SOUTHEAST NEWS (295)
Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi
Autobody News' SouthEast print edition is mailed to 6,500 body shops monthly
The Georgia Collision Industry Association will meet May 16 and host guest speaker Arthur Harris, administrator of the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG).
The DEG, launched in 2008, is a collective effort on behalf of the Automotive Service Association (ASA), the Association of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS). It was created to give repairers an efficient means of creating solutions for problems found in today's estimating systems. Information providers (IPs) do a good job of continually updating their systems, but new vehicles and repair processes change constantly.
To watch a video of Mississippi Collision Repair Association president John Mosley in a TV interview about the recent letter written by Attorney General Jim Hood warning insurers to cover hail damage, go to the MCRA website here:
In the wake of a hailstorm that created havoc for Mississippi residents left with damaged homes and cars, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood sent a letter to all insurance companies asking them to cover restoration of vehicles damaged by the hailstorm.
In the letter, Hood asks all insurance companies conducting business in the state to pay for necessary procedures to restore recently damaged vehicles to their pre-accident conditions.
Property damage from the March 18 hailstorm that pelted central Mississippi topped $25 million in early April and was expected to rise drastically as more residents filed insurance claims, the Clarion Ledger reported.
The Mississippi Department of Insurance on April 2 reported claims filed by nearly 10,000 homeowners and more than 31,000 auto owners in the wake of the massive storm. Together, they total more than $25 million, an amount that’s already been paid by the state’s major insurance carriers.
A woman in a shopping center parking lot in Alpharetta, GA, told police she was approached by a man soliciting auto body work who enlisted children to sand-damage her vehicle. According to the police report, the woman attempted to back her vehicle from its parking space when a dark green Honda Pilot blocked her way. A Hispanic man in his early 30s got out of the Pilot and approached her claiming to work for “Alpharetta Toyota.” He offered her a quote to fix some minor, pre-existing damage to the front of her vehicle.
The woman told the man she would be interested in a quote. According to the report, the man, along with a second Hispanic man and several children, immediately approached her car with spray bottles and sand paper. The woman told police she objected, but the men began to spray chemicals on the car and one of the men began using sandpaper. The men stopped after a disagreement, backed away from the woman’s vehicle and allowed her to leave. Police inspected the vehicle and noted a large portion of the front right fender and bumper had the top layer of paint removed and a significant amount of sanding marks.
The Boyd Group has announced the opening of three new repair centers in North Carolina and one in Lakeland, Florida, bringing the total number of Boyd locations in the U.S. to 185.
Two of the new repair centers are located in Wilmington, NC, giving Boyd three locations there. The first center is approximately 10,700 square feet and was previously known as Wilmington Paint & Body Works. The second center is approximately 10,000 square feet and previously operated as Factory Finish Collision Center.
The third newly opened North Carolina location is in Durham. It is Boyd's second repair center in Durham and is approximately 18,600 square feet. It previously operated as CBS Quality Cars. With these additions, the Boyd Group owns and operates 22 repair centers in North Carolina. These centers now operate under the Gerber Collision & Glass trade name.
The new repair center in Florida is located in Lakeland, FL, and is approximately 7,300 square feet. This center was previously known as Express Auto Body, and now also operates under the Gerber Collision & Glass trade name. The Boyd Group now owns and operates 38 repair centers in Florida.
"The opening of these new locations is in line with our stated growth strategy of achieving 6-10 percent of growth in number of centers through single-location additions," said Tim O'Day, President and COO of the Boyd Group's U.S. operations. "These centers allow us to better serve customers and insurance partners in these markets and we plan to continue to focus on expanding our presence in similar attractive U.S. markets."
Hails storms moved across Mississippi in mid March causing numerous reports of hail damage and leaving at least three people injured and many vehicles damaged.
The National Weather Service reported large hail up to softball-size hit parts of the Jackson metro area and other parts of the state mid March with widespread damage to vehicles, homes and buildings.
Toyota of Orlando was recently named recipient of the 2012 Toyota Certified Collision Center Triple Crown award.
Out of 190 Toyota Certified Collision Center (TCCC) facilities nationwide, Toyota of Orlando was the top-performing shop in its sales group. The award was presented to the shop during a special recognition dinner March 19 in Orlando, FL.
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts recently expanded in Dalton, GA, with owner Ken White opening a second location on the south side of the city.
Ken’s CARSTAR South opened in February. White renovated the building extensively before opening the modern facility. White has been in the collision repair industry for 20 years, and has owned his own business for 15 years.
Nearly 200 I-CAR instructors, volunteers, and industry members gathered in Fort Lauderdale, FL, March 22-23 for I-CAR’s Eastern Regional Conference. Outstanding instructors and volunteers were recognized for their dedication and commitment to I-CAR and for delivering collision repair training to their local areas.
Members of the collision repair industry as well as distributors around the country are invited to make a donation on the behalf of Ray Gunder by sending checks payable to: Brent Geohagan, Attorney at law; Geohagan, P.A., 3001 Bartow Road Lakeland, FL 33803. Please write in the memo area: “Donation to Gunder’s Legal Fund.” Upon winning his cases, Gunder has committed to creating a ‘war chest’ legal fund from recovered fees and costs for repairers to use to fight their own insurer underpayment battles.