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Tuesday, 07 January 2020 15:08

Leading the Ethical Revolution in the Collision Repair Industry

Written by
Jeff Peevy, chairman of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and president of the Automotive Management Institute (AMi). Jeff Peevy, chairman of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and president of the Automotive Management Institute (AMi).


When Jeff Peevy was named chairman of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in 2019, he placed an empty chair on the stage at each meeting.

The chair represented “the consumer,” those who are in accidents and have their cars repaired. During the last CIC meeting of 2019 in Las Vegas, Peevy filled that empty chair with special guests Marcia and Matthew Seebachan. The Seebachans were the owners of the Honda Fit that was in the accident resulting in a $42 million lawsuit. Peevy and his wife, Marie, interviewed the couple about their experience as well as the human impact of poor repair decisions.


Following the impactful interview, Dave Luehr, owner of Elite Body Shop Solutions, invited Peevy to talk about the personal impact of the interview during an Elite Body Shop Academy webinar. Peevy’s presentation also included recommendations on how collision repair businesses can lead the ethical movement in the industry.


“Listening to the discussions at CIC, I started to realize that more times than not, the consumer, the motoring public and their families are riding in vehicles our industry repaired and get very little consideration during our discussions,” said Peevy, who is also the president of the Automotive Management Institute (AMi). “I thought it would be important for us to keep the people riding in the vehicles that our industry repairs at the forefront of our decisions and discussions.”


Peevy realized how a cross-section of the industry began to refer to the chair.


“I’m really proud of attendees at CIC for respecting what that chair represents,” he said.


Many have read industry publications and heard presentations about the Seebachans’ experience and Peevy said the young couple was often looked at as people out of a storybook.


“My goal with the empty chair was to make the people who have impacted our industry real,” he explained.


What Peevy didn’t realize when he set up the interview was how it would impact him personally. He soon learned that his daughter and son-in-law are the same age as Marcia and Matthew, and had purchased a preowned Honda Fit vehicle around the same time as the Seebachans.

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