SOUTHWEST NEWS (349)
Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana
Autobody News SouthWestern print edition is mailed to 7,000 body shops monthly
The Texas Independent Automotive Association (TIAA) held their March members meeting on March 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Pompei Italian Grill in San Antonio, TX.
The 35 or so in attendance heard from local channel KLRN. They spoke about how shops can donate a service for their upcoming 46th annual Blazing Gavels charitable auction. For more information about the auction please visit blazinggavels.com.
Jeff Franco from Elite Sales and marketing was also in attendance. Jeff has a lot of experience in the collision industry and has been in talks with Membership Director Hunter Hooge to start a collision-specific side of TIAA. This collision-specific subgroup would have industry-specific speakers and their own meetings. According to Hooge this subgroup will not officially start for another month or so.
Jeff’s website is elite-dealers.com.
The TIAA will hold their April monthly meeting on April 19 at the Barn Door, 8400 North New Braunfels Avenue, San Antonio. Sid Hurlbert will be the speaker. He will speak about how best to deal with customers. Sid is a motivational speaker who specializes in the art of communication. Sid generally teaches “what to say and how to say it.” Sid has also published several books and written many articles on communication skills.
Learn more about Sid at www.sidneychurlbert.com. For more information about the association please visit www.tiaa.net.
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association (NWLCRA) will hold their first day meeting of the year on April 3, 2012 at 12:00 PM. The group will meet at the Magnolia Room in Shreveport, LA. You don't need to RSVP for this meeting.
The association is currently having their Membership Drive and would like to have new members. For an application, please see www.nwlcra.org. Existing members, remember to renew.
A six-time DWI offender skipped out on his trial March 7 in Collin County District Court in Texas before a judge could sentence him to 40 years in prison.
Richard Davis Callaway, 48, is considered a fugitive from justice after disappearing from court during a lunch recess.
Callaway was pulled over for running a red light Feb. 21, 2010, at Preston Road and Spring Creek Parkway in Plano. He failed all three standardized field sobriety tests and admitted he had been drinking.
After running a background check and learning of Callaway's prior convictions for driving while intoxicated, the officer took Callaway for a mandatory blood draw under a Texas law for repeat DWI offenders. The blood sample showed Callaway's blood alcohol content to be 0.23, almost three times the legal limit.
He appeared in court for the start of the trial on March 7, and heard all of the evidence against him. The court took a recess for lunch and scheduled closing arguments for 1:30 p.m. But Callaway did not return. After the sentence was pronounced, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Callaway can call the Collin County Sheriff's Office Warrants and Records at 972-547-5134. Callers may remain anonymous.
The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) will hold the group's 30th Anniversary Celebration Tuesday, April 24th in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at the Renaissance Oklahoma City. SCRS will honor individuals who have supported the industry through their dedication and activism with SCRS at this celebration.
There is no charge to attend, although pre-registration is required and the registration deadline is April 13th. Please RSVP to Linda Atkins by phone at 877-841-0660 or via email at
The following is the schedule of events, and please note SCRS members and industry guests are welcome to attend and participate at the Board of Directors meeting. SCRS members will have a vote in the upcoming election held just prior to the evening festivities.
Without the benefit of reliable transportation, things have been difficult for National Guard veteran John Jones of Hurst, Texas, since he returned from two tours of Iraq. To help him out, GEICO partnered with Caliber Collision Centers to provide a refurbished vehicle for Jones and his wife and two children.
GEICO donated the vehicle while Caliber provided repair services. GEICO participated through the Recycled Rides program, an awareness project that encourages members of the National Auto Body Council (NABC) to refurbish and donate recycled vehicles to families in need in their communities. Reserve Aid, a nonprofit organization that provides support to the families of Reserve Service Members from all military branches selected the Jones family as the recipient.
by Ed Attanasio
There are three sacred things dear to the hearts of Texans: 1) Football 2) NASCAR and 3) Bass fishing. And although there wasn’t any car racing or angling during the recent Super Bowl weekend, there was a lot of football and all of it was done Texas-style.
To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.
On Saturday, February 4, one day before the New England Patriots met the New York Giants in the actual Super Bowl, 20 flag football teams competed in the Van Tuyl Group’s Super Bowl of Flag Football tournament followed by a trade show and two days of company meetings. The Irving-based company that operates more than 70 car dealerships’ collision centers nationwide hosted an activity-packed four-day schedule, bringing Van Tuyl management and employees, as well as collision vendors and local collision professionals together to eat BBQ, network and play some high-spirited flag football.
The entire weekend was the brainchild of Van Tuyl Group’s National Collision Director Darren Huggins, who comfortably wore several hats in creating, overseeing and implementing all of the weekend’s events. Sponsored by Van Tuyl, PPG Refinish and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the full-day flag football double-elimination tournament took place at the Stampede Sports Arena, a state-of-the-art facility in Southlake, Texas that features three artificial turf fields. Autobody News and Collision Hub were also on hand to cover the event and all the fanfare surrounding it.
The Texas Independent Automotive Association (TIAA) held their monthly members meeting on February 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the County Line BBQ on I-10 in San Antonio.
The night’s speaker was Andre Eames from the State Comptroller’s office. He talked about sales taxes, e-filing and making sure certain records are kept. He also let attendees in on a great tip: putting the number of the business owner on all the forms. Eames said they have experienced problems when calling on businesses about issues with their forms, oftentimes the Bookkeeper or Secretary doesn’t relay the message to the owner. By putting the owner’s contact information on all forms businesses can avoid this issue.
He also stated body kits, lift kits and performance upgrades are taxable along with the labor.
Next month’s meeting will be held on March 15 at 6:30 p.m. The location is TBA. The speaker will be from local channel KLRN. They will speak about how shops can donate a service for their upcoming 46th annual Blazing Gavels charitable auction. For more information about the auction please visit blazinggavels.com.
For more information about the association please visit www.tiaa.net.
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association (NWLCRA) held their first meeting of 2012 on January 10 at the Country Tavern Barbecue in Shreveport, LA.
The association announced their new officers for 2012 at the start of the meeting. The 2012 Officers are as follows; President, Chris Fielder, Vice President, Ken Stephenson, Secretary/Treasurer, Bill Burnside.
The meeting’s guest speakers were Darren Moore, Regional Manager with Alloy Wheel Repair, and Adam Wright, Area Manager with Alloy Wheel Repair.
Darren began by stating that Alloy is a mobile wheel repair service; if a damaged wheel is painted, they come to your location and repair the wheel. They don’t do any welding, so if pieces of the wheel are missing, they won’t be able to repair the wheel. They are able to repair polished wheels and because the sheen on spokes may be different, they are taken on a “case by case” basis. They can straighten a wheel up to 24”, so they can repair most bent wheels. They mainly work on a schedule, but will take “emergency” calls.
They are a nationwide company, so if the wheel is repaired in our area and your customer is on vacation in California when a problem with the repair occurs, they can find an Alloy Wheel Repair shop in California for the warranty work. Alloy works out of their trucks and trailers, which are fully equipped. Because they have their own compressors, spinners, and other equipment, they don’t need to use anything in your shop.
On February 3, Chris Abraham, President of Service King Collision Repair Centers, announced the appointment of Justin Regan as the company's new Vice President of the Houston market.
In November of 2008, Abraham accepted the challenge of assembling a team to develop the Houston market with the goal of having a multi-location collision repair operation to compliment the company's success in the Dallas Ft. Worth market. Just last month, Abraham the former Vice President of Houston was promoted to President of Service King.
Abraham said, "Justin Regan is a respected and talented teammate who will serve the Houston market proud." Abraham added that Regan will continue building on their recent expansion in Houston with a new location scheduled to open in Clearlake, Texas within the next three months. Regan will continue his goals of implementing the Service King culture into a relatively new market and working closely with Service King leadership to maintain consistency within the organization between markets to ensure Service King's success.
Regan joined the Service King team in 1996. He began his Service King career as a service adviser and within a few years moved into management. Regan has managed 2 Service King locations, including the opening of the Grand Prairie facility in 2000. While under Regan's leadership, his Grand Prairie team won 5 straight Top Shops as well as the esteemed annual "Morgan Award" for the top performing location within the Service King organization.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has announced the state is investing $1.2 million through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) in Continental Automotive Systems Inc., to relocate production of its sensors and actuators from Europe and Asia to its plant in Seguin, TX, creating 300 new jobs and $113 million in capital investment.
"Employers from around the nation and all over the world continue to look to Texas as the premier location for business expansion, relocation and job growth thanks to our low taxes, reasonable and predictable regulations, fair legal system and skilled workforce," Gov. Perry said. "This TEF investment in Continental will create hundreds of jobs, pump millions of dollars in capital investment into the area, and further strengthen Seguin's diverse economy."
Continental is one of the world's largest automotive industry suppliers. The company manufactures engine, transmission and hybrid control units at its plant in Seguin, and will begin producing sensors and actuators. Continental AG, the parent company, also has facilities in Houston and Uvalde.
"Today's announcement would not have been possible without the strong support of and collaboration with the state of Texas and Texas Enterprise Fund, Seguin Economic Development Corporation, City of Seguin and Guadalupe County officials," Kregg Wiggins, senior vice president, NAFTA Powertrain Division for Continental said. "We truly appreciate their support and look forward to expanding our business in this region."
General Motors announced Jan. 31 that it will start construction within the month on a $200 million stamping plant in Arlington, Texas, creating about 180 jobs. Some of the jobs will be relocated from GM's Parma Metal Center in Ohio.
The plant will be part of the company’s Arlington manufacturing complex, adjacent to the facility that makes the company's full-sized sport utility vehicles, and is scheduled to start production in 2013. It will produce large stamping components for the next generation of Chevrolet Tahoes, Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Cadillac Escalades.
The company has noted that it is inefficient to make parts in Ohio and Michigan and ship them across the country to Texas. In addition to higher transportation costs, parts can get damaged during the long trip, lowering the quality of finished SUVs.
GM plans to add 180 jobs in Texas when the new stamping facility is finished next year. The Arlington plant now employs about 2,500. When the new stamping plant opens, it will take over fabrication of some parts now made at the company's Parma Metal Center.
Last May, GM said it would invest $331 million in the Texas assembly plant for expansion and to purchase tooling and equipment. GM says it has committed more than $6.9 billion of investments to upgrade or expand operation in 12 states since June 2009, creating or retaining more than 17,600 jobs.
GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter said that won't mean any job losses in Parma. GM is increasing production at several plants in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana over the next few years, and there should be plenty of work for its larger stamping plants, she said.
"Parma stamping will continue making parts for other GM facilities," Carpenter said. "The Arlington announcement is adding capacity to the entire GM system."
Joe Ashton, vice president of the UAW representing the GM department, said in a statement that the announcement was further evidence that the U.S. auto industry is recovering.
“An important goal for the UAW is to increase the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States, and we are pleased that General Motors has decided to make this investment in Arlington,” he said in the statement.