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Scott Sharpe is the regional parts director for Asbury Automotive Group, one of the largest automotive retailers in the U.S., headquartered in Duluth, GA. Asbury is the parent company that manages the Crown Automotive Group, with some ten dealerships in North Carolina and another ten elsewhere, and seven dealerships within Texas’ David McDavid Auto Group, based in Irving, TX, but having other locations in Plano, Houston, Austin, and Frisco.  Sharpe works for a company that oversees some 80 dealerships throughout the United States, and personally directs the parts operations of all of the David McDavid stores as well as the Crown Automotive stores in North Carolina. It’s an enormous job, managing parts for the seven David McDavid dealerships carrying a total of $5.1 million in parts, but he’s a seasoned professional with more than three decades of overall experience in the industry.

The median six-month auto insurance rate in Texas has decreased more than 14 percent since the beginning of 2009 to reach $744.00, according to InsuranceRates .com(TM).

Wednesday, 28 October 2009 15:00

Oklahoma Tax Commission Allows EV Tax Credit

The Oklahoma Tax Commission has ruled that all GEM electric vehicle models are now eligible for the Qualified Electric Motor Vehicle Property Income Tax Credit. The October 7, 2009 qualification letter  issued to Global Electric Motorcars validates the availability of the 50% of vehicle cost income tax credit for GEM car buyers.

There will be a Grand Opening (by invitation) of the newest Auto Masters Collision Facility in Victoria, Texas on Sept. 19.

Wednesday, 02 September 2009 15:48

Sept 26 - TIAA annual picnic in San Antonio, TX

The Texas Independent Automotive Association is having its annual picnic 1-8 p.m. Sept. 26, 2009 at Eisenhower Park in San Antonio.  The event provides members, families and guests a chance to recreate, socialize, network, and proceeds support the chapter’s shop training reimbursement and college-level automotive scholarship programs.

Thursday, 20 August 2009 08:25

Texas annual tax holidays Aug. 21, 22 & 23

The TIAA is reminding its members and our readers that Texas shoppers get a break from state and local sales taxes on August 21, 22 and 23 - the state's annual tax holiday. Lay-away plans can be used again this year to take advantage of the sales tax holiday.

Saturday, 15 August 2009 12:22

TIAA Austin Chapter awards Scholarship$

The Texas Independent Automotive Association Austin Chapter awarded two automotive scholarships during its monthly meeting Aug. 13, 2009 at Antonio's Tex Mex Restaurant in Round Rock, Texas.

Monday, 10 August 2009 17:16

Lemon Law Now in Effect in Arkansas

Arkansas has a new "Lemon Law," passed by the General Assembly in the 2009 session, which went into effect July 31. In Arkansas, if a consumer purchases a vehicle that has repeated, substantial problems that impair its use and cannot be fixed, that vehicle is considered a "lemon," and the consumer could be entitled to a replacement or refund, The law was amended this year to cover more vehicles.

Wednesday, 05 August 2009 09:27

TIAA August and Future Events


The Texas Automotive Summit is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010 at the San Marcos Convention Center.  It's a great event for Automotive seminars, networking and vendor interaction.  More information will be forthcoming about the event, hotel accomodations and registration for TIAA & ASA members, non members, and vendors. Be sure to set aside this date and plan to attend.

Thursday, 30 July 2009 15:06

Texas Independent Auto Assn. Tube Float

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – Braving several whitewater chutes and Comal River currents, members of the Texas Independent Automotive Association and their families floated together here today during the first annual Tubing in Texas trip.

Service King Collision Repair Centers, a Richardson, Texas-based operator of collision repair facilities in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex and Houston markets, has acquired D&D Collision and Callaway’s Collision Specialists, the leading collision repair service provider in Houston, Texas, with three large scale, high volume locations.

Gerdau Ameristeel Corp. is suspending production at its Sayreville, NJ steel mill and closing its rolling mill in Perth Amboy, NJ, due to lower demand for its products resulting from the downturn in the economy. The company said these actions are expected to occur gradually over the next several months. The company indicated that it would restart operations at the Sayreville facility when business conditions warrant.

V-Vehicle Company selects Monroe, La., to begin assembling new automobiles and create 1,400 jobs

On June 17, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret joined executives from V-Vehicle Company, or VVC, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, or KPCB, partners, local businessmen and local officials to publicly announce that VVC, a new American car company headquartered in San Diego, will begin assembling cars in Monroe, La. The project will create over 1,400 direct jobs at an average annual salary of nearly $40,000, plus benefits, as well as a capital investment of at least $248 million.

Tuesday, 09 June 2009 11:03

8 Dallas-area dealers wind down sales

Cheery "Gettin' Outta Dodge" banners mostly mask the sense of betrayal at Frank Kent Dodge in Fort Worth, TX.

The store, part of the Frank Kent Auto Group, is one of eight in the area that bankrupt Chrysler LLC is closing as it seeks to eliminate about a fourth of its dealers nationwide. The 789 dealerships being cut are supposed to cease operations June 9.

click for Dallas Morning News Story

Friday, 05 June 2009 12:13

Texas strengthens child restraint law

On May 29, Texas enacted legislation strengthening the state's current child restraint law that requires children 4 and younger to be in a child safety seat. When the law goes into effect on Sept. 1, 2009, Texas will join 23 other states requiring children at least 7 and younger to be in a child passenger restraint system.

SAN MARCOS, Texas – Automotive and collision repair shop owners and service managers were recharged on shop management and communication skills May 2, 2009 when the Texas Independent Automotive Association sponsored the first-ever Texas Automotive Summit at the San Marcos Convention Center.

A special recognition dinner event was held last month at Lakeside Country Club in Houston, TX, to celebrate Westside Lexus as the recipient of the 2008 Toyota/ Lexus Certified Collision Center of the Year.

Sunday, 29 March 2009 17:00

Texas Telemarketers' Insurance Fraud

The chairman of the Texas Committee on Insurance Fraud says telemarketers continue to harass the victims of auto accidents whether they have been injured or not. The group is endorsing a bill being introduced in the Texas House of Representatives that restricts telemarketers from purchasing crash reports from police departments for the first 30 days after the accident.

Wednesday, 01 April 2009 17:03

Louisiana Labor Rates Raising Heat

Labor rates have long been a contentious issue in Louisiana and now shop owners throughout the state are speaking out. Autobody News talked to several shops recently that feel the ‘reasonable’ $45 per hour labor rate currently imposed upon them by insurance companies is unfair and unrealistic in today’s market.

A few years ago, Texas collision repair shop owners stood strong in an effort to enact HB 1131, prohibiting “tied shops”—those owned in whole or in part  by an insurance company. Since that time, however, outspoken shop owners seem to have gone into hibernation.

AUSTIN – Two of the state's largest auto insurers – Allstate and State Farm – are boosting their rates to offset the rising number of claims.

In the bed of a gold pick-up truck on the side of the road the trap is set: shiny chrome wheels. It doesn't take long for thieves to bite or for the Tarrant Regional Auto Crimes Task Force to move in. The sting is all part of their operation targeting thieves out to steal 22-24-inch chrome wheels worth thousands of dollars and considered a must have by many drivers.

"The numbers show that Texas has an even larger number of uninsured drivers than we had realized," said Mark Hanna, spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, in a story Tuesday in the online editions of the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News.

The shops along Fort Worth Avenue in north Oak Cliff, Dallas, are supposed to be the type of businesses where customers can take their cars for repair, but some say they act more like illegal salvage yards.

Steve Wood, second from right, represented the Texas Chemical Council (TCC) when presenting BASF its Best in Texas Award. BASF representatives on hand to receive the awards were, from left, Tom Yura, Steve Reed, Bob Brennecke, Bryan Stewart and Leonard Schooler.

ADESA, a vehicle auction operator, has signed a 20-year lease for a new auction center at the Dallas Logistics Hub with The Allen Group, the site's San Diego-based developer. The facility will be built on 175 acres at the northwest corner of Wintergreen Road and North Lancaster Hutchins Road in Hutchins, Texas.

A report by an automobile insurer concludes that Oklahoma City drivers are less likely than Tulsa drivers to be involved in traffic collisions.

El Paso County sued Gemini's Body Shop on Friday, alleging the auto body shop engaged in misleading business practices that harmed consumers trying to get their cars repaired, a statement from the county attorney's office said.

Caliber Collision Centers, an Irvine, Calif.-based operator of collision repair facilities in California and Texas, announces the acquisition of a 19,000 square foot facility in Bedford, Texas located in the busy Grubbs Family of Dealerships that includes Nissan, Chrysler, Jeep and Infiniti dealers.

by Jeff Postelwait, Tulsa World

Tulsa resident Bill Knight purchased five automotive dealerships formerly owned by Penske Automotive Group Inc. as well as two collision repair shops Thursday. United Ford's south Tulsa location, Jaguar of Tulsa, and Lincoln Mercury of Tulsa, all near Memorial Drive near the Creek Turnpike; and Volvo of Tulsa and United Hummer at 41st Street and Memorial were included in the purchase.

Central Louisiana was spared full scale hurricane damage in last week’s flooding but estimates of flooded cars are in the many thousands. Alexandria State Farm insurance agent Myron Lawson said some estimates indicate the number of vehicles affected by the storm and the resulting wet weather might climb into the multiple thousands, though no official estimates have been announced. Some automobile claims came directly from Hurricane Gustav, Wednesday morning's flooding in the cities made the number of claims much higher. "[Sept. 3rds] events at minimum doubled them," Lawson said. “The claims process has begun, but it could be days before claims adjusters can look at auto claims. That would only be the beginning. It could be months (before we finish)," Lawson added.

One particular insurance company -- State Farm -- has 5,000 claims alone as of today...,” said Youngberg.

Harwood says he's glad he's insured. “I've lived here for 55 years on West Lynn, and we've never had a storm like that - never,” said Harwood.

Nacogdoches Fire Department Chief Keith Kiplinger said it took all five engines and four hours to contain a fire that left Venegas Auto Sales, 1124 Douglass Road, a pile of ashes and scorched metal.

Swoop-and-Squat Just One of the Organized Crash Scams in Collision and Medical Fraud

The FBI calls it “Operation Bumper Cars” and Dallas FBI agents have been infiltrating staged car accident conspiracy rings which they perceive to be a resurgent problem in North Texas, particularly for medical insurance fraud.

Farmers Group Inc. is planning on offering a new discount on car insurance policies for Texas customers who have their vehicles equipped with electronic stability control technology.

" If your car is damaged, your insurance carrier can RECOMMEND a repair shop.  But telling you that you CAN'T or SHOULDN'T go to a certain shop is illegal under Texas state law..."

Made in America is more than just a patriotic slogan. It is an opportunity to spotlight the innovation U.S. manufacturers bring to the table. While conventional paint booth companies are offering retrofitting and add-ons to adapt existing booths for spraying waterborne paint, NorAM Inc. built a booth from the ground up that did not need any changes to embrace new paint technology. And every single part is made in the USA.

The last avenue for relief from the strictures of Texas H.B. 1131 has been blocked off for Allstate Insurance Company as the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the company’s petition for writ of certiorari, refusing to hear further appeals. After nearly five years of fighting, it appears the collision industry and the state officials who supported them by banning tied repair shops in the state have prevailed. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans dismissed Allstate’s  request, saying the law did not violate the Constitution.

Todd Fox, who abandoned his 18 Fox Collision Repair shops in October 2007, filed for bankruptcy last month, claiming more than $7 million in debts but $4 million in assets. Fox appeared as required by law at a U.S. Trustee's office with bankruptcy attorney, Ed Nazar. Fox outlined plans to sell the company's equipment, real estate and vehicles to pay a list of creditors reported to be 100 pages long.         

In the Zone

Pat and Wayne Felder wanted to expand their small business, but thought using GO Zone assistance might involve too much time and federal red tape or require the assistance of a lawyer. The opportunity might have slipped away had Pat Felder not decided to look into it further. She got a summary explanation on the hurricane assistance, which convinced her to consult their accountant. He advised they use its 50% bonus depreciation incentive to build their much-desired warehouse, to do it immediately and leave the paperwork to him.

Santa Fe Chevrolet, in the Santa Fe, New Mexico, Auto Park, has taken a step to protect the environment by changing its paint system. The company’s system is now water-based rather than solvent-based.

Allstate Insurance Company has filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the Texas statute prohibiting insurance companies from owning collision repair shops. Just as children go from parent to parent to get the answer they want, Allstate has refused to accept lower court decisions, and, in a last ditch effort to own repair shops in Texas (under the Sterling banner), has asked the Supreme Court to review the previous decisions. 

Speeding is the number one reason why police ticket Texas teens during the holiday season. According to an Allstate Insurance Company holiday teen driving survey of more than 35 police departments across the Lone Star State, even seemingly common infractions can be deadly.


Two and one half years after Hurricane Katrina tried to wipe New Orleans off the face of the planet – the valiant efforts of the brave and determined are rebuilding this beautiful and historic landmark city – so unique in all the world.


Monday, 31 December 2007 17:00

Big Easy Repair Shops Triumph Over Katrina

Revisiting the New Orleans area collision industry professionals who were affected by Hurricane Katrina over two years ago brings good news and bad news. The good news – the shops that are back in business are staffed and busy with repairs. The bad news – not nearly enough progress has been made on the infrastructure of the city and surrounding areas discouraging residents from returning and new workers from relocating to New Orleans.

Friday, 30 November 2007 17:00

Foti Sticks Up For Katrina Victims

The office of Attorney General Charles C. Foti, Jr. has filed suit against Allstate Insurance Company, Lafayette Insurance Company, Xactware, Inc., Marshall & Swift/Boeckh, LLC, Insurance Services Office, Inc., State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, Farmers Insurance Exchange, Standard Fire Insurance Company and McKinsey & Company for alleged violations of the Louisiana Monopolies Act.


Friday, 30 November 2007 17:00

Fox Employees Take Action

Angry ex-employees are engaged in a class-action lawsuit against former Oklahoma businessman Todd Fox, who has been linked to a start-up retailer in Aspen known as Toddy’s.


The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board continues to hold hearings to take public comment on the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) proposal to adopt emissions standards for new motor vehicles.


It is not too early to start filling in your 2008 calendar. Start with the 2008 I-CAR Fest scheduled for March 29, 2008 at the Fort Worth Convention Center, from 9 to 5:30 p.m.


The Oklahoma state legislature held a meeting in Oklahoma City October 25 to hear views about Oklahoma’s Right to Repair legislation, House Bill 1584. The meeting was held by the Economic Development and Financial Service Committee as part of an interim study to evaluate the content of the bill.


Over 60 shops from nine cities in Central Texas converged Sept. 25 in San Marcos to “Ignite Texas.” The fuse was lit by identifying the industry challenges and devising strategies such as consumer education via creation of an advertising co-op and grass roots and lobbyist legislative efforts –traditional and non-traditional.
Monday, 03 December 2007 11:59

Employers Must Pay for Protective Equipment

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ruled that employers must pay the cost of providing personal protective equipment needed to protect workers from job-related injuries, reports the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).

As part of a citywide effort to save money on fuel, the police department has purchased a fleet of new fuel-efficient cars, Sgt. John Jordan said.

AADRA Instrumental in Halting Bills Attempting to Alter Alabamas Salvage Vehicle Purchase Provisions

The Alabama Automotive Dismantlers and Recyclers Association (AADRA) claimed victory last week as bills to open auto salvage pools to unlicensed individuals were halted from hearings before the Alabama Legislature due to strong opposition from consumers and industry.

Is it any kid’s goal to grow up to be an automotive parts dealer? How about two kids who end up revolutionizing the parts business? This is the story of Nick Bossinakis and Sib Bahjat who have done just that.