Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
The Ohio-based Choice Autobody Repair Association (CARA) has partnered with Collision Billing Services, a company designed to assist collision repairers in getting full payment from insurers on behalf of their customers.
“This seemed like the perfect fit for CARA,” said CARA President Rick Finney. “Given the restraints that are put on us as an association by anti-trust legislation, our partnership with CBS will allow us to accomplish our long-term goals in a short amount of time. The key is that CBS is not bound by the same restraints shop owners are.”
A widowed, single mother from Wheeler, IL, won a red 1999 Chrysler Town and Country from Probst Auto Body of Dieterich, IL, as part of a national program called Wheels to Prosper.
“Getting that car lifted a huge financial burden,” Debra Whitehurst said. “It truly was the answer to my prayers.”
A Galesburg, IL, body shop owner recently installed an electric vehicle charging station that he says customers and local residents can use. The station is one way to go green, and also get more people into his shop.
Dave’s Auto Body owner Dave Dunn is offering service to anyone who needs to charge their vehicle, but especially to those who might need work done there, too.
“Primarily, I see it as a marketing tool for Galesburg and also for our company, Dave’s Auto Body,” Dunn said.
Another need for the charging station is due to the Nissan Leaf in their rental fleet.
“It’s stunning,” Dunn said. “I had a lot of people who were pretty hesitant or skeptical here at Dave’s. Now, people are kind of fighting for it. ‘Hey, can I drive the electric car to go do this errand?’ It’s really fun to drive, and it’s quite luxurious, surprisingly.”
There are no other electric vehicle charging stations in the immediate area, which had local tourism officials expressing interest in Dave Dunn’s efforts, too.
Russ Darrow KIA of Appleton, WI, announced that it has moved to a new location and renovated its facility, which includes an in-house, state-of-the-art collision repair shop.
The body shop will feature a heated downdraft paint booth, prep stations and use DuPont waterborne paint. It will be capable of repairing up to 10 vehicles at once, and “Signature Service” will feature free loaner cars, insurance claims service and a lifetime workmanship warranty.
The Automotive Service Association of Ohio (ASA-Ohio) hosted two meetings to discuss State Farm’s parts procurement pilot through PartsTrader. The meetings were led by Denise Caspersen, collision division manager for ASA National. Joe Sanfillipo, president of ASA-Ohio, and Ron Nagy, chairman of ASA National, were also present. The first meeting, sponsored by LKQ/Keystone, was held Sept. 18 in Cleveland. The second meeting, sponsored by Lindale Auto Parts, was held Sept. 19 in Cincinnati.
ASA Michigan hosted on Sept. 5 an exclusive collision member webinar titled Where’s the Work?—Identifying Market Changes from 2007–2011.
“A couple of months ago we hosted a very informative meeting about the State Farm PartsTrader pilot program and realized that an important piece of information was missing for our members—market share and complaint ratios of the various insurance companies here in Michigan,” stated Ray Fisher, President of ASA Michigan.
“As this new business model is being piloted, we knew that State Farm was the largest insurer in Michigan for auto insurance, but we could not inform our membership exactly by what volume nor did we know where the other carriers have placed, so we immediately worked with reports from the State of Michigan, Office of Finance and Insurance Regulations (OFIR) and created this very informative and well received webinar addressing those questions,” Fisher said.
by David M. Brown
In Ohio collision-repair facilities and vendors are represented by two associations: the Choice Autobody Repair Association and ASA-Ohio.
In 2005, CARA, a nonprofit collision repair association, was formed in Cadiz in eastern Ohio. CARA represents approximately 50 body shops in various cities throughout the state. Members include former members from the disbanded Ohio Collision Repair Association and the Ohio Bodyshop Owners Association.
“There were five shop owners who felt it was necessary to help educate consumers on their rights concerning collision repairs, which led to the formation of CARA,” says Rick Finney, president of the association and owner of Finney Automotive Inc. and Finney Tire LLC, both in Cadiz.
A longtime Bloomington, IL, auto body shop has broken ground on a new $1 million facility.
Bob Zook Auto Body expects to move into its new facility at 411 Detroit Drive, Bloomington, by April, said company President Bryan Caldwell. Business will continue at its current location, 413 E. Stewart St., Bloomington, until the new building is complete.
“We are excited by the growth and opportunities the new facility will bring,” said Caldwell, who has worked for the company for nearly three decades.
The new 12,750-square-foot building, next to the Palace Cinemas, will allow the shop to expand its services. A new mechanical department will handle suspension and wheel repairs and alignments related to collisions, said Caldwell.
A fire destroyed an auto shop in Maple, WI, owned by one of the city's fire fighters.
Maple Fire Chief Michael Lundeen says the fire fighters responded around 10:30 p.m. When they arrived on scene, they found half of the building engulfed in flames.
The chief says it took about 20 minutes to get the fire under control.
Nagy’s Collision Specialists has expanded to seven locations in Ohio with the addition of collision repair facility, Doug Chevrolet in Akron.
“We're very excited for this partnership with Doug Chevrolet and moving into the Summit County area,” said Ron Nagy, president of Nagy's.