SOUTHEAST NEWS (287)
Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi
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As of Nov. 29, 26 insurers have elected to provide full compensation for Gunder’s Auto Center’s labor rates and material invoicing.
This past August, Ray Gunder placed a notice in his reception area and provided handouts to all auto appraisers and insurer claim representatives who visited his shop that new labor rates and allowances were in effect. As reported on September 12th, 2012: (“15 and Counting”), with the exception of a handful, most insurers have conceded to paying without argument (excluding Infinity who kicked and screamed a little but acquiesced after a Ray filed a lawsuit against them). The increases include labor, refinishing labor, frame labor, mechanical labor rates and the invoicing of PMC Logic for all body and refinishing related materials.
The Mississippi Collision Repair Association continues to grow to the north and south. The MCRA held a meeting in north Mississippi Nov. 13 in Oxford. Other recent expansion meetings included one in Gulfport in September and in Cleveland, MI, in October.
“The association here is gaining members at a brisk pace. Member shops are sharing information and we are beginning to be paid for things we have never been paid for in the past,” said member Bill Fowler, owner of Bill Fowler’s Bodyworks in Southaven.
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, North America’s largest multi-shop operator network (MSO), recently opened two new locations, Orlando American CARSTAR Collision in Winter Park, FL and Hi-Tech CARSTAR Eastside in Washington.
Orlando American CARSTAR Collision, located at 2822 S. Forsyth Road, Suite 101, is a family-owned business that has been serving the communities of Seminole and Orange Counties since 1991. It was founded by Orlando Torres, who still owns and manages the repair facility.
The Boyd Group Income Fund recently announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of The Recovery Room of Central Florida, which owns 11 collision repair centers in the Orlando, FL, under the trade name The Recovery Room Collision Repair.
ACE Auto Body owned by Myron Thompson in Hartselle, AL, is celebrating 31 years in business. Thompson started his business in 1981 and attributes much of his success to hard work, determination and the fact that he and his wife, Freda, are team players.
The couple is active in their community and donate countless hours to civic projects and making the Hartselle area a better place to live, work and play.
The Thompsons have been members of Hartselle Kiwanis Club since 1991, Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce (HACC) members since 1985, the Hartselle Beautification Association (HBA) and have been active in the Hartselle Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (HCPAAA) for approximately five years and donate much of their time to projects involving these three civic organizations. One of the recent awards presented to Myron was the E. R. Roberts Business and Civic Award earlier this year, which is only presented to business professionals in the area that exhibit a reputation of honest and fair treatment to their customers and maintain a strong civic pride and support.
Jackson Collision Center, an auto body repair and paint shop in Jackson, GA, celebrated new ownership with a ribbon-cutting event on Oct. 25. New owner Barry Kenney recently bought the shop from his brother. Kenney has spent the past 26 years working at his brother’s shop, repairing and restoring cars from the 1930s to 2012 models.
“I treat everybody’s car like it’s mine,” he said.
Alabama repairers who are forming a new collision association called ALARISE (Alabama Automotive Repair Industry Society of Excellence) are working on a new advertising campaign (TV and radio) during December aimed at consumer awareness. The association is also finalizing the details for a meeting for its charter/founding members, and planning a membership drive.
Jim Ellis Hyundai of Atlanta, GA, has received many positive reviews since opening in 2000. Their goal is to provide customers with the best possible savings when purchasing a new or used Hyundai. Their parts and service departments play a significant role in their success as they support the sales department by ensuring customer satisfaction in order to promote repeat business, as well as by generating additional revenue for the dealership.
The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) announced that it has been successful in getting Allstate to reverse its decision that it would no longer reimburse shops for the sales tax charged to consumers on paint and materials. Several weeks ago, Allstate had communicated this change in policy to many GCIA members.
AutoBody America, a Nashville-based collision repair operator with locations in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, announced the opening of its 20th store in the mid–south and first in the Knoxville market.
The 18,000-square-foot facility, previously a dealership, has undergone a major renovation and is now a state–of–the–art, full–service collision repair center. The newest AutoBody America repair center is located on one of Knoxville’s high traffic business arteries and provides easy interstate access to the surrounding communities in Knox and Blount counties.
“With our entrance into the Knoxville market, we now have a presence in the seven largest population centers of Tennessee, which helps us toward our goal of being the provider of choice for customers and insurance partners across our home state,” said President Will Johnston.
“More importantly, it helps us bring our brand of best-in-class customer service to more Tennesseans, while giving them the confidence of a warranty good at any of our ever-growing number of locations.”
Wiley’s Body Shop in Spartanburg, SC, suffered a loss on Sept. 21 when someone stole a car from the shop and killed two Rottweilers.
The incident occurred in the early morning hours. Spartanburg Public Safety officers heard gunfire but could not find where the shots were fired. It wasn’t until six hours later that an officer was dispatched to the body shop. The shop owner found a vehicle missing. The gate to the back lot was torn and in the roadway, according to an incident report.
Two dogs had been shot. One was dead on the scene, and the other was taken to a veterinarian’s office, where it was euthanized.
Michelle Wiley, wife of the shop owner, said they had raised both dogs since they were puppies. More than guard dogs, she said the Rottweilers were pets.
Wiley said one of the dogs, Sheriff, was 11 years old. She said he was shot in the chest. Bubba Jack, 1, was euthanized because a bullet had hit his spinal cord and left him paralyzed.
The car is a 1989 Chevrolet Caprice with a pearl white exterior, gray and blue interior, and a grill with 30-inch rims, the report states.