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1HomePageMap small mw 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Friday, 07 February 2014 02:32

MN Media Reports Increased Body Shop Traffic

Freezing rain and low temperatures turned Northland roadways into a skating rink  causing many accidents.

Winter weather travel advisories have lifted and shops are seeing increased traffic in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
For Kelley Auto Group Collision, technicians have just begun to receive these vehicles, according to Nathan Nix, manager of body shops at 500 E. State Blvd. and at 633 Avenue of Autos in the 14/69 Auto Mall in Ft. Wayne.
Since the company services drivable and nondrivable vehicles, technicians have worked hard to get drivable vehicles finished in order to begin work on the nondrivable vehicles.
“The question is, how soon can we get to them without giving someone an expectation that’s too great?” Nix asked.

ABRA Auto Body & Glass announced the acquisition of X2 Collision in Southern Illinois, just outside St. Louis, MO. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Starting Jan. 1, motorists can talk and drive only if they use a hands-free device to conduct cellphone conversations in Illinois. That will dramatically change the day-to-day routine for millions of Illinoisans, or force them to shop around for yet another high-tech device for the car.
The uniform ban supplements the state’s current ban on texting and replaces assorted local laws on cellphone use that vary from town to town, including Chicago, where a cellphone ban has been in place since 2006.
Violators face fines starting at $75, and repeat offenses bring the possibility of a suspended license.
State Sen. John Mulroe, a Chicago Democrat who sponsored the law, said witnessing several near-accidents during trips to Springfield convinced him that “hands on the wheel and eyes on the road are the way to go.” While he says the law won’t eliminate distractions, he hopes it’ll cut down on accidents.

Gov. Rick Snyder has approved Michigan to join California, Florida and Nevada in allowing self-driving vehicle research on the state’s streets and highways. Snyder has signed legislation allowing the testing of automated or self-driving vehicles on Michigan’s roads, but that doesn’t mean state residents will see cars with empty drivers’ seats anytime soon.
The laws, approved by the state Legislature, allow carmakers, auto suppliers and developers like Google to test automated vehicles. But they they require a human to be in the driver’s seat at all times to monitor performance and take control if necessary.
At least one auto supplier— Continental Corp—which has facilities in Auburn Hills and the Sault Ste. Marie area, had considered moving some autonomous vehicle testing to Nevada, according to state Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, who introduced the legislation in the state Senate. Nevada has permitted testing of autonomous cars on state roads since 2012. California and Florida also allow testing.
Test cars will carry an “M” license plate to identify them.

In December 2013, State Farm experienced a dramatic reduction in the number of shops participating in Select Service (their direct repair program) in the Fort Wayne, IN, area due to the implementation of PartsTrader. Of the 22 local shops participating in the DRP, 14 (over 60%) opted out of the program, though some of these shops had been on the program for decades. Several shop owners and managers were willing to discuss their reasons for being removed from the Select Service.
Todd Bonecutter, General Manager at Glenbrook Collision at 100 W. Coliseum Blvd in Ft. Wayne, said he opposes PartsTrader as a mandated tool. “We don’t like being told where we can buy our parts or being prevented from buying parts from our usual vendors. This is just a stepping stone for the insurers to dictate other things in the collision industry. They starts with parts, but it’s only a matter of time before they move on to paints and other materials.”