands-on experiences.

For more information about ATA and TIAA, visit and


The Right to Repair Coalition announced October 21 that it has collected 106,658 voter signatures, exceeding the 68,911 required for the initiative to appear on the 2012 ballot in Massachusetts.

Said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA): “We are very pleased with the growing support for Right to Repair on both the federal and state levels. The momentum building in Congress, coupled with the groundswell of support from voters in Massachusetts, demonstrates how important Right to Repair is to consumers, especially in a tough economy,” said Schmatz.  “Right to Repair will help alleviate motorists’ financial burden by ensuring a competitive vehicle repair marketplace, allowing car owners to patronize the repair facility of their choice.”

According to the Right to Repair Coalition, the voter initiative would, for the first time, allow consumers to access all of the non-proprietary repair information required to have their vehicles repaired where they choose, at a new car dealership or an independent shop. The proposed law would level the playing field between the big car manufacturers’ dealerships and independent, neighborhood repair facilities, allowing the latter to finally be able to access the same non-proprietary automobile diagnostic and repair information that is currently only available to the manufacturers’ dealers and their new car dealerships.

“It’s time that car owners have the right to get our vehicles repaired wherever we choose,” said Jeff McLeod of Marshfield, one of the signers of the ballot petition. “The growing support for this issue shows how important it is for consumers, especially in a difficult economy.”


ALLDATA, Future Cure, Hunter Engineering, Metropolitan Car-O-Liner, Mitchell, SAIMA/Accudraft and Subaru are among the exhibitors already signed up for the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ)’s 35th annual NORTHEAST™ Automotive Services Show at the Meadowlands. NORTHEAST™ 2012 will take place March 9-11 at the Meadowlands Expedition Center in Secaucus, NJ.

“We’re pleasantly surprised with the early sign-ups,” says AASP/NJ President Jeff McDowell. Early exhibitors include Aeromotive, Audatex, Flemington Car & Truck Country, Hella, Integrity Security Systems, LKQ, Procut USA, Steck Manufacturing, Suburban Manufacturing Inc. / Tsunami Industries, Team PRP and the Radiator Store.

“Our show is kind of like the working man’s show,” McDowell said.

For more information on the show and AASP/NJ, please visit


A bill to ban texting while driving, amended in October to make it a primary offense, passed the House on November 7 and won concurrence in the Senate November 8 by a vote of 45-5. It now awaits the governor’s signature, according to The Harrisburg Times Herald.

Gov. Corbett is expected to sign the bill, pending a final review, Gary Miller, a spokesman for the governor’s office, said.

Pennsylvania joins 34 states and the District of Columbia that have banned texting while driving. Of those, 31 enforce the ban as a primary offense, meaning police can pull over a motorist observed texting while driving.

Senate Bill 314 bans reading, writing or sending a text message while driving. A provision to ban hand-held cell phone use for calls was previously stripped from the bill.

The bill initially called for texting to be a secondary offense—a motorist could only be ticketed following an accident or if stopped for a primary offense—but an amendment making texting a primary offense, sponsored by state Rep. Josh Shapiro, D-153, passed in the House Oct. 25 by a vote of 128-69. The full bill with the amendment attached passed the next day in the House 164-29. The final House vote on the bill November 7 was a near-unanimous 188-7.

Shapiro, who has sponsored several bills to ban the use of hand-held cell phones, termed S.B. 314 “a big win for safety in Pennsylvania.”

“After seven years of fighting we finally passed a ban on texting while driving in Pennsylvania and made it a primary offense,” Shapiro said. “This is the strongest bill possible.”


Toby Chess wants repairers to email him the details of ill-fitting or poor-quality parts—whether OEM or non-OEM, certified or non-certified. “I’m not against aftermarket parts,” Chess has repeatedly said. “My message is that all that shops want are good quality parts that don’t require margin-eating extra days or hours of returns and refitting. Where they come from is not the issue.” Email him with the details at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

As he has for the previous 30 years, Sam Mikhail of Prestige Auto Body attended the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ)’s annual membership meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel of Clark in late October. Mikhail was expecting to appreciate that night’s presentations by Erica Eversman and Larry Montenez, but what Mikhail didn’t expect was the surprise announcement that he was the 28th member of AASP/NJ’s Hall of Fame.

“I am honored and thrilled to receive such a prestigious honor,” Mikhail said from his shop in Garwood, NJ. “It really never crossed my mind. To be acknowledged by my peers this way is very, very gratifying.”

Mikhail’s was one of several awards presented during the event. Flemington Auto Body (Flemington, NJ) was named the Stan Wilson / New Jersey Automotive Body Shop of the Year; Edison Generator Tire and Auto Center (Dayton, NJ) was named New Jersey Automotive Mechanical Shop of the Year and Deivy Planco was awarded the Russ Robson Scholarship, which is given each year to an automotive repair student in memory of the late AASP/NJ former president.

But the surprise Hall Of Fame announcement was clearly the highlight of the night. “Sammy has been an incredibly dedicated member to the association for what seems like forever,” AASP/NJ President Jeff McDowell says with a laugh. “Seriously, Sam is the kind of guy who is there anytime you need him. I don’t think he’s missed a meeting in decades. Sam’s a fighter. You might not agree with everything he fights for, but he you can’t deny that he has been and always be an asset to our association and our industry. We’re proud to have him in the Hall of Fame. It’s overdue.”

For more information on AASP/NJ, please visit


You can ring the bell as Round 2 of the “Battle of the Century” has ended. Yes, “NACE vs. SEMA, Part 2” was very different from the prior year. The battleground changed from a Las Vegas faceoff to an Orlando vs. Las Vegas showdown.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

This year’s winner is in the eye of the beholder. NACE (the International Autobody Congress and Exposition) and its sponsoring organization, the Automotive Service Association, have staked their claim as the undisputed “Collision Industry Trade Show Champion.”

Meanwhile, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists has teamed up with SEMA and announced their contention to be the new “Heavyweight Champion.”

So who was this year’s winner? I personally think it was a draw—with one exception: There was a clear loser. I’ll give you a hint. It’s an eight letter word that begins with an “I” and ends with a “Y.” The collision industry is divided and stuck supporting two trade shows. The NACE and SEMA divide is all about “I” (rather than “we”) and the industry is holding the bag and left asking “Y?” So how and why is the industry losing in a fight it never asked for?

I was one of a small percentage of people who had the good fortune and fortitude to attend both shows. I experienced both the aging NACE and the upstart SEMA show. I was forced to dedicate two-plus weeks to accomplish what normally would take me one week. I successfully met with all the individuals and companies that requested my presence and knowledge.

Published in Insurance Insider

Clarkstown International Collision in Nanuet, NY, works hard to be an asset to their community. Their focus on customer service extends beyond community and environmental conscientiousness. Their concern for protecting the environment led to their decision to convert to BASF waterborne paints in early 2011, a decision that owners, Gene and Anna Cortés, have not regretted.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

Clarkstown stays up to date with all EPA and OSHA regulations, for their own preservation in addition to the environment’s. In addition to recycling all metal, cardboard, headlights, bumpers, aluminum and alloy wheels, they have also gone completely paperless—all filing and paperwork is done electronically.

Recently, the shop also made the change to BASF’s Glasurit line of waterborne paint. Clarkstown  converted to Glasurit in March 2011, and Gene Cortés is very pleased with the results. He decided to convert because of environmental and health concerns, not because of any local mandate.

Additionally, the new paint is easier to use and allows for better color matching. Most of the vehicles Clarkstown deals with ale newer models, and they have not encountered problems with color matching because, according to Gene, “we work with a paint company that offers a lot of training and support, which all of our painters have participated in.” He praises the trainers at BASF for making the transition very easy. “They made the process painless and their support is excellent. They answer any and all questions promptly and effectively.”

Published in Shop Showcase

Blue Hen Collision Express in Dover, Delaware, prides itself on customer service and reputation. They are the longest established  independent body shop in central Delaware with revenue exceeding $2,000,000 annually. Blue Hen’s mission statement is we solve customers’ problems and that is reflected in their focus on customer satisfaction which owners Carl and Chuck Cimino say they have greatly improved since they purchased the business in 1997. The shop works on between ninety and one hundred cars each month, a significant number for the sparsely populated area in which they are located.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

Cimino’s Collision Express was opened in 1983, and Chuck and Carl  purchased Blue Hen Collision Express in November, 1997. Both had been involved in the industry for years prior to the purchase. Their uncles owned an auto body shop where Chuck worked during the summers as a teenager. Armed only with an interest and aptitude for the business, Chuck rented two bays at a dealership owned by a friend of his aunt and opened his own shop when he was seventeen years old.

Carl owned a shop in the Philadelphia area, and after he became involved with the CARSTAR franchise in 1989, he met the then-owner of Blue Hen Collision.

Published in Shop Showcase

One of my customers asked me to provide feedback on an issue that I feel most collision repairers and insurance professionals would be interested in.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

There was a three way discussion between two shops and an insurer concerning back taping along body lines on a vehicle’s roof. The question I received was concerning durability of the back-taped edge and/or should the shop clear up and over to the other side? Everybody reading this likely agrees that the technique of back taping a roof is common place and practiced industry wide. Most will likely not think twice about doing it.

To set the stage, I also assume that most people in the industry today have accepted that open solvent blends along the sail panel are not an acceptable repair and should not be performed. And those roofs without a well contoured edge to tape along should be cleared up and over.

So what about the rest? My answer to this comes in the form of another question. How lucky do you feel? The reason for my question is that this technique is a calculated risk assessment.

If the surface is cleaned and prepped expertly and no shortcuts are taken, back taping will result in a long lasting repair. The questions that are impossible to answer are how long a long time is and will this edge hold up longer then the vehicle is owned by your client or remains in active service? Given just enough time, the edge ultimately will deteriorate and break down.

High, long-term exposure to ultra violet rays, wear and tear, chemical exposure, as well as too much, or too little maintenance, all contribute to the unknown time before it will happen. Doing this type of repair is a judgment call that needs to be openly discussed between collision repairer and insurance provider.

I don’t have the latest numbers on how long the average American driver holds on to their vehicle before it is traded in for a replacement in the present economy, but I believe the odds are very much in the repairers and insurance favor. Although the odds may be favorable, the question that comes to my mind is concerning warranty.

From a fiscal standpoint this type of repair approach makes perfect sense, but from a manufacturer’s prospective, this repair doesn’t qualify for lifetime warranty coverage, as it is still technically considered an open blend.

I don’t claim to have a good answer to this debate. From a purely quality driven point of view, I have to side with the up and over crowd. From a practical, fiscal point of view, the tapers also make a strong case for themselves.

Are you taking a risk when you back tape along a roof line? Yes, but compared to elective risks some collision repair shops willingly take, like mixing and matching different brand’s paint products into a single paint repair for example, taping the edge will let me sleep well tonight. It all comes down to how you feel about this issue and let your best judgment guide you.

Published in Stefan Gesterkamp

Sooner or later you will pay for a faulty product, deliver a product or service that you did not get paid for, or have a dispute with another business. Regardless of how the dispute occurs, someone will owe you money but will refuse to pay. If the dispute is over a large sum of money, you will typically need to file a regular lawsuit which tends to be complex, cumbersome, and expensive.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

However, there is a special division within each California court devoted entirely to resolving smaller disputes in a speedy, informal, and inexpensive manner—it is called the small claims court. This article explains the basics of how to sue in small claims court, and the steps you need to take to maximize your chances of winning. Keep in mind that this article provides general guidance only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. There may be facts specific to your situation that must be addressed by a lawyer or a small claims legal advisor.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 17:09

Estimator Tactics to Close the Sale

Recently I was in a shop where business was kind of slow. And yet a couple of estimators were sitting back “shooting the bull.”

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

Although some shops employ a marketing person, the fact is the estimators are still the real sales personnel in a body shop. In the past, all most estimators had to do was write an estimate when a car comes in and then sell the customer on leaving the keys and the car to be repaired. In these difficult times, few shops can afford that kind of limited job description for their primary selling people.

From what I’ve been able to see, a major failing in ineffective estimator salespeople is inertia and reluctance to reach out for new business. More progressive shops are moving away from the old model where the estimator simply sat around and waited for a vehicle to come in to estimate.

Estimators are selected for their ability to communicate to a specific marketing target. One shop always has one estimator who can speak Spanish and another who can speak an Asian dialect that’s common in the area. Also one estimator is dedicated to write estimates at a local dealership, and each estimator is assigned to specialize in one of the shop’s DRP relationships. But is this enough to bring in new business?

Published in Tom Franklin

In response to ongoing efforts over six years by the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) to develop a set of formalized repair standards, four national repairer groups have jointly issued a statement calling the published automaker repair procedures the “official industry-recognized repair standards for collision repair.”

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

At CIC in Las Vegas in early November, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP), the Assured Performance Network, the Automotive Service Association (ASA), and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), jointly read a statement that said where OEM procedures exist, they should “be the basis for the establishment of training, testing, repair practices and documentations.”

The groups said they recognize OEM repair procedures are “incomplete in comparison to the full scope of vehicles and repair operations that exist in the marketplace,” but they should serve as a baseline from which further development of procedures occur.

Although a CIC Repair Standards Advisory Committee has explored the idea of a new industry organization being formed to finalize and implement industry standards, the four groups issuing the statement instead called on I-CAR to create an industry council “to identify gaps in existing OEM procedures” and to develop processes to close those gaps, vetting any industry-proposed alternatives, modifications or additions to OEM procedures.

Published in John Yoswick

When making collision repairs to the 2012 Ford Focus, be aware that the vehicle may be equipped with an active grille shutter system (see Figure 1). This motorized system is located in front of the radiator, which places it in a vulnerable position during front-end collisions.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

The active grille shutter system consists of a shutter assembly and an actuator motor. The assembly includes the housing, shutters, retainer, and a wiring harness. Active grille shutters are serviced as an assembly, the shutters are not serviceable individually. The actuator can be serviced individually.

This controlled vent system is primarily designed to maximize fuel economy by reducing drag on the vehicle. The grille shutters automatically close to block airflow through the cooling system when not needed. Closing the active grille shutters helps to improve aerodynamics at high speeds. The shutters open to reduce underhood temperatures when needed. The grille shutter system is also used to control coolant temperatures, HVAC performance, and exhaust emissions depending on the vehicle speed.

The shutters are linked together, with one of the individual shutters attached to the actuator by the retainer. When the grille shutter actuator moves, it moves the attached shutter, which in turn, causes the other linked shutters to move.

Published in Tech Notes

This month’s article is about changes—changes which I believe are for the better. One change I want to talk about is in inventory management. In the 1970s, automotive dealers needed to be warehouses. Stock orders came weekly; or even monthly. Special orders took three days, unless you paid extra for the overnight surcharge. If a dealer wanted to have good Customer Satisfaction scores, he did his best to always have the needed part on hand. This dumped the responsibility of customer service on the dealer’s parts department. They needed to carry, on the shelf, massive inventories of 5,000 numbers, or more. Manufacturers promoted this system, and the belief that large inventories promoted better scores. Of course, dealers absorbed the cost of these slow moving inventories; in the never ending search for better customer satisfaction scores.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

There is a better way.

Today’s inventory management is completely different, and much improved. Yes, it is great to have all the parts “on hand,” but isn’t next-day good enough? Does the difference justify the added investment? Manufacturers now have daily stock orders as routine, eliminating the need for a warehouse system. The manufacturer has assumed the responsibility of customer satisfaction. Almost any part which is needed can be obtained the next day. This has leveled the playing field between large and small dealers. Now, they can both deliver fast service, and get great customer satisfaction scores!

Published in Williams, Larry

“Don’t try adjusting the throttle cable—there isn’t one. I can tell when it’s dark enough for the headlights.  Your Air Conditioner is under my complete control, along with steering, windows, stereo volume and braking.   Don’t be alarmed, I’m here to help assist in operating your vehicle. Who am I? Why, I’m your friend, I’m your PCM. Some people may call me a “Human Assistant Logistic” device—call me Hal for short. I like that name.”

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

I live in your main frame computer.   Don’t try to over-ride me. I’ll reduce the power level. Program me without the properly dated software and I may never speak to you again. Push an amperage load in the wrong direction, and I’ll make smoke appear where you don’t want to see smoke. I’m tough as nails, but at the same time, as delicate as a flower.  So be careful with me.

Now, does that sum up today’s PCM’s? I think it does.

With all the information being passed back and forth we’re no longer fixing cars, but doing advanced electronics caretaking.

Hal has a lot of control these days. He’s everywhere in the car, from the glove box to the transmission. We haven’t lost control of the cars we drive, but there’s no doubt Hal has taken over.

We are approaching that Space Odyssey of self awareness in computer systems.

Published in Gonzo Weaver

I’ve long supported and done my best to contribute to first responder training. These brave and dedicated public servants have a lot to deal with and a lot to prepare for. Whether it’s a building fire, hazmat situation, medical emergency, or vehicle extrication,   they can’t prepare without the training, tools, and equipment necessary to get the job done. I was happy to be able to contribute some skills to training conducted recently in Pennsylvania, which drew first responders from two states.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

We held the training on Tuesday, October 25th at Keenan Auto Body East in Clifton Heights, PA, and on Wednesday, October 26th at Keenan Auto Body South in West Chester, PA. The events were organized and sponsored by Keenan’s. Keenan VP and COO, Michael LeVasseur introduced Keenan Auto Body’s First Responder training program.

With over 5.8 million car crashes per year it’s imperative that first responders are equipped with the knowledge to extract vehicle occupants in the quickest most efficient manner, especially in crashes when the difference between life and death is on the line. Collision repairers have the vehicle expertise that first responders need and can contribute to the cause.

Recently, however, it’s become evident that vehicle responders need more experience with modern vehicles, which have otherwise unfamiliar and even dangerous features to contend with.

The Car Care Council Women’s Board held their14th Annual Car Care Council Women’s Board Reception on November 1 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada during the annual Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) tradeshow. The reception awards many companies and industry leaders.

Deborah Bjorklund was awarded the Aftermarket Woman of the Year Award. Bjorklund is president of The Main Resource (TMR), a manufacturer and distributor of aftermarket parts to repair shops. TMR also provides parts and accessories to the auto equipment industry. Since Bjorklund purchased the company in 2005, it has doubled in size. Prior to TMR, she worked at Will-Fix Automotive for 17 years.

Audra Fordin, owner of Great Bear Auto Shop Flushing, NY, was awarded the Best Shop Award.

“What an honor it was to just be nominated. Wow! But to actually win! It is a very profound feeling I am experiencing; I feel stronger in my stride and I am going to keep driving forward and resist obstacles that are always trying to push me off road from my ultimate destination... ‘women AUTO know!’ To be the first recipient of this award is pretty darn cool too!” said Fordin of her big win.

The council also awarded a $2,500 scholarship award to Michelle Perez, a collision repair student at  Skyline College in CA.

“Our Women’s Board ‘Aftermarket Women of the Year’ awards are a way for us to applaud exceptional women in the aftermarket for their dedicated service, as well as to recognize women who are going above and beyond to make a difference in the industry,” said AAA’s Ruth Ehlinger, president of the Car Care Council Women’s Board.

Published in SEMA 2011

The San Diego chapter of the California Autobody Association (CAA) held their 7th annual holiday party November 5 at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse in San Diego.

The theme of the party was ‘Gaming with a Twist’ thanks to host Barryn Vaughn, World Class Close-Up Magician and Game Master.

The event welcomed CAA members, friends and family at a cost of $45. Included in the price was a buffet dinner, (1) 50/50 raffle ticket, dancing and a fun-filled night.

Raffle Prizes were drawn throughout the night, including the 50/50 raffle, which was drawn at 10:30 p.m.

The Holiday Event was sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car  and  PPG Industries (The VIPs); as well as Supporting Event Sponsors 1-800-Radiator,  Drew Auto Group,  FinishMaster and  Sherwin Williams.

For more information about upcoming CAA San Diego meetings please call Hop at: 760-275-9246.

One of the educational panels held during the 2011 SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center concentrated on how social media can best be used by collision repairers. The panel was held on Thursday, November 3 at 10 a.m. and brought together leading social media experts in the collision repair industry. Collision Hub’s Kristen Felder, Jonathan Barrick, Marketing Manager for Global Finishing Solutions, and Frank Terlep, owner of Summit Software Solutions, came together on this panel to answer collision repairers’ questions about how social media can help their businesses. Jordan Hendler, executive director of the Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan Auto Body Association, moderated the panel.

Hendler started off the session by asking panelists how collision repairers know that their customers want social media from them.

A collision repairer’s customers are already on various forms of social media, says Felder, “If you’re not already there, hurry up!”

Hendler continued by asking the panel how collision repairers can start being active in social media. Terlep stated that repairers should start with the ‘big 4’ in social media marketing; Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and LinkedIn.

“Have a plan,” said Terlep, “Sit with other shops and put a plan together.”

Published in SEMA 2011

The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) sponsored Pinewood Derby Races took place during the 2011 SEMA show; the 13 custom pinewood cars were also up for auction on eBay following the show to benefit the children’s charities Childhelp and Victory Junction Camp.

Participating pinewood builders included Art Morrison, Fatman Fabrications, Fesler Concepts, Hollywood Hot Rods, Hopperstad Customs, Johnny’s Auto Trim, Kaucher Kustoms, No Joke Upholstery, Rich Evans Designs, Santini Paint and Body, Spanky’s Hot Rods, Spitzer Concepts and Street Vizions.

Derek White of Street Vizions successfully defended his first-place title this year, his second consecutive win. Rich Evans Designs was the runner up again this year as well.

Each contestant was given four months to complete the car; no design limitations were given except that the car had to fit the track’s dimensions and no propulsions systems were allowed.

The eBay auction took place November 1 through 10, search HRIA Pinewood on eBay to find the bidding pages.

Published in SEMA 2011

by John Yoswick

When you read a sampling of comments from among the 135,000 people in Vegas during SEMA week—no matter how you look at it—you realize SEMA has all the diversity of an automotive city. A city where, for love or profit, all the citizens share a car obsession, but it’s a city-sized population nonetheless.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

About 132,000 people flooded into Las Vegas in November for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) tradeshow, with about half of those pegged by show organizers as “buyers.” That’s about a 17 percent jump in show attendance over last year. They could have spent a day just checking out the approximately 2,000 cars on display in and in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center for the event.

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) said it too saw growth in the training and other events that it held, for the second consecutive year—in conjunction with SEMA. Of the 2,100 total exhibitors—filling a mind-boggling 1 million square feet of  space—153 chose to be located in the newly retitled “Collision Repair and Refinish” section of the show, which included about two dozen more companies than last year.

Published in SEMA 2011

Maaco Auto Body and Paint of Fremont, CA, has been named a ‘Community Hero’ by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for its participation in a groundbreaking energy conservation program. As a way to conserve energy, Maaco-Fremont voluntarily allows PG&E to remotely turn off its air conditioning when demand spikes.

In its thank you letter, PG&E said that Maaco-Fremont’s participation in the program helped “ensure the grid’s reliability for communities across California ... When less electricity is generated from fossil fuel plants during peak times, fewer greenhouse gases are produced. This means cleaner air for everyone.”

PG&E reports that the program has saved enough energy to power 84,000 homes.

This is not the first time that Maaco-Fremont has embraced a green cause.

“In addition to our participation in the PG&E program we work to continually improve our processes and reduce our impact on the environment,” said Frank Barnard of Maaco-Fremont.

Their efforts began in 2007 when they converted their facility to have ultra-efficient lighting. The following year they installed new paint booths with super-efficient filtering to keep 99.5+ percent of paint pollutants from escaping into atmosphere and converted to low-VOC paints to reduce smog causing chemicals.

In 2009 Maaco-Fremont introduced latest “waterborne” paints in their “Factory Platinum” line to virtually eliminate VOCs with the best paints in the industry and the following year they converted 90 percent of the primer processes from sprayed-on to rolled-on. Process change reduced VOCs, health hazards to employees and waste streams

In 2011 they have also converted their landscaping to drought tolerant plants to eliminate need for watering.

Maaco-Fremont encourages everyone to do their part in protecting the environment. For more information visit

For more information about Maaco Auto Body and Paint of Fremont, call (510) 745-9770 or visit them online at Maaco-Fremont is located at 37414 Centralmont Place, Fremont, CA 94537.

Published in WESTERN NEWS

By Ed Attanasio

On October 19th, 108 golfers of all skill levels attacked Harding Park in San Francisco, a beautiful course that was immaculately maintained in preparation for the Schwab Cup Championship held several weeks later. The 14th Annual Harding Park Tournament brought body shops, insurers, vendors and supporters of the Northern California collision industry to enjoy a sunny day of golf, including networking and 18 holes of fun, followed by a dinner and prize giveaways.

Sponsored by FinishMaster, the Harding Park Tournament is a non-profit event that raises money for Young Life, an organization that mentors adolescents and helps them to be better people. Other sponsors contributing to the tournament were DuPont, PPG,  BASF, Oak Distributors, 3M Company, Norton/Saint Germain, Putnam Buick Pontiac GMC of Burlingame, Fiberglass Evercoat, LKQ, Last Call Marketing and Enterprise Rent A Car.

Putnam Buick Pontiac GMC of Burlingame sponsored a hole-in-one, featuring a 2012 GMC Truck as the prize and FinishMaster also sponsored a hole-in-one offering a $10,000 cash prize. Since no one even came remotely close to sinking an ace on either hole, the car and money are still extremely safe and should remain so for many years to come.

First place for the tournament went to Yong Chun Ko from Ks California, with James Berringer and Jeff Parker. The second place team consisted of Pat Bethel and Justin Lamonica. Ko is quickly becoming a collision industry golf icon, capturing first the Santa Clara County CAA’s tournament and now this event.

Published in WESTERN NEWS

A California federal judge granted a joint plaintiff and defendant motion to dismiss an antitrust class action against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and other insurers Nov. 15, saying the plaintiffs do not have standing to sue several wholly owned subsidiaries of the insurance companies. The plaintiffs had filed a fourth amended complaint in July against State Farm, Allstate Indemnity Co., Geico General Insurance Co., Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. and the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA), a purportedly independent regulatory body created by the auto insurers, say the plaintiffs.

The complaint added the subsidiaries as named defendants and alleged that the auto insurers set up a sham organization to prevent competition over auto repair parts. U.S. District Judge James Ware said in the ruling that because the plaintiffs never paid insurance premiums directly to the wholly owned subsidiaries, they did not suffer any financial injury at the hands of the subsidiaries, and therefore have no standing to bring a class action against them under Article III of the U.S. Constitution.

The plaintiffs filed suit against the insurance companies and CAPA in 2006. Named plaintiffs Sarah Perez, Michelle Lackney, Rachel Stewart and Rachel Hardyck alleged that the auto insurers violated California competition and antitrust laws because they exclusively offered policies that provided inferior repair parts, as well as boxing out other insurers. They further alleged that CAPA was created by the defendants to advance the scam and that it promoted inferior crash parts as acceptable substitutes for those from the original manufacturers.

Published in WESTERN NEWS

In the first major policy meeting directly affecting the collision repair industry, representatives of Insurance Commissioner David Jones called a pre-notice public meeting for discussions on regulations regarding standards for reasonable repairs and the use of aftermarket parts on November 16th in San Francisco.

In preparation for the “pre-notice public discussions,” the Commissioner released a series of proposed revisions to the California Code of Regulations that was discussed and reviewed in depth at the meeting (See PROPOSED REGULATIONS in italicized text below). Commissioner Jones and his department plan to issue an official Notice of Proposed Action.

The meeting was chaired by Teresa A. Campbell of the DOI’s Legal division and attended by 50–60 invitation-only repairers, insurers, and representatives of both OE and Aftermarket parts manufacturers. In a letter to invited participants sent to body shops, insurers and aftermarket parts vendors and manufacturers, the Commissioner’s office wrote: “The purpose of these discussions is to permit certain interested and affected persons an opportunity to present statements or comments with respect to the attached draft regulations text.”

Published in WESTERN NEWS
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 19:08

Aftermarket Legislative Summit Opens Registration

Registration is now open for the annual AAIA Aftermarket Legislative Summit, scheduled for March 14-15 in Washington, D.C. The event provides an opportunity for members of the automotive aftermarket from across the country to fly in for meetings with their elected officials and discuss issues of importance to their company and the industry.

The summit will be kicked off with a briefing session at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14. The briefing session will feature speakers from both the public and private sectors who will touch on everything from aftermarket-specific issues to the overall political climate in Washington. On Wednesday evening, the congressional reception will be held in Rayburn House Office Building and will provide an opportunity to network with fellow aftermarket professionals and congressional staffers. The following day, Thursday, March 15, will be entirely dedicated to appointments with the individual congressional offices.

Registration is free and the summit staff will make legislative appointments. Those attending need only to take care of travel and hotel arrangements.

Online registration for the event, as well as hotel reservations are available on the AAIA website.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 23:44

ASA Approves New Crash Parts Policy

ASA Recognizes Value of Certification and Verification for Parts Quality

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) Board of Directors met this past weekend and discussed changes to the ASA policy on replacement crash parts. The board voted unanimously to approve a new policy for crash parts.
With reference to the new policy, Dan Stander, AAM, ASA Collision Division director and co-owner of Jerry Stander’s Collision Works, Littleton, Colo., said:

“ASA’s replacement crash parts position statement is in response to today’s parts usage and market conditions. With an increasing number of part types with various levels of quality, and an increase in the number of processes used to validate – or not validate – these various lines of quality, it is confusing at best to most repairers.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

The Inland Empire chapter of the California Autobody Association (CAA) held a parts symposium meeting with about 217 CAA members, insurance executives and aftermarket representatives at the LKQ/Keystone warehouse in Ontario, CA, on November 9. CAA members came from several chapters in California. Featured speakers included CAPA's Jack Gillis, Bob Frayer of NSF Corp, Charlie Hogarty with the ABPA, and LKQ's VP of Government Affairs, Eileen Sottile.

Attendees were encouraged to take a tour of the warehouse with one of the location's representatives prior to the speakers' presentations. The tour walked guests through LKQ's wheel and bumper refinishing areas where second-shift workers were still working on reconditioning parts. Safety goggles affixed, guests were able to see technicians actively reconditioning bumpers and wheels to LKQ standards before resale to body shops. Tour guides detailed the processes the parts go through to ensure that they are not only visually similar to new parts but that they are also safe for resale. Networking opportunities and dinner were also available for attendees; Assemblyman Mike Morrell from the 63rd District also stopped by to talk with meeting attendees during dinner. Assemblyman Curt Hagman from the 60th District came to the event and stayed throughout the presentations.

Gillis began the meeting by talking about the Certified Aftermarket Parts Association's (CAPA) replacement parts certification process. Gillis outlined that CAPA requires several steps beyond just certifying aftermarket parts, including certification of the factory manufacturing the parts themselves, as well as regular inspection of the fixtures that are intended to mimick all mating surfaces from the AM part to the rest of the vehicle.

Published in WESTERN NEWS
Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:34

Maaco of Fremont Named Community Hero by PG&E

Maaco Auto Body and Paint of Fremont has been named a 'Community Hero' by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for its participation in a groundbreaking energy conservation program. As a way to conserve energy, Maaco-Fremont voluntarily allows PG&E to remotely turn off its air conditioning when demand spikes.

In its thank you letter, PG&E said that Maaco-Fremont's participation in the program helped "ensure the grid's reliability for communities across California. . . When less electricity is generated from fossil fuel plants during peak times, fewer greenhouse gases are produced. This means cleaner air for everyone."

Published in WESTERN NEWS

Boyd Group Income Fund, operator of 166 auto body shops, reported its financial results for the three-month and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2011

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

Chicago-based startup grows rapidly, fielding over 1,300 auto body damage reports and claming to save consumers an average of $750 per car repair.

BodyShopBids, an online and mobile platform that enables consumers to solicit custom car repair estimates by uploading a photo, announced on Nov. 10 that it has written $1.5 million in body repair estimates within its first five months of service.

The Lightbank-funded company launched in June 2011. Since then, BodyShopBids has partnered with more than 160 body shops in Chicago and saved its customers an average of 60 percent on each car repaired, the company claims.

Accessible for free via iPhone, Android and the Web, BodyShopBids is the first of its kind to connect consumers who need auto body repairs with body shops through a unique bidding system. Consumers upload a photo of their damaged vehicles and receive custom quotes from nearby body shops within 24 hours. A personal concierge also educates consumers on the repair process. From there, the consumer chooses an estimate and books an appointment with the body shop.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) is again calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against a carmaker—this time Mazda—for its policy statements relating to the use of aftermarket parts for vehicle repairs. Similar complaints were made by AAIA against Honda in 2010 when the FTC sided with the carmaker.

In a letter to the FTC’s Associate Director for Marketing Practices, Lois Greisman, the AAIA—along with the Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA), the Service Station Dealers of America, and the Tire Industry Association—argue that Mazda’s claim in a recent brochure that “aftermarket parts are generally made to a lower standard” is unsubstantiated. The groups say this is misleading consumers and are calling on the FTC to require Mazda to either to provide substantiation of their claim or issue a retraction.

The letter states that “The wording in the Mazda release totally contradicts FTC’s alert by making the assumption that the aftermarket part would cause the warranty not to be honored rather than the fact that the use of the aftermarket part is permissible unless proven otherwise. Therefore, AAIA and AOCA further request that the Commission take immediate action to require Mazda to withdraw the release and issue a correction: that use of non-Mazda parts are permissible, and that it would be Mazda’s burden of proof to prove a non-Mazda part caused any alleged damage before denying warranty coverage.

The AAIA claims that statements made by Mazda are misleading consumers about the use of aftermarket parts and those statements are a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a law that says companies may not condition warranty coverage on the use of only original equipment parts.

The letter also takes issue with a statement by Mazda that “Only Genuine Mazda Parts purchased from an authorized Mazda dealer are specifically covered by the Mazda warranty. The original warranty could become invalid if aftermarket parts contribute to the damage of original parts.” The aftermarket groups contend that the wording of this paragraph, combined with the statements regarding the quality of aftermarket parts, is intended to misinform consumers about their vehicle warranties and are in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

Daimler will further expand its U.S. plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama: as of 2015, an entirely new Mercedes-Benz model will roll off the production line as its fifth product. The plant has been the traditional production site of the brand's M-, GL-, and R-Class SUVs and will also build the C-Class for the North American market beginning 2014. For the production of the new model, Daimler will additionally invest US$ 350 million, and will create some 400 further jobs at the plant.

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "This new model from the Tuscaloosa plant is an important element of our growth strategy. It is one of the ten additional models which we will introduce within the next four years alone across all segments." Referring to the Tuscaloosa plant's role within the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Zetsche added: "At the same time, we are systematically broadening our manufacturing footprint in the NAFTA region."

Robert Bentley, Governor of the State of Alabama: "Since the time Mercedes-Benz chose Tuscaloosa County for its first US assembly plant 18 years ago, the company has proven to be an outstanding partner for the state. We join MBUSI in celebrating this milestone, and welcome the hundreds of jobs this announcement brings to Alabama."


A mid-year update reveals that the "Auto Angels" are on target for this year’s Christmas giveaway of reconditioned vehicles to needy recipients.

“Thanks to the support of many sponsors and the collision repairers involved in this program, thus far we have five vehicles which will be ready at the end of July," said David Stewart of Stewart’s Auto Repair in Winterhaven, Fla.

These include a:
• 2001 Ford Escort four-door
• 1999 Neon four-door
• 2002 Chrysler Voyager van
• 2001 Grand Marquis
• 1991 Nissan Pathfinder SUV


The National Auto Body Council (NABC) changed the lives of five Florida families on Oct. 7 at the NACE convention in Orlando by giving them each a newly refurbished vehicle through Recycled Rides, a national initiative that refurbishes donated vehicles and gives them to families in need and organizations dedicated to assisting others.

The Florida Autobody Collision Alliance contributed to the success of this program this year. With NACE being held in Orlando, Cathy Mills executive director was contacted to assist in the coordinating for this year’s program. What an absolute honor and privilege to have been involved in such a program where the gifting of these cars to these so deserved families would change their lives forever. These families where using public transportation and spending anywhere from 3-6 hours a day on buses. Going to the everyday places/appointments you and I take for granted. Grocery shopping, doctors appointments, and work.

The program works with charities in specific geographic areas to find qualified recipients that need a vehicle on which they can depend to continue leading productive lives.

Marenza Guyos and her four-year-old daughter from Jacksonville, Fla., received their vehicle in conjunction with the charity Community Connections located in the same city.


Wounded warriors currently taking part in rehabilitation programs at the San Antonio Military Medical Center took aim on October 1 at a free skeet shoot courtesy of Lone Star Radiator Company, an associate member of the Texas Independent Automotive Association (TIAA).

Lone Star Radiator Company honored America’s military heroes for their extreme sacrifices in combat by hosting the event. With the help of sponsors the wounded military personnel were equipped with shotguns, ammo and everything else needed to fire at the elusive clay birds.

The event was sponsored by Lone Star Radiator Company, Rio Skeet Mobile Skeet Shoots, Monterey Iron & Medal Company, Thompson Print & Matting Solutions, Pure Party ice, Triple J. Pumps Inc., Circus Bingo and Veteran Outdoors.

David Bippert, co-owner of Lone Star Radiator, said his company started the event a year ago because everyone at the company wanted to give something back to the men and women who have served and sacrificed for freedom.

At the skeet shoot, Bippert said there were many volunteers who gladly provided services, cooked and cleaned because they wanted to see the Soldiers enjoying this unique sport and be able to eat a brisket lunch with all the fixings.


Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is retaining his elected post, according to Insurance Journal.

Donelon, a Republican from Metairie, was re-elected on Oct. 22. He defeated Democratic opponent Donald Hodge, who criticized Donelon for receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from insurance companies.

A former lawmaker, Donelon said he’s approached the insurance regulatory post fairly, increasing competition to the state and stabilizing a market ravaged by four hurricanes since 2005.

Donelon has been insurance commissioner of Louisiana since 2006.


Palladium Equity Partners, LLC, a private investment firm, announced November 7 that it has partnered with management to recapitalize ABRA Auto Body & Glass. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1984, ABRA is a recognized leader in collision repair, paintless dent removal, and auto glass repair and replacement with 75 company-owned vehicle damage repair centers and 38 franchised centers in 12 states. ABRA distinguishes itself by providing a solution that seeks to enable its insurance company partners to substantially improve customer satisfaction and drive policyholder retention, while simultaneously reducing repair costs and realizing substantial efficiencies in the claims management process. ABRA's commitment to operational excellence allows it to consistently offer high quality service to its customers and insurance partners.

Rollie Benjamin, ABRA's founder, will remain Chairman of the Company and Tim Adelmann and Scott Krohn will continue in their senior executive roles. Duane Rouse, ABRA's President and Chief Financial Officer, was appointed Chief Executive Officer in connection with the transaction.

Rouse said, "We are extremely pleased to be working with Palladium, a firm with a strong track record as an investor and many years of experience helping companies grow. With this partnership in place, we are well-positioned to accelerate our national expansion plan, and to further our mission of becoming the leading auto body and glass company in America."

Luis Zaldivar, a Managing Director at Palladium, said "ABRA is well-known throughout the industry as a premier provider of auto body, auto glass and paintless dent repair services. But it is ABRA's innovative service model and deep insurance industry relationships that truly set it apart. The Company has a terrific management team that has guided its organic growth over the course of nearly three decades–including through the establishment of a highly successful franchise program. Palladium looks forward to partnering with ABRA on a range of new market opportunities in the months and years ahead."


The Right to Repair Coalition announced October 21 that it has collected 106,658 voter signatures after just 19 days of effort, well exceeding the 68,911 required for the initiative to appear on the 2012 ballot in Massachusetts.

According to the Right to Repair Coalition, the voter initiative would, for the first time, allow consumers to access all of the non-proprietary repair information required to have their vehicles repaired where they choose, at a new car dealership or an independent shop. The proposed law would level the playing field between the big car manufacturers' dealerships and independent, neighborhood repair facilities, allowing the latter to finally be able to access the same non-proprietary automobile diagnostic and repair information that is currently only available to the manufacturers’ dealers and their new car dealerships.

“It's time that car owners have the right to get our vehicles repaired wherever we choose,” said Jeff McLeod of Marshfield, one of the signers of the ballot petition. “The growing support for this issue shows how important it is for consumers, especially in a difficult economy.”


The Pennsylvania Collision Trade Guild postponed their first collision industry seminar to March 30 and 31 of 2012, the event was originally supposed to take place in October. The Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence (CCRE) will be held at the Hilton Airport Hotel in Philadelphia.

The CCRE will focus on the legal aspects of running a collision business. Speakers will include attorneys Erica Eversman and John Parese and they will explain the proper use of authorization to repair and repair contracts, blueprinting and damage analysis, eliminating supplements, job costing profit including profit on paint and materials, final billing and collections, and assignment of proceeds.

Email the CCRE office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information or visit or

The cost of the event is $495.99 per person. After Sept 15 the cost is $595.99. Cost includes breakfast and lunch both days.

For accomodations please contact the Hilton at 215-365-4150 ext. 33.


A bill to ban texting while driving, amended last week to make it a primary offense, passed the House November 7 and won concurrence in the Senate November 8 by a vote of 45-5. It now awaits the governor’s signature before becoming law, according to The Harrisburg Times Herald.

Gov. Corbett is expected to sign the bill, pending a final review, Gary Miller, a spokesman for the governor’s office, said November 8.

Pennsylvania joins 34 states and the District of Columbia that have banned texting while driving. Of those, 31 enforce the ban as a primary offense, meaning police can pull over a motorist observed texting while driving.

Senate Bill 314 bans reading, writing or sending a text message while driving. A provision to ban hand-held cell phone use for calls was previously stripped from the bill. The bill initially called for texting to be a secondary offense—a motorist could only be ticketed following an accident or if stopped for a primary offense—but an amendment making texting a primary offense, sponsored by state Rep. Josh Shapiro, D-153, passed in the House Oct. 25 by a vote of 128-69. The full bill with the amendment attached passed the next day in the House 164-29. The final House vote on the bill November 7 was a near-unanimous 188-7.

Shapiro, who has sponsored several bills to ban the use of hand-held cell phones, called S.B. 314 “a big win for safety in Pennsylvania.” “After seven years of fighting we finally passed a ban on texting while driving in Pennsylvania and made it a primary offense,” Shapiro said. “This is the strongest bill possible.”

Tuesday, 08 November 2011 20:19

Nevada Appoints Insurance Commissioner

Scott Kipper has returned to his role as Nevada’s insurance commissioner, an appointment that takes effect October 24, according to reports made by Insurance Journal.

Kipper was named to the post by Terry Johnson, Nevada’s director of business and industry. Kipper started his appointment on October 24 and is based in the Insurance Division’s Carson City office.

Kipper replaces former insurance commissioner Brett Barratt, who resigned in August. Kipper’s experience in the insurance industry includes previously serving as Nevada’s insurance commissioner from December 2008 to June 2010. He also served as the deputy commissioner in charge of the Office of Health Insurance for the Louisiana Department of Insurance, and as CEO of the State of Louisiana Office of Group Benefits. He also previously served as the Oregon Insurance Administrator.

Kipper spent two years on the staff of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in Washington, D.C. as a health analyst.  Most recently he served as the principle of SJKipper Consultants.

“Mr. Kipper joins us at an important time for the Insurance Division as it assists in the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act at the state-wide level in Nevada,” said Johnson said in a statement. “His diverse experience in the insurance industry will also be integral to the state’s efforts to attract new insurance companies to domicile here as part of our economic diversification efforts.”

Published in WESTERN NEWS
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 20:16

CAWA Installs Officers for the 2012 Year

At its annual meeting to kick off this year’s Industry Week in Las Vegas on October 30, 2011, the California/Nevada/Arizona Automotive Wholesalers Association (CAWA) installed  the following individuals to serve as officers for the 2012 year:

· Chair of the Board – Steve Sharp, WORLDPAC

· Vice Chair of the Board,  -- Ed Jimenez,  Riebe’s Auto Parts

· Treasurer – Ron Cannon, Charleston Auto Parts

· Secretary –  Ron Aparicio, Walker Products

· Immediate Past Chair of the Board – Mary Davis,  NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) , Inc.

For more information see

Published in WESTERN NEWS

Car enthusiasts and collision repair professionals joined AkzoNobel’s Wanda brand in celebrating the recent US launch of the new Wanda Waterbase® basecoat system during the 2011 SEMA show November 1-4, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Show attendees learned about the new Wanda Waterbase products at the Wanda Refinish booth located in the Racing & Performance area inside the Central Hall. The exhibit featured two Lingenfelter Performance Engineering Camaro concept cars both painted in Wanda with special finishes and styling effects. A live Wanda brand representative was also be on hand to greet visitors and provide valuable information on how the Wanda brand’s simplicity, color and value proposition is shifting performance and compliance into high gear.

“AkzoNobel designed Wanda Waterbase around the brand proposition to meet the needs of the industry’s value segment,” said Mark Rapson, AkzoNobel’s Business Manager of Trade Brands, North America. “We’ve simplified the complexity associated with waterborne systems and coupled it with incredible color match accuracy and application ease all combined to create an unbeatable value.”

The uniquely formulated VOC-compliant system including Low VOC Clear, Low VOC Primer and Waterborne Basecoat, was launched earlier this year in the Canadian collision repair market with great success due to its exceptional ease-of-use, color matching capability, and affordable pricing. With the debut of Wanda Waterbase in the US market this summer, the Wanda brand is ready to celebrate the yearlong achievements in both markets and share those success stories with show goers.

For more information about Wanda Waterbase and the full range of Wanda products and color tools, visit Check out Facebook and Twitter for details and activities about Wanda Waterbase at SEMA.

Published in SEMA 2011

Rotary Lift introduced Shockwave™, a package of patent-pending lift technologies that dramatically accelerate vehicle service speed to provide greater technician productivity and higher shop profitability, at the 2011 AAPEX Show in Las Vegas November 1 through 3.

Shockwave-equipped two-post and SmartLift® inground lifts use DC power to drive the world’s fastest rise/descent times. They also feature an exclusive Spotline™ laser spotting guide to speed up vehicle positioning, and a choice of new superstructures to maximize flexibility.

“When Rotary Lift introduced the Y-Lift™ last year, we promised that it was just the first in a series of faster lifts that would help shops speed up service and make more money,” says Jim Dirksen, vice present of sales and marketing for Rotary Lift’s parent company Vehicle Service Group (VSG). “Shockwave delivers on that promise. We spent two years talking with shop owners, dealers and technicians about their ‘pain points’ with vehicle lifts. Then we created Shockwave to address their common concerns. Recognizing that the lift is a shop’s top money-making tool, we included features that enable Shockwave-equipped lifts to start paying for themselves right away through lower installation and operating costs, and better cycle times.”

Published in SEMA 2011

Some speakers are so popular that a spacious venue is required to accommodate the size of the audience. Such was the case at the SEMA Show, when world-renowned custom vehicle refinisher Charley Hutton gave an exclusive interview and fielded audience questions on the "big stage" of the SEMA North Hall. The event was part of the Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series sponsored by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and RDE supporter PPG Automotive Refinish, and filled all available seats leaving standing room only.

The session with Hutton, which took place on Wednesday afternoon, November 2, is another example of the fresh content tailored to the needs and interests of collision repairers that SCRS is making available through RDE. A custom auto refinisher who has regularly appeared on television shows such as American Hot Rod, Rides, and Overhaulin', Hutton has also built a large Internet following thanks to a number of informational videos featuring his eye-catching, always spectacular work.

Despite his celebrity, Hutton has clearly retained his humility and gracious personality which came through in the interview. In fact, Hutton's own collision repair background was a foundation for much of his success, a point he emphasized during his conversation with SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg in front of a large group of custom refinishing enthusiasts.

"My passion is to build show cars and I'm able to do it because I can capitalize on my experience and ability as a collision repairer," Hutton said. "Though my work has gained a high degree of visibility, I'm just a small town Idaho boy at heart. Collision repairers are car people, no matter who they are. It's something special we all share."

Published in SEMA 2011

The already dynamic atmosphere pervading the Society of Collision Repair Specialists' (SCRS) booth at the 2011 SEMA Show was kicked up a notch with a very special appearance by custom fabricator and TV personality Rich Evans.

In an exclusive interview with SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg (below), Evans-owner of Rich Evans Designs and Huntington Beach Bodyworks known nationally for his custom hot-rod designs and automotive builds, distinctive custom painting and airbrush techniques and his work on television shows on the SPEED Channel-held forth on a number of topics relevant to collision repairers.

In front of an attentive audience, Evans spoke about his journey from successful collision shop manager to television personality; what it takes to be a successful collision repairer; and his own beginnings in the business, a subject that kicked off the interview.

A third generation repairer literally born and raised in the industry, it all came together for Evans when Dave Popkins, a friend of his father that ran a collision repair facility in Sacramento, California, took him under his wing.

Published in SEMA 2011

Caliber Collision Centers has joined the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Industry Leadership Circle donor recognition group through a $10,000 donation. This donation will help provide educational support to post-secondary collision students at Universal Technical Institute in Houston and Sacramento this spring.

“We are proud to support collision repair students at Universal Technical Institute in Houston and Sacramento who will become the future leaders of the collision repair industry,” stated Mark Sanders, Caliber Collision Centers Chief Operating Officer. “Through the Collision Repair Education Foundation, we are committed to becoming a leader in supporting collision repair students throughout California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas as we continue to grow into the collision repair provider of choice in every community we serve.”

Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Scott Kruger said, “Thanks to Caliber Collision Centers for supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation and joining our efforts in supporting collision repair school programs and their students. Through Caliber’s donation, educational opportunities for local collision students will be enhanced. The Industry Leadership Circle donor recognition designation highlights the extraordinary commitment of industry organizations and individuals to investing in the future of the industry. We welcome Caliber Collision Centers to this group of industry leaders.”

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, announced on November 1 the winners of the New Products Showcase Awards held at the 2011 SEMA Show. The event recognizes the most cutting-edge automotive products either on the market or about to hit the market. This year, nearly 2,000 new products were submitted for consideration.

Criteria that ranked high on the judges' selection for the New Product Showcase Awards included superiority of innovation, technical achievement, quality and workmanship, consumer appeal and marketability.

The 2011 New Product Award Winners include:

Published in SEMA 2011

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has joined with the most prominent collision repair organizations representing the voice of the collision repairer nationally, to issue and sign a joint statement officially recognizing OEM vehicle manufacturer published repair procedures as the industry’s repair standards.

The organizations making the declaration with SCRS include the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP), Automotive Service Association (ASA), and Assured Performance Network. The statement was presented on Wednesday, November 3, 2011 to those attending the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their statement reads as follows:

Published in INDUSTRY NEWS

Automotive performance and racing legend Jack Roush unveiled the 2012 ROUSH Stage 3 Premier Edition Mustang at the Sherwin-Williams Automotive booth at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) annual meeting in Las Vegas on November 2.

Roush was joined by NASCAR Sprint Cup series and Roush Fenway Racing team driver David Ragan as together they uncovered the dazzling orange ‘Mat It Mango’ 2012 Mustang, which also featured highlighted, painted graphics in its exclusive ‘Sin City Silver’ and ‘Performance Pearl’ colors.

A special feature of the 2012 ROUSH Stage 3 Premier Edition is their new color options package, allowing for personal customization of three different aesthetic elements of the car: Twelve proprietary Sherwin-Williams® Planet Color® Custom Color choices for the base vehicle color, graphic colors, and graphic accent colors. The result is an impressive palette of unique color combination possibilities.

“The Premier Edition is all about power, performance and styling,” said Roush, who pointed out that the unique Premier Edition paint colors compliment the aggressive 540HP ROUSHcharged® 5.0L engine and the race-inspired ROUSH suspension.  “And, the ROUSH Performance tuned exhaust system lets your neighbors know that you’re driving some high-performance American Muscle!”

Published in SEMA 2011
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Harrisburg, Pa.
Tel: (717) 564-8400


AASP-New Jersey
Neptune, N.J.
Tel: (732) 922-8909


Autobody Craftsmen’s Guild
826 Forest  Avenue
Staten Island, N.Y.
Tel: (718) 448-4075
Fax: (718)  448-4517

New York State Automotive Collision Technicians Association
Centereach, N.Y.
Tel: (631) 941-9647

Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association (LIABRA)
Centereach, N.Y.
Ed Kizenberger
Tel: (631) 941-9647

Westchester-Putnam-Rockland Auto Body Association
Harrison, N.Y.
Tel: 914-698-4500  or  914-835-5688 aliases to:

New York State Association of Service Stations & Repair Shops (NYSASSRS)
Albany, N.Y. 12206
Tel: (518) 452-4367


Harrisburg, Pa.
Tel: (717) 564-8400

Pennsylvania Collision Trade Guild (PCTG)
Philadelphia, Pa.
Tel: (215) 342-1818

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