WESTERN NEWS (706)
California, Arizona and Nevada
Autobody News Western print edition is mailed to 8,500 body shops monthly
Since 2007, Almost Everything Auto Body has set an annual “Green Goal” to make a significant, positive impact on the environment. According to a December report from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Almost Everything Autobody exceeded its five percent energy reduction target, achieving six percent reduction from 2012 to 2013.
The Almost Everything Autobody “Green Program” has earned praise from customers and experts from PG&E. The “Green Program” helps to fight global warming and reduce energy costs, which in turn lowers consumer prices. Almost Everything Autobody is not trying to do anything outrageous, just plenty of small, ongoing improvements that will lead to big results. Almost Everything Autobody believes it’s important to do things right for consumers and the environment.
The December 13, 2013, report from PG&E states: “Congratulations! You saved money by saving energy. We looked at your summer 2012 electric use as compared to summer 2013 and found that one or more of your business accounts had lower peak-period electric use this summer.”
The report also shows that the Almost Everything Autobody 2013 on-peak kilowatt hour (from May 1 through October 31, 2013) was 22,558, a six percent change from the 2012 on-peak kilowatt hour of 23,986. Kilowatt hour is a unit of energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities. This shows that Almost Everything Autobody was able to save significant energy in 2013.
Almost Everything Autobody has set another five percent reduction goal for 2014. To reach that goal, they have made a simple change. Several years ago, Almost Everything Autobody installed an energy-saving device designed to prevent lights from being left on all night and automatically turns these lights on every morning. In January 2014, Almost Everything Autobody changed the design so the light can only be turned on manually. It is believed this change will provide them with another five percent reduction, possibly more.
Almost Everything Autobody will continue to look for other ways to reduce waste throughout their processes. They will take a look at their use of electricity, materials, and process times.
Frank Barnard, general manager at Almost Everything Autobody, said, “Saving energy helps protect the environment. It also makes good business sense. We save money and pass the savings on to customers. The project didn't cost us anything—we achieved reductions by improving efficiency and by taking advantage of a PG&E program that helped manage our air conditioning use during the summer. If it is both cheaper and better for our kids—what's not to love?”
Lodi’s newest auto dealership opened to little fanfare earlier this year, but its president says business has been good. Lodi Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram opened Jan. 6 at 1255 Beckman Road, and a grand opening is scheduled to be held in early spring. President Vincent Porter said the opening, which was originally planned for before Thanksgiving, was delayed by a number of issues, including Chrysler’s timeline, waiting for the California Department of Motor Vehicles to approve sales permits, and waiting for building permits from the City of Lodi’s planning department. “It was really just getting through the permit process, especially with the DMV,” he said. “We found that even though holidays were just one day, a lot of agencies were taking a week or two off. Dealerships must be licensed by the DMV, and any salesperson employed there must be licensed as well. In addition, a dealership must have a seller’s permit and a business license from the city or county of operation. “We’ve been really heavy into promoting the dealership and our maintenance and parts divisions,” he said.
Do you believe in miracles? The people at Mike’s Auto Body do, because every Christmas season they create magic for a handful of deserving people when this northern California East Bay company with 12 locations presents “nearly new” 100% refurbished vehicles to families and non-profit organizations through its annual Benevolence program.
The founder of Northwest Collision, Paul Rasmussen, will be back in the top job at the auto body repair shop shortly. Five years after selling the business to auto dealer Mark Gilbert, Paul Rasmussen said he is buying the building and will return to the helm of Northwest Collision. Financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Gilbert Auto Group Inc., which purchased Northwest Collision in 2008, has been at the center of financial and legal troubles over the past year. Northwest Collision became part of the financial entanglement at the end of 2013. According to a Walla Walla County Superior Court decision last week, G.A. Properties LLC, Northwest Collision of Walla Walla LLC and Mark Gilbert must vacate the Poplar Street property on or before Wednesday in response to a motion for summary judgment filed by Gesa Credit Union. Rasmussen said he will purchase the property at 1390 W. Poplar St. out of foreclosure. He also has a purchase and sale contract to buy the equipment from Gilbert. However, the business itself is not part of the purchase. Rasmussen will start a different legal name for the operation. However, the business will continue to be known to customers as Northwest Collision. Ten or so employees will remain on staff. Rasmussen anticipates others may be added as the business is re-established.
Roger Gehrke, 57, of Cottage Grove, OR, died Dec. 10, 2013 of cancer which he had battled with good humor and a positive approach. Roger owned Roger’s Collision Repair, on Gibbs Ave in Cottage Grove, an auto body repair and paint shop. His favorite hobbies were planning pranks of epic proportions and telling stories about his childhood adventures. Everyone he came in contact with has a story attached to some event with Roger, leaving them with smiles to share. A celebration of his life was held Saturday, Jan. 18.
Fix Auto USA announced the addition of Fix Auto Lacey in Olympia, WA, and Fix Auto El Cajon which further expand the Fix Auto network’s franchise footprint on the West Coast. Fix Auto Lacey, formerly Lacey Auto Body, is owned by Tracey Swanson. With the addition, the Washington State franchise group numbers nine, and the Northwest franchise group totaling 16 locations across Oregon and Washington. Fix Auto El Cajon, located in San Diego’s east county, is the second location owned and operated by Laird Mooney, who also owns Fix Auto Miramar. The new franchise will provide Fix Auto greater visibility in the San Diego metropolitan market which now has 10 Fix Auto locations. “While our 2014 strategy includes expansion to new markets, growing our existing markets remains a key focus because it allows us to be meaningful in the markets we serve,” said Fix Auto President and COO, Paul Gange. “By strategically adding locations, we’re able to provide efficiency to the insurance carriers, convenience to vehicle owners and brand recognition in the market place.”
A new Mercedes-Benz dealership on Temecula’s Ynez Road could be open in three months, according to officials with the city and Fletcher Jones Motorcars. Temecula Mayor Maryann Edwards said the city is doing everything it can to get the showroom open as quickly as possible. Edwards said the city has been working to quickly process revisions of the plans for the 40,000-square-foot facility. Besides the prestige of having such a dealership, the city seeks the sales tax for big ticket items such as vehicles. The dealership could generate $260,000 in sales tax revenue annually, said Jennifer Hennessy, the city’s finance director. Edwards said car sales jumped 12 percent last year, which she said should bode well for the dealership’s prospects, and there is an untapped market of Mercedes owners in the city who will visit the dealership for service. The project was initially approved in 2008 but it was shelved because of the recession. In early 2013, the city approved a smaller dealership footprint that dropped the proposed square footage from 80,000. The biggest change was a cut to the size of the service area, but it could be expanded later.
CARSTAR Central Body Works has joined the CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts family, expanding North America’s largest MSO network in southern California. CARSTAR Central Body Works, managed by Vern David, is located at 2510 L Street, Bakersfield, CA, 93301.
“Since 1946, four generations of my family have been repairing vehicles,” said David. “We do things right and with CARSTAR we will do things even better. We’re excited to become CARSTAR Central Body Works. Partnering with the North America’s largest collision repair network and using the proven CARSTAR management system will allow us to better serve our customers for many years to come.”
“We congratulate the David family and CARSTAR Central Body Works on joining the CARSTAR family and their commitment to operational excellence,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR.
“We are thrilled to expand our collision repair family’s presence in the southern California region with this top-notch collision repair center.”
The brand-new showroom for Fisher GMC/Buick at 775 E 32nd St. in Yuma is completed and open for business, said owner Joe Fisher Jr. The 8,986-square-foot showroom is right next door to the Fisher Chevrolet dealership. A grand opening is scheduled for Feb. 12. The showroom includes an attached quick lube facility. Fisher plans to put a 108-kilowatt solar canopy system on the back of the new showroom.
Pacific Collision Centers, Elite Group, and Supporters Donate 2013 Ford Focus to Family with Handicapped ChildWritten by staff
On January 15th 2014 at the National Auto Body Council’s annual golf fundraiser, Pacific Collision Centers had the honor of donating a 2013 Ford Focus to family in need.
CarMax says it’s been overwhelmed during its effort to fill 100 positions with people searching for jobs. The new dealership won’t open until February, but thousands of people have come looking for work in Elk Grove.