SOUTHWEST NEWS (349)
Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana
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Over the holidays, Oklahoma businesses gave back to those in need with special giveaways.
AAA Oklahoma surprised a resident of the City Rescue Mission with a car. The reconditioned 2003 Honda Civic was acquired by the auto club after a hailstorm, and Body Works Collision Centers donated the repair work.
The recipient, Peggy Vanisko, 65, was having trouble getting to her job at Hobby Lobby after her car was stolen, said Chuck Mai, a spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Her story was quite moving,” he said.
In addition to the car, AAA Oklahoma donated the auto insurance policy and a one-year membership to AAA.
Auto Group chose the children of active-duty military and National Guard members to benefit from its giveaway. They gave 100 bicycles for military families to take home for Christmas.
“At Hudiburg Auto Group, it’s important to us to give back to our fellow Oklahomans, especially the military families who give up so much for us,” said David Hudiburg, president of Hudiburg Auto Group.
A north Texas inventor has designed an inflatable cover to protect cars from hail damage. Hail damage costs consumers millions of dollars each year and is why Michael Siciliano invented the Hail Protector in the garage of his Gunter, TX, home.
“People are scratching their heads trying to figure it out because they’ve never seen it before,” he said.
The Hail Protector slips over a car like a regular cover and cinches together to form a tight seal. It plugs into a regular outlet, and with a remote control, inflates in about five minutes to form a protective bubble around a vehicle.
Siciliano says he’s put the product to the test to try to prove it works.
Florida-based Carsmetics opened its second Oklahoma-area shop in the past 12 months. It has 25 other locations throughout Florida, California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. The company is headquartered in Tampa and specializes in minor auto body repair.
“We fill the gap,” said manager Fred Heath. “The jobs that traditional body shops use as fillers are our main service. They use minor jobs to keep their guys busy if they have no big jobs. We’re excited that the Edmond location will provide residents with an easy location to get to for one-day repairs. We’re a great alternative to a large collision shop because customers can drop their cars off in the morning and pick them up at the end of the day looking like new.”
The Houston Auto Body Association will hold its first meeting of 2013 tonight, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. at Mossy Nisan, 12150 Katy Freeway Houston, TX, to prepare for the new Texas legislative session. HABA President James Brown says as the Texas legislative sessions begins, the association has much to plan for in the coming months.
"This is a very important meeting," Brown said. "What a great way to start off the New Year than to commit to be involved in advancing the collision industry. We have a lot of exciting goals for this year. Our first and most pressing item at hand will be our legislative endeavors. It is very important for everyone to reach out to their state representative and senator."
HABA will co-sponsor an automotive industry legislative breakfast on Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 8-10:30 a.m. in the Capitol Grill of the Texas State Capitol.
A new evaluation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) found that the state of Oklahoma is losing $8.8 million a year in premium taxes from drivers who fail to obtain the state-required minimum coverage for auto insurance.
“When people break the law, and don’t pay their fair share, it hurts all of us,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak.
Bates Collision Centers, founded in 1990 by Lee and Leila Bates in the Bay Area of Texas, each year provides refurbished cars for two needy mothers as a community service project. Bates Collision Centers has two locations, in Baytown and Channelview.
The recipients of the new cars are mothers whose children attend Harris County Department of Education Head Start programs for families of children age three to five in 16 area centers in northeast Houston.
Laura Hernandez likens the gift of a car to a miracle in the time of need. After separating from her husband, she and her three daughters live with her parents. She struggles to make ends meet as a waitress.
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association will hold its first meeting of 2013 on Jan. 8 at the Country Tavern Barbecue, 823 Brook Hollow Drive in Shreveport, LA, at 6:30 p.m. Guest speaker is Mark Monroe, instructor for Bossier Parish Technical School Auto Repair. He will discuss the new training facility that will be built in Bossier Parish for the technical school.
To view a pdf file of this article with photos, click HERE.
Four Oklahoma collision repair programs exemplify the state’s commitment to quality vocational education
Francis Tuttle Technology Center in the northwest Oklahoma City metro area offers a NATEF-accredited curriculum including basic and advanced training aligned with I-CAR advanced instruction for estimating damages, repair procedures and finishing vehicles. The school has offered the program since the early 1980s.
“As the automotive collision repair industry is ongoing and ever-changing, Francis Tuttle trains future technicians to be adaptable to new technologies, procedures and materials,” says Dennis Moore, instructor in the Automotive Collision Repair Technology program.
Caliber Collision recently announced the grand opening of its newest Oklahoma location as the company continues to accelerate its expansion across the southwestern U.S.
Caliber’s newest 22,000-square- foot collision repair facility opened Dec. 14 at 3501 South Broadway in Edmond, OK.
In a letter regarding franchise tax margins for dealer-owned body shops versus independently-owned shops, the Houston Auto Body Association protested the “unfair” margin.
HABA president James Brown sent an email to Congresswoman Carolyn Saegert Nov. 29, on the day the Ways and Means Committee met, urging the committee to reconsider.
“Our members are very troubled about the unfair franchise tax margin between new car dealer-owned body shops (1/2%) versus the 1% the independent-owned body shops are required to pay,” Brown said in his letter.
“Given that both provide the exact same repair, it is unacceptable that the independent-owned body shops should pay twice the amount as dealer-owned body shops. This has caused undue financial burden on small businesses, especially in these tough economic times we are facing,” Brown said.
He added, “We expect that the Ways and Means Committee would recommend that this unfair taxation on small businesses be corrected to both the House and Senate.”
As it looks back on 2012, the Texas Independent Automotive Association notes several accomplishments. The TIAA began a branch for collision repair shops. The chapter elected a board and began heavily recruiting membership. In addition, the whole association started to grow and saw an increased participation. Activities included a one-day training featuring Sid Hurlbert. The association is planning a convention to be held in San Antonio in May, 2013. Multiple speakers will speak on management and upcoming technology.