SOUTHWEST NEWS (358)
Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana
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Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes is proud to congratulate Gullo Toyota of Conroe, TX, for being named the Toyota Certified Collision Triple Crown winner. This is the second time in the last four years the facility has been recognized for its undeniable success within the automotive repair industry.
Gullo previously received this highest honor from Toyota Motor Sales, USA, in 2009. The award is based on meeting Toyota’s highest standards for customer service and rigid criteria for productivity in numerous key areas of the collision business.
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association (NWLCRA) recently announced the date for the 3rd Annual Tri-State Coatings Industry Day, set for July 30.
Industry Day 2013 will be held at Louisiana Technical College and guest speakers include Mike Anderson of Collision Advice and Rick Leos of Toyota. Topics to be covered include predictive estimating, negotiating skills, future of DRP, and the state of the industry.
For more information, see http://www.tri-statecoatingsonline.com/industry-day-2013.
Briggs Auto Group was recently voted Manhattan’s, KS, Best Auto Dealership in the 2013 Readers Choice Awards in Manhattan’s The Mercury. Briggs Auto Group is known across northeast Kansas as one of the leading auto dealers.
Briggs Auto Group is home to Buick, GMC, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Nissan and Subaru.
Briggs dealers across northeast Kansas also offer complete automotive service with state-of-the-art facilities and professionally trained and certified technicians.
When accidents happen, Briggs Auto Body Shops in Manhattan and Lawrence offer exceptional auto body repair service, ensuring every vehicle is restored to its former condition or better: “You’re driving home our reputation.”
Briggs Auto Group has been serving Manhattan and northeast Kansas for more than 30 years. Briggs Auto Group also sponsors community events, actively reaching out to and supporting the communities they serve. A partnership with Kansas State Cars allows Briggs Auto Group to provide funds to support higher education at Kansas State University as well.
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association met June 4 at Louisiana Technical College.
Guest speaker was Jon Curlee of AAMSparts. He graduated from Texas State with a degree in Political Science and previously worked for current Gov. Rick Perry at the Department of Agriculture.
Using the knowledge he gained in the political world, he started his own business helping dealerships market parts to the collision industry. His business offers solutions to help collision centers to be more profitable. One way is to know about OSHA and EPA regulations. Curlee’s company offers an online training program that educates and trains body shop staff to be mindful of violations and to be on the lookout for any violations. They have an online ‘Dashboard’ and automated emails to keep body shops informed. The company offers staff training on procedures and offers solutions to keep shops in compliance. The online program helps employees understand and learn how to be safe.
NWLCRA thanks Car-O-Liner as its meeting sponsor for June.
The storm system that tore through Moore, OK, on May 20 produced 16 tornado touchdowns in Kansas and Nebraska on May 18, plus 76 incidents of straight winds and 92 hail storms. The day before it hit Moore, the storm widened and covered Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois.
There were 29 tornadoes, 255 wind events and 142 hail storms. On the final day there were 31 tornadoes reported in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Arkansas and India, plus 218 windstorms and 105 hail storms.
The May 15 tornadoes in north-central Texas damaged multiple homes, killing six people and injuring 100.
A member of the Houston Auto Body Association recently posted this request for help on the HABA website:
Dear Industry Leaders:
House Bill 500 reducing the franchise tax passed but now the senator in charge of drafting the comparable bill has removed the tax relief provisions for our industry. We need to get them reinstated.
It’s not too late, but it’s the 11th hour. There are 7 days left in this session and the legislature will pass a bill.
The only question is will it provide the tax equity that we deserve or will it continue to give the dealerships and franchises an unfair competitive advantage.
If you do not call and take action, do not be upset when you get your tax bill for 1% and your tax audit from the state comptroller. Make the time. Make the call.
A class on training firefighters on hybrid vehicles and new models was held and hosted by the Chevy dealership of Texas Independent Automotive Association member Tom Benson.
The goal of the class was to promote safety after a crash and 50 firefighters from the San Antonio, TX, area were in attendance. Charles Fogleman of General Motors Powertrain and Jim Mickle, GM Wholesale instructor, were the instructors for the class. Firefighters were trained how to properly respond to an accident scene and how to disable the car correctly to help passengers exit safely.
“Firefighters having knowledge about newer vehicles at the accident scene is vital to prevent the accident from having more damage,” said Charles Fogleman. “Not only to the vehicles but to vehicle’s occupants. With the advancements in vehicle technology, removing passengers can be dangerous if not done correctly. A prime example is airbags being deployed after the accident from the battery being connected.”
Marion Young, 42, of Texas, recently pleaded guilty in federal court in Houston to charges that he operated a chiropractor’s office as a front for an auto insurance scam that bilked companies out of $1.2 million.
Authorities say he ran the defunct office in Bryan, TX, to create fraudulent bills for treatments that were never performed. Young also recruited alleged accident victims to be represented by a Bryan-area law firm. The fraudulent billing caused the insurance companies to issue settlement checks, with the proceeds split by Young and at least four other defendants.
Young, co-owner of Private Chiropractic Care, admitted he participated in the two-year conspiracy to defraud numerous auto insurance companies. He further admitted he operated Private Chiropractic Care clinic as a front to allow fraudulent chiropractic bills to be created for treatments which were never performed and then used as support for fraudulent settlement demand letters sent to auto insurance companies.
State Farm Insurance is building a big regional office campus in Richardson, TX, near State Hwy. 190. It is reported to become the largest office development in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Late last year, developer KDC said the State Farm office complex would be about 1.5 million square feet.
But in the almost six months since word of the project came out, the office complex has grown by almost another 1 million square feet, real estate sources say.
That will make it one of the largest corporate office projects ever built in the Dallas area–on par with the huge Electronic Data Systems headquarters built in Plano starting in the 1980s. A campus that size can easily house somewhere up to 8,000 workers.
General contractor Austin Commercial is building the State Farm project, the first phase of which will be ready in the fall of 2014.
The almost 10-acre project is being financed by J.P. Morgan Chase. Looking around Texas, only Exxon Mobil’s new Houston campus is bigger than the State Farm project.
Texas Franchise Tax Bill, Substitute House Bill 500, was recently placed on the General State Calendar and the bill could be addressed soon. Currently, automotive service and collision repair shops owned and operated by new or used car dealerships are taxed at half the rate used to tax independent automotive repair facilities doing identical work. The Texas state tax code classifies dealership sales as “retail” and allows their service and repair business to be included under that banner.
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality offers body shops the opportunity to receive free voluntary consultations under the agency's Oklahoma Star program.
The consultations are part of the DEQ's outreach to auto body repair shops, a program that has many purposes, agency Environmental Program Specialist Patrick Riley said.
Visits with auto body shop managers increase awareness of regulatory requirements like the federal "auto body rule" that went into effect in 2011 as part of the Environmental Protection Agency's effort to reduce hazardous air pollutants.