SOUTHWEST NEWS (352)
Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana
Autobody News SouthWestern print edition is mailed to 7,000 body shops monthly
Recently, three of the country’s top independent auto body repair centers around the country have joined the CARSTAR Nation to provide their customers and community members even better service and support.
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts are North America’s largest group of auto body repair experts with some 400 stores in the United States and Canada—and growing. As a member of CARSTAR, these new franchisees will offer a new array of services and products for collision repair, including the latest in repair technology, rental vehicles, national warranties on repairs, and turnkey service for their customers.
As part of CARSTAR’s commitment to customer service, CARSTAR can take care of the entire process of repairing the vehicle for the vehicle owner, from getting the vehicle towed to the facility to coordinating with the insurance company to restoring it to pre-accident condition.
The new CARSTAR franchisees will benefit from the CARSTAR Management Systems, which provide resources to improve key business metrics such as cycle time, participation in CARSTAR’s 17 corporately managed DRP programs, and improved purchasing power from 44 corporately managed purchasing programs.
The three newest stores in the CARSTAR Nation include:
● CARSTAR Collision King, Houston, Texas. Owned by Allen Suleiman, CARSTAR Collision King has been serving the Houston market for more than a decade.
● Auto Masters CARSTAR Collision, San Antonio, Texas
● Auto Masters CARSTAR Collision, Victoria, Texas. Owned by Daniel Baker, Auto Masters CARSTAR Collision is a multi shop owner that has been serving the San Antonio region for 36 years.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome these new members to the CARSTAR Nation and expand our presence in the Houston and San Antonio markets,” said David Byers, Chief Executive Officer of CARSTAR. “They all run great businesses and have strong histories of quality customer service. We’re looking forward to building their business together, helping local car owners get back on the road with fast, reliable collision repairs, and giving back to the community at the same time.”
The Texas Independent Automotive Association (TIAA) held their monthly members meeting on January 19 at the Barn Door, 8400 N. New Braunfels Ave. in San Antonio, TX.
The meeting was held at 6:30 p.m., starting with a networking period. Speaker Tom Hansis from the UTSA Small Business Development Center was this month’s speaker and he talked to the 50 or so attendees about how shops can benefit from mentoring services that UTSA offers to shops.
UTSA offers online training, workshops and business advising for San Antonio-based small businesses. For more information about the UTSA Small Business Development Center, please visit sasbdc.org.
The TIAA will hold their next meeting on February 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the County Line on I-10. The speaker will be from the State Comptrollers office.
For more information about this meeting and other upcoming events for the association please visit www.tiaa.net.
Autobody News to Co-Host Van Tuyl Group Charity Super Bowl Event in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area Super Bowl WeekendWritten by Staff
The Van Tuyl Group, an Irving, Texas-based company with more than 70 automotive dealerships across the country, has announced the establishment of the first annual Charity Super Bowl flag football tournament in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The event will be held Saturday, February 4, 2012 at the Stampede Sports Complex in Southlake, Texas—the day before Super Bowl XLVI takes place in Indianapolis.
The Charity Super Bowl will be co-sponsored by the Van Tuyl Group, PPG, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car®. All proceeds are to benefit Trinity River Mission, a volunteer-based, community learning center dedicated to supporting the development of educational success in the children, youth, and families of West Dallas.
The day-long Charity Super Bowl will feature 30 4-on-4 teams competing in a double-elimination tournament. There is an entry fee of $350 per team, with each team allowed to carry a roster of up to eight players. An awards presentation will be held at the end of the day. In addition to enjoying the games, fans attending the Charity Super Bowl can win raffle prizes and participate in a silent auction.
Eddie Lennox, Founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO of Service King Collision Repair Centers, the nation's largest employee-owned operator of collision repair centers, announced new leadership appointments of the company on January 4. Lennox announced that Service King's President, Cathy Bonner, is the new Chief Executive Officer. Lennox will continue as Chairman of the Board of Service King.
Lennox said, "Service King has the best leadership team in the collision industry. Cathy Bonner has added seventeen new locations now covering 70% of the Texas population." Lennox added that Bonner's next goal is to lead the second growth phase making Service King a national company by adding assets beyond the Texas borders.
Moving into the President's role is Chris Abraham, currently Vice-President of the Houston Market. Jeff McFadden will take the role of Executive Vice President.
Also joining the executive leadership team in new positions are Eileen Clark, Chief Financial Officer, and Michael Devendorf, Chief Operating Officer.
"This is the future leadership of Service King and I am so excited about the possibilities for us," said Eddie Lennox. "This leadership team has combined, over one hundred years of corporate business experience."
The city of Houston delayed voting on an ordinance to regulate the automotive repair and service industry affecting every type of business that touches a car, whether it’s a body shop, an independent auto repair shop, a dealership or a big store like Wal-Mart. The council rescheduled the vote for February 15, 2012, after more issues were raised at a hearing held on December 20, 2011, when the council was originally supposed to vote on this ordinance.
This delay presents some new problems to both sides lobbying over the bill--they now have an entirely new city council, sworn in January 3, 2012, to update on the issues.
A new list of council members by district can be seen by clicking HERE, find out which district you reside in by visiting http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/2011/index.html. The Houston Auto Body Association (HABA) would like its members to reach out to the new council and make sure their opinions on this matter are heard.
Kathryn van der Pol, Past President of ASA, Houston Chapter, and co-owner of Adolf Hoepfl & Son Garage, is working with the HABA on writing their own version of the ordinance, incorporating what's good about the City's version to present to the new council since Houston Mayor Mayor Annise Parker, wants to pass an ordinance on this issue. Mayor Parker also made some changes to the ordinance, and the version that will be voted on February 15, 2012, can be viewed in its entirety by clicking HERE.
The Texas Independent Automotive Association (TIAA) will hold their monthly members meeting on January 19 at the Barn Door, 8400 N. New Braunfels Ave. San Antonio, TX
The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., starting with a networking period. Speakers will begin at 7 p.m. Speakers have not yet been chosen and will be announced shortly before the meeting.
For more information about this meeting and other upcoming events for the association please visit www.tiaa.net.
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association held their November monthly meeting at the Country Tavern Barbecue in Shreveport, LA on November 1 at 6:30 p.m.
The meeting’s guest speakers were Sgt. Juan Arias with the United States Marine Corps and Bill Easterling with Environmental Risk Management and Safety. Bill Burnside, Secretary Treasurer for the NWLCRA, introduced Sgt. Juan Arias, the Toys for Tots Coordinator for the United States Marine Corps.
Arias thanked the NWLCRA for helping with the Toys for Tots drive this year. The Marines have been involved with the Toys for Tots for over 60 years. They pick up toys from organizations and businesses all over the United States and deliver them to the Salvation Army. The toys are then delivered to children all over the United States to ensure children can have a happy Christmas. This is a Marine Reserve function, but Active Marines can participate. The goal is to collect as many new, unwrapped toys for girls and boys as possible. December 18 was the last day for individuals, organizations, and businesses to deliver the toys to the Marines. Starting November 1, Marines set up at local Wal-Mart’s to collect toys. Last year they collected over 4,000 toys.
This is a very important cause and the NWLCRA helped this year by having everyone attending their Christmas Party bring an unwrapped, new toy for a boy or girl. A Marine was also at the party to collect these gifts.
The meeting’s next guest speaker was Bill Easterling with Environmental Risk Management and Safety. He talked about the changes on the regulation of personal protective equipment (PPE). He said that employers are responsible for providing PPE for all employees. The employer is NOT responsible for providing items that would be considered normal wear, i.e., boots, prescription classes, etc.
A business can now be cited for each instance of a violation, not just a single violation. If you have 4 employees that are not wearing safety glasses in an area where safety glasses are required, the business will be cited for ALL 4 instances, not just 1 citation for safety glasses.
He also stated that a decision has been made that states penalties have been too low in the past to be a proper deterrent, so now a business will have more citations with higher fines when that business has violations.
He provided a hand-out from attorney Mark Lies, with Seyfarth Shaw Attorneys, that outlines this OSHA change. Mr. Easterling discussed the proper disposal of waterborne paint related waste and the standard operating procedure. He outlined how a business should determine if the waste is hazardous or non-hazardous. Waterborne paint waste CANNOT be disposed of in the city sewer OR discharged to the environment. It must be picked up by a waste hauler for disposal.
Next, he discussed the paint booth filter testing. He said that used paint booth filters must be handled as hazardous waste unless they have been tested and found to be non-hazardous. He said that usually it is cheaper to have the filters tested instead of handling them as hazardous waste. Documentation of the tests results MUST be kept on file for verification. He had multiple hand-outs for everything he discussed and a copy of these hand-outs can be found by visiting the NWLCRA website.
The NWLCRA will hold their next meeting on January 3, 2012 and will be a night meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Country Tavern Barbecue.
For more information please visit www.nwlcra.org.
The Houston Autobody Association (HABA) hosted a fundraiser and reception held for Texas Senator Mike Jackson (R-La Porte) on November 30 at 6 p.m. at the Cadillac Bar and Grille in Houston, TX.
All automotive industry businesses were invited to attend and support Jackson’s campaign for election to Congress next year. Jackson has represented constituents in the Senate District 11, which includes portions of Brazoria, Harris and Galveston Counties, since 1999 and served in the Texas House for ten years before that.
Jackson, who has introduced several automotive industry bills in the past, announced his bid for the Republican nomination in the newly created 36th Congressional District seat back in August.
“Mike Jackson has always been a strong advocate for the collision industry and small business; he understands that there needs to be checks and balances between the Collision Industry and the Insurance Industry,” said James Brown, President of the HABA, “We endorse him as a candidate for the US Congress seat he is running for. In speaking with Senator Jackson last night, he assured me his priorites were going to be the same as they were in Austin, but hopefully on a national level in the next election.”
As a limited government conservative in the Texas State Legislature, Jackson has received numerous awards for his leadership, including: 2011 Champion of Small Business from the National Coalition for Capital (NCFC); 2011 Taxpayer Advocate Award from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility; 2010 Citizen of the Year Award from the Southbelt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce; 2009 ABC Free Enterprise Champion from the Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas; and 2009 Champion of Free Enterprise from the Texas Association of Business.
Jackson is a member of the Texas State Rifle Association, multiple area Chambers of Commerce, and is a licensed pilot. His hobbies include hunting, fishing and riding his Harley.
Please visit: www.mikejacksonforcongress.com for more information.
From standards to stand-offs, economic hardship to successful expansions, the Southwest collision industry has seen its fair share of challenges this year. We asked some repairers and other industry stakeholders to take a hard look at some of the issues they saw in 2011, and some they’d like to see less of in 2012.
Gary Wano, Jr., owner of GW&SON AutoBody, Inc. in Oklahoma City, OK, talked with Autobody News about his views on the collision industry over the past year and where we may be headed in 2012.
One key issue this year was a very uncertain economy, which affected many consumers’ decision to repair their vehicles.
“As for GW&SON, 2010 we performed 444 repairs at a repair average of $1201, this year, with no labor rate increases our ‘light repair’ average has raised to $1588, and we have only close 105 to date. I will admit this is a ‘at surface stat’ without digging any deeper it would appear our small ticket ‘customer pay’ repairs have dropped off by 73%, while the ‘customer pay’ severity has increased by 32.2%. Again, off the cuff I would say our client base is more willing to drive around with a few dents and dings, or $1201 worth of damage, but there is a level, or $1588, in damage that must be hitting out clients’ ‘got to repair’ threshold,” said Wano.
Another big change Wano saw this year was vehicle salvage value and the instances of a vehicle being labeled a total loss.
John Borek, General Manager of Autocraft Bodywerks in Austin, Texas, has filed a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance against American National Property and Casualty Company (ANPAC) and a claims services company, American Claims Services, alleging that they “knowingly used a fraudulent document to justify their short-pay” of a claim.
Borek said his shop submitted supplements on the claim to ANPAC through American Claims Service, which denied payment for color sand and buff, sending the shop a document it said was from Audatex showing that procedure as included in 2-stage refinish formula.
Borek said he filed an inquiry with the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG), and Audatex, after searching the shop’s “Database Reference Manuals” back to 1993. Borek said he had never seen the supposed Audatex document before being presented with it from ANPAC. The DEG stated that the document is “most certainly not from ADP/Audatex.” (The actual Audatex manual shows color sand and buff as a not-included item.)
“Color sand and buff has been a pet-peeve of mine since 1998, and I know it’s not included in any paint time,” Borek said. “But how many shops are being sent incorrect information about things like this and not knowing any better?”
The Texas Department of Insurance is now investigating ANPAC for using a supposedly fraudulent document. According to Borek, ANPAC has said they will pay the supplement now, but he has not seen any payment since reporting the findings to the DEG.
In filing his complaint with the Texas DOI Property and Casualty Complaint Department, Borek wrote: “We believe that based on this document, ANPAC/American Claim Service is knowingly using a fraudulent document to justify their short pay to limit the price paid for repairs to [the] automobile. By not performing these necessary operations, it will result in an incomplete repair. I have spoken today with the field appraiser assigned to this file and he confirmed that he put the needed repair operations on the original estimate (see Exhibit G-3) although a document generated from ANPAC/American Claim Service shows a zero by all these operations.
“As resolution to this complaint, please take the necessary enforcement action against ANPAC/American Claim Service for what are appears to be deceptive trade practices.
“I have attached the following exhibits and contact numbers for your review:
“Exhibit A: Request to the database enhancement gateway to verify validity of document ANPAC/American Claim Service provided.
“Exhibit B: Document from ANPAC/American Claim Service stating they are denying payment for needed operations due to document they claim came from Audatex.
“Exhibit C: Document ANPAC /American Claim Service provided that misrepresents material facts.
“Exhibit D: Email from Audatex Manager, Robert Sandkaut, stating Exhibit C is not from Audatex.
“Exhibit E: Correct database reference manual from Audatex.
“Exhibit F: Email from the database enhancement gateway stating that Audatex will be contacting American Claims Service and sending them a current copy of the database reference manual.
“Exhibit G-1 through G-6: Last supplement from ANPAC/American Claims Service.
“Exhibit G-3: Supplements, 4 from ANPAC/American Claims Service listing the needed operations as zero on their estimate and that they are included in two stage refinish which is a material misrepresentation.”
You can view the full text of these documents by clicking HERE.
Borek says he has spoken to the claim representative, the field appraiser, and the Texas Field Supervisor for ANPAC about this incident. “I have attempted to contact American Claim Service who will not take or return my phone calls.”
“It’s just amazing that these insurance companies will do this,” said Borek.
The city of Houston is moving to enact an ordinance to regulate the automotive repair and service industry that would regulate every type of business that touches a car, whether it’s a body shop, an independent auto repair shop, a dealership or a big store like Wal-Mart. The mayor has set the vote for Wednesday, Dec. 21, the last City Council meeting of the year, and after this issue goes to press.
“While this ordinance has good intentions, it paints the entire industry with one stroke. The proposed ordinance stems from an effort to eliminate a problem that comes from a small percentage of unscrupulous collision-repair shops, which is one segment of the automotive repair trade. This attempt at a solution will wrap an already difficult business in more red tape,” says Kathryn van der Pol, Past President of ASA, Houston Chapter, and co-owner of Adolf Hoepfl & Son Garage, which has been in business since 1946.
Writing in the Houston Chronicle, Van der Pol says there are some good features for the consumer in this ordinance:
“The ordinance will require all auto-repair facilities to post their license number on their advertising and invoices so that the consumer will know which companies are city-licensed repair facilities.
“It will also require auto-repair facilities to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. Currently, there is no local or state law that requires a repair shop to have insurance. In an uninsured shop, car owners are liable for anything the garage owner does with their car. Good shops already purchase insurance, but virtually all shops that lack integrity will also lack insurance.