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In a troubled economy, where the price of collision repairs and auto insurance are rising along with the Consumer Price Index, the CAPA Part Certification program provides collision repairers with the opportunity to keep cars repairable without compromising quality. Leading collision repairers on CAPA’s Board of Directors are speaking out on why CAPA is important to them.

When CAPA certified parts are used as alternatives to increasingly expensive car company brand parts, then insurers are less likely to “total” vehicles. “If a repairable vehicle is totaled – I’ve lost business,” said Mike West, owner of Southtowne Auto Rebuild, located in Tukwila, Washington. West is a former ASA Collision Division Operations Committee member, Collision Division Director of ASA-Washington, and a member of CAPA’s Board of Directors. “Totals are bad for my customer, my shop, and for the thousands of collision repairers struggling to cope with the rising costs of operating a business.”

Shop owner, industry trainer and consultant Mike Anderson has sold his collision repair business, Wagonwork Collision Center in Alexandria, VA to Pohanka Collision Centers. Anderson says he will now focus on spending more time with family and running his consulting business and website CollisionAdvice.com.

The acquisition gives Pohanka nine shop locations in Virginia and Maryland.

 

Pennsylvania Senator John C. Rafferty Jr. (R) has introduced Senate Resolution 254 calling on the state’s insurance commissioner to investigate the practice of steering by insurers in the collision repair industry and report his findings back to the legislature.

In what can only be called a remarkable turnaround since last year’s bankruptcy procedings, both GM and Chrylser have rewarded the faith of “bailout” proponents with strong first quarter results reflecting better vehicle sales buoyed by a thawing economy and improved consumer spending.

General Motors announced it has repaid loans from the U.S. government, five years ahead of schedule. GM completed the repayment of its loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments by paying the outstanding balances of $4.7 billion and $1.1 billion respectively.

In addition, Chrysler announced an operating profit for the first quarter of 2010, so may soon be in a position to start to repay its government loans as well. Chrysler posted a $143-million operating profit in the first quarter and was on track to at least break even this year on an operating basis with a stronger cash position. Chrysler owes the U.S. government nearly $7 billion in loans. Payments on principal are not due until 2011 and full repayment is not expected until 2014.

Chrysler Group issued its financial results on April 21 for first quarter (Q1) 2010.

In Q1 2010, Chrysler Net Revenues increased to $9,687 million representing a 3 percent increase over the prior quarter. Chrysler ended Q1 2010 with an Operating Profit of $143 million.

“This positive operating result in the first quarter is a concrete indication to our customers, dealers and suppliers that the 2010 targets we have set for ourselves are achievable. We are also generating cash to finance the investments being made in our product portfolio and brand repositioning,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler Group.

  • Net Revenues in Q1 2010 increased to $9,687 million, up from $9,434 million in
    Q4 2009.
  • Operating Profit(a) came in at $143 million, as trading margins turned positive and
    continued to improve.
  • Modified EBITDA(b) was $787 million, or 8.1 percent of Net Revenues.
  • Net Loss significantly declined in Q1 2010 to $197 million due to improved operating
    performance.
  • Cash(c) at March 31, 2010 strengthened to $7,367 million due to strong cash flow of
    $1,490 million in the quarter, bringing total available liquidity to $9.8 billion.
  • Market share improved to 9.1 percent in the U.S., from 8.1 percent in Q4 2009, and to
    13.7 percent in Canada from 11.6 percent in Q4 2009.
  • The Company confirms its targets for the year, including a minimum of operating
    break-even in 2010.

Just hours before industry trainer Toby Chess was to make another presentation about non-OEM bumper and structural parts at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Atlanta on April 15, Chess said he was threatened with a lawsuit if he did so. He declined to reveal who threatened the legal action but said because he had not had a chance to consult with an attorney, he chose to forego making his presentation at the meeting. Chess has since said that the original party who made the threat has denied making it, making the intent of the original threat even more obscure.
In presentations at the previous two CIC meetings in November and January, Chess showed potential problems with a number of non-OEM bumper parts, including apparent significant differences in the material and structure of the parts. That has led at least four insurers to pull back from the use of such parts; it has also led parts suppliers to develop tracking and recall programs for the parts , and to the launch of several testing and certification programs for such parts.
Chess was clearly frustrated by the threat of legal action against him, saying he never portrayed the demonstrations as scientific research but merely as a way to “bring light” to a potential problem.