I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, will soon offer collision repair industry professionals a new training opportunity focused on Ford’s vehicle-specific parts and repair procedures. The I-CAR course, Collision Repair for Ford and Lincoln Vehicles (FOR05), was developed by I-CAR, in conjunction with Ford Paint & Body Technology Center. Registration for this instructor-led (live) training program is currently open and the course will premiere on September 6, 2011. New classes are being added to the class schedule on a continual basis.

This course provides information on service and parts for Ford and Lincoln vehicles, including collision repair position statements, different construction materials, vehicle features, and repair considerations. An explanation of different joining methods used on Ford and Lincoln vehicles, including the use of fasteners, adhesives, and welds is provided. Considerations around properly preparing parts for corrosion protection coatings and refinishing procedures are also covered in the course. Additionally, information on electrical and mechanical systems that are specific to Ford vehicles is provided.

Bill Stage, I-CAR Director of Marketing & Distribution said, “The ability for I-CAR to develop and deliver Ford-specific training helps support the collision industry by providing an overview of key topics that are relevant to individuals who repair Ford and Lincoln vehicles. I-CAR is glad to have established its relationship with Ford Paint & Body Technology Center and believes that individuals working in the collision industry will be better positioned to provide Ford vehicle owners with a complete and safe repair. Proper training on Ford vehicles will help repairers reduce the possibility of rework and maintain the overall integrity of the vehicle.”

Information and registration for this course can be found on the I-CAR website (www.i-car.com) or by contacting I-CAR Customer Care at 800-422-7872.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 14:36

BASF names Vitor Margaronis Marketing Director

BASF Automotive Refinish announced August 31 that it has named Vitor Margaronis as Marketing Director for BASF Coatings, North America. In his new role, Vitor is responsible for directing the marketing activities of the BASF Automotive Refinish, OEM, Industrial and Commercial Transport Systems businesses.

Vitor comes to the BASF North America Coatings team after a 10-year history that began at BASF in Canada. During his tenure, Vitor has held several management level positions with increasing responsibility in the areas of marketing, finance, logistics operations and project management.

Vitor has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and an MBA in Marketing from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

“With his deep understanding of BASF businesses, customers and markets, Vitor is an excellent addition to our team. His varied and diverse experiences across BASF position him well for continued success,” said Juan Carlos Ordonez, Senior Vice President, BASF Coatings North America.

To learn about BASF automotive refinish products, visit us at: www.basfrefinish.com.

Signing a commercial lease is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, financial commitment your auto body repair business will make.  Commercial leases are easy to commit to, full of traps for the unwary, and very hard to get out of without significant pain and expense.  When you consider that a commercial auto body lease (five year lease at a rental rate of $5,000) is a $300,000 commitment, it really pays to develop a basic understanding of commercial leases and to learn how to avoid common pitfalls.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

Commercial leases are binding:
A commercial lease is a specific type of contract.  In a commercial lease, the owner (landlord) of a building or land grants your body auto body repair business (tenant) the exclusive right to use some or all of the building or land in exchange for monthly payments of rent.  Commercial leases can be oral, though almost always the terms are spelled out in a very long written contract. Many commercial leases use pre-printed forms that are then further modified in the landlord’s favor by the landlord’s lawyer through an addendum attached to the back of the lease.  Commercial leases can be enforced in court and the landlord almost always has the advantage in a lawsuit because the contractual language favors him.

Understand the lease and bargain:
Your job is to understand the unfavorable terms and then bargain as hard as possible to improve them.  Even if you don’t completely succeed in eliminating unfavorable terms, you will know what you are agreeing to and be better prepared to fulfill the responsibilities that you are undertaking.

U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller, D-W.V., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., have introduced a bill in the Senate titled the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011. The bill touches on several issues relevant to the collision industry, including broadening the authority of the secretary of transportation to:

● Conduct motor vehicle safety research, development, and testing programs and activities, including new and emerging technologies that impact or may impact motor vehicle safety,

● Collect and analyze all types of motor vehicle and highway safety data and related information to determine the relationship between motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment performance characteristics.

The legislation requires that the U.S. DOT conduct a study of crash data collection and report, after one year, to a Senate Committee and to the House Committee on the quality of data collected through the National Automotive Sampling System, including the Special Crash Investigations Program. The administrator of NHTSA will then conduct a comprehensive review of the data elements collected from each crash to determine if additional data should be collected. This review will include input from interested parties, including suppliers, automakers, safety advocates, the medical community and research organizations.

Mitchell International released their third quarter Industry Trends Report this month; the report focused on gas prices and their affect on car-buying and car value trends. This issue also discusses how volatile and sustained high fuel prices are impacting insurance claims beyond a reduction in miles driven.

Vice president of industry relations for Mitchell International Greg Horn talks about the role gas prices play in resale values of vehicles from fuel-efficient to so-called gas guzzlers.

“Fuel efficient vehicles tend to rise more quickly and reliably in value during periods of high gas prices than gas guzzlers, which fall in value,” Horn said in the report.

The insurance and collision repair industries need the accuracy of a true market survey method for valuing a total loss because constantly fluctuating fuel prices move too fast, with too great an impact, for slower traditional ‘book value’ valuations to accurately reflect the true actual cash value of total loss vehicles.”

Other valuable points of interest in the current issue of Mitchell’s ITR include:

I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair announced August 9 that James Roach of American Honda Motor Company has joined the I-CAR International Board of Directors as a Board Member.

James Roach has been part of the collision inter-industry for over thirty years and has been employed by American Honda Motor Company since 1978. Currently, Mr. Roach is Senior Vice President – Parts and Service Division of American Honda Motor Company. He manages a workforce exceeding 2,000 employees which are geographically placed throughout 18 locations in the United States. Mr. Roach oversees the areas of automobile customer service, parts and accessories marketing, service marketing, parts inventory procurement and distribution, technical operations, and the improvement of Lifetime Owner Loyalty and CSI for both Honda and Acura automobile customers. He is also responsible for the distribution of service parts and accessories for motorcycle, power equipment, and marine products.