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Wednesday, 13 January 2021 19:16

GM Launches New Electric Delivery Business

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General Motors announced Jan. 12 a new business, BrightDrop, which will offer an ecosystem of electric first-to-last-mile products, software and services to empower delivery and logistics companies to move goods more efficiently.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration has already forgiven more than 1.1 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for over $100 billion, providing an extraordinary amount of critical relief to America’s small businesses just three months since the earliest PPP borrowers’ covered periods ended. 

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LKQ Corporation announced Jan. 13 it is bringing its two mobile automotive services businesses together under a single brand, Elitek Vehicle Services.

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General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra gave the opening keynote address during CES 2021, where she shared a closer look at GM’s transformational strategy to advance mobility for communities around the world.

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Gov. Tim Walz announced Jan. 6 the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions starting Jan. 11 on restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues.

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Lordstown Motors Corp., a leader in electric light duty trucks focused on the commercial fleet market, has accepted an invitation from the U.S. Dept. of Energy to start the due diligence process toward securing an Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan.

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Pennsylvania legislators announced plans for economic recovery on Jan. 12 as industry analysts report a historic low in small business confidence.

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Due to the pandemic, unemployment rates skyrocketed in 2020 to astounding levels, forcing many Americans to struggle to make ends meet.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021 00:39

On The Lighter Side: Samsung's Digital Cockpit Turns Cars into Offices, Gaming Hubs, or Concert Halls

Written by Fabienne Lang, Interesting Engineering

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5G connectivity and expanding screens are all part of the futuristic vehicle cockpit.

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The long-term trend toward electric vehicles continues to solidify. But because of the pandemic, consumer anxiety might be shifting automotive priorities toward familiarity and affordability.

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Vehicles equipped with rear automatic-emergency braking (AEB) had 28% fewer property damage liability claims and 10% fewer collision claims, according to research from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI.)

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Early in December, Driven Brands Collision Group held a virtual summit themed “UNIT3D.”

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Haig Partners LLC, a leading buy-sell advisor to dealers, contributed $10,000 to the NADA Foundation Workforce Initiative.

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In December, Kitu Systems completed the deployment of 190 networked Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers for Fairplex, in Pomona, CA.

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Apple and Hyundai Motor Company are set to sign a partnership that will tie the two companies together in an attempt to develop an autonomous all-electric car, a new report says.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 19:11

asTech Acquires BlueDriver

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Repairify, Inc. d/b/a asTech, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, announced Jan. 12 the acquisition of Root Four Imagination Inc.'s BlueDriver.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021 18:26

Overall Fleet Sales Down 39% in 2020

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Commercial fleet sales from nine manufacturers totaled 638,154 through 2020, representing 20.4% decline compared to 2019, which was impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown of vehicle assembly plants from mid-March to mid-May in 2020.

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The Ulster BOCES auto collision technology program in New York received its ninth donation from the I-CAR Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF.)

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AirPro Diagnostics and Car ADAS Solutions announced Jan. 12 the establishment of a collaboration to deliver turn-key calibration solutions for shops to include set-up, training, implementation, support and validation of calibration services. 

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The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) announced Jan. 11 it will not hold its 2021 auto show as planned.

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A global semiconductor chip shortage has forced a number of renowned automakers to cut back vehicle production.

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Precision Auto Works of Long Island City in New York announced it has earned manufacturer's certification from luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz

Monday, 11 January 2021 23:18

NADA Names Chief Operating Officer

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The National Automobile Dealers Association has a new chief operating officer.

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When the Nebraska Legislature convenes, COVID-19 liability protection will have an early focus for the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce.

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CIECA (Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association) announced its next CIECAST webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. CST Jan. 26: “Preparing for the EV Revolution.”

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It’s no secret one of the largest challenges facing the collision repair industry is the need to find qualified entry-level technicians.

Monday, 11 January 2021 20:06

Paycheck Protection Program Resumed Jan. 11

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SBA, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, reopened the Paycheck Protection Program loan portal at 9 a.m. ET Jan. 11. 

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Preparing for the new year is important for all collision repair business owners, and during a Dec. 15 Tireside Chat, the Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) discussed “Setting Your Business Goals for 2021.”

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Universal Technical Institute, a leading provider of transportation technician training, announced the purchase of its Avondale, AZ, campus and plans to consolidate the operations of its Phoenix-based Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) into this facility.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Dec. 31 a consent order with Daimler Trucks North America following an investigation that found the company failed to recall vehicles in a timely fashion and to comply with other reporting requirements.  

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The winners of the 2021 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) Awards were revealed Jan. 11 during a virtual event hosted by the organization's officers.

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Over the line from Old Greenwich in Stamford, CT, a popular body shop run by John Castellana Jr. and his father, John, has had a name change.

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As of December 2020, 91% of independent automotive repair shops reported a decrease in revenue for the year.  

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I-CAR (the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) has expanded its educational training programs surrounding hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), battery electric vehicles (BEV) and ADAS in collaboration with Audi of America.

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The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) applauds the service of Bobby Bassett, chairman of the board of ASE, and congratulates him on recently receiving the prestigious Art Fisher Excellence in Education Award from the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA.)

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Lordstown Motors Corp., an emerging OEM producing electric light duty trucks focused on the commercial fleet market, has received more than 100,000 non-binding production reservations from commercial fleets for its Lordstown Endurance all-electric pickup truck, with an average order size of nearly 600 vehicles per fleet.

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Enterprise Holdings announced Jan. 11 the launch of the automotive collision engineering pilot program, powered by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation and Ranken Technical College.

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General Motors is debuting a new marketing campaign as part of the company’s comprehensive efforts to accelerate mass adoption of electric vehicles.

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Just as regular maintenance of your shop’s equipment and facility is critical to keep it functioning well, “maintenance” of your employees is just as important.

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The CAWA Leadership & Educational Forum is a two-day virtual business meeting focusing on key sessions and presentations from industry experts who will share insight and critical thinking on contemporary topics that affect the automotive parts industry.

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The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), working with Mike Anderson of Collision Advice and Danny Gredinberg of the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG), released the first video of a new weekly series focusing on quick tips to boost collision repair businesses.

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With a focus on providing automotive aftermarket professionals with content designed to improve their careers and businesses, the SEMA Virtual Education Program will help members enhance their professional development and include comprehensive presentations, insightful discussions and short videos that teach, inform, inspire and entertain.

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The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) announced the appointment of six new members to its Board of Trustees in 2020.

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A Mercedes-Benz red paint lawsuit settlement has been reached between the automaker and customers who claim the paint and clearcoat peels, flakes, bubbles, fades and has poor adhesion.

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The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has begun in health care and senior living facilities across the U.S., and employers in many industries are eagerly awaiting the chance to have their employees vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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Moneyshake  just completed an interesting and compelling study about today's global electric car production and sales.

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The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has closed a review of 662,000 Tesla electric vehicles after finding no defects that caused sudden acceleration.

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Amidst the rapid construction of the Gigafactory Texas complex, Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck factory has started earning accolades of its own.

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Each year, Lake Charles Toyota contributes a scholarship to the SOWELA School of Transportation to help prospective students chase their dreams.

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Whether it’s a small shop with two employees or an MSO employing hundreds of people, the pandemic has radically changed employee/employer relationships in many ways with strong leadership now more important than ever.

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Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) has presented its new e-BULLI all-electric vehicle to the world. It's a stunning crossover between a classic 1966 minivan with all the latest drive system components of a modern VW electric vehicle.

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Dave Luehr of Elite Body Shop Solutions and Ryan Taylor of BodyShop Booster announced the second annual Positivity Summit, a free online event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST Jan. 15.

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Efforts to enact SEMA-supported provisions to provide businesses with liability protection from COVID-19 related lawsuits were successful in 2020 in at least 16 states.

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SEMA stands ready to advocate the interests of the aftermarket industry no matter what the prevailing political winds.

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The BASF Color Report 2020 for Automotive OEM Coatings shows the automotive color palette shifting in unconventional ways, unveiling a wider range of chromatic colors rolling off the world’s assembly lines.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 pandemic disaster declaration is extended to Dec. 31, 2021.  

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Wholesale used-vehicle prices, on a mix-, mileage- and seasonally adjusted basis, decreased 0.59% month over month in December, putting the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 161.1, a 14.2% gain from a year ago.

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Americans watched in astonishment Jan. 6 as a violent mob broke through barricades and lines of police to overrun the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., in an attempt to prevent Congress from conducting the ceremonial counting of Electoral College votes.