20 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 1998)
Caliber Collision Centers has announced the appointment of Bill Lawrence as its chief operating officer and senior vice president.
Lawrence, a 28-year veteran of Allstate Insurance, was an architect and corporate strategist responsible for Allstate’s “Pro Shop” direct repair network. He also previously served as president of Allstate’s “Tech-Cor” subsidiary, which includes a collision repair shop research center.
Lawrence will have responsibility for all of Caliber’s collision repair operations as well as the associated corporate support functions.
“Bill is a highly talented, well-known and highly regarded insurance industry executive who’s been thinking ‘outside the box’ about collision repair for more than a decade,” Caliber’s Chief Executive Officer Matthew Ohrnstein said. “We are pleased to welcome him as our head of operations, and we expect he will continually lead change in the industry.”
Founded in 1991, Caliber is a consolidator with operator collision repair facilities in California and Texas. In addition to its corporate-owned centers, it also manages a preferred provider network of 120 independently owned collision repair centers.
– As reported in The Golden Eagle. The first to bring Wall Street investment into collision repair, Ohrnstein left Caliber after seven years and launched a private consulting firm involved in many consolidation transactions; he died in 2013. Lawrence left Caliber in 2004. He is now an executive with the 7-shop 1st Certified Collision Centers chain in Southern California, which is also the parent company of Certified Collision Group, a national network of more than 200 OEM-certified shops.
15 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2003)
Maaco announced that is it beginning a new campaign to “expand the brand” and give greater emphasis to collision repairs.
Maaco is changing its name to “Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting” from “Maaco Auto Painting & Bodyworks.” Maaco has traditionally been a repaint operation offering little in the way of crash damage repairs. The new slogan is “America’s Body Shop.”
Maaco’s 530 franchisees claim to paint more vehicles than anyone else in America---about 800,000 a year, and 20 percent of that is fleet work. It recently offered its franchisees additional collision repair training.
Maaco has been “so busy owning the repaint business that it forgot to remind the public that it also performs collision and spot repairs, and does them well, even on newer vehicles,” the company said.
While maintaining its core paint business, Maaco will target “newer vehicle spot paint and repairs,” which it identifies as lease returns and out-of-pocket paid collision work.
– As reported in Autobody News. Maaco’s website says it still has more than 500 locations (though prior to that it had dipped to as low as 470 in 2015). It was acquired in 2008 by Driven Brands, operated by the same private equity firm that acquired CARSTAR in 2015.
10 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2008)
Mike Poulard, State Farm estimatics section manager, wrote in a letter last week that after several months of review, the insurer will no longer include a full rear-body sectioning procedure (or “clip”) on State Farm-prepared estimates.
“As a result of this review, we have determined that this repair method is less feasible on newer model vehicles which incorporate special or alternative metals,” Poulard wrote to Pam Pierson of Princeton Auto Body in Princeton, IL.
He said although full rear-body sectioning may be practical in some situations, State Farm will not include it on its estimates and will leave that decision to the customer and shop.
“If your repair facility, while working on a vehicle involved in a State Farm claim, receives a State Farm written estimate for a full body section, please contact the assigned claim person,” Poulard wrote.
Pierson has been doggedly contacting State Farm and shop association leaders on this issue for several months after seeing the procedure called for on State Farm estimates.
– As reported in CRASH Network (www.CrashNetwork.com), June 16, 2013.
5 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (June 2013)
Now that State Farm has said it will begin rolling out PartsTrader to more markets this summer, the trade associations are focusing their criticism less on PartsTrader itself and more on the broader issue of insurers requiring the use of any particular product or service.
“Insurance company mandates don’t work,” said Dan Risley, executive director of the Automotive Service Association (ASA). “We went through a similar thing many years ago with the estimating systems, and we had shops paying for three different estimating platforms that all did the same thing. And who’s to say that a product won’t come out tomorrow that’s three times better than one being mandated? So now I have to use an inferior product because of a mandate from an insurer?”
Risley said although direct repair agreements obligate a shop that wants to stay on the program to accept changes made to the insurer requirements, he thinks insurers should give shops more time to make a decision and prepare for either implementing the change or dropping the program.
“I would like insurance carriers to consider what I’ll call a grandfather clause, where shops have six months to adopt the change in the program,” Risley said. “At least then you have six months to start building a business model moving away from that program so that dropping it doesn’t have such an immediate negative impact on your business.”
– As reported in CRASH Network (www.CrashNetwork.com), June 10, 2013.