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Midwestern News

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

Chrysler Group announced Feb. 28 it will invest nearly $374 million in central Indiana to boost production of automatic transmissions, a move the company said will create about 1,250 jobs, the Detroit News reported.

The automaker is spending $212 million on new equipment and tooling for three of its existing factories in Kokomo to produce eight-speed and nine-speed automatic transmissions. Chrysler is spending another $162 million to open a new transmission plant in the nearby town of Tipton that will produce an all-new nine-speed transmission.

“Our investments in Kokomo and Tipton are a tribute to the character of the men and women of Chrysler who survived a near-fatal experience and have embraced the challenge of building an enterprise that is able to compete with the best in the world,” CEIO Sergio Marchionne.

The latest investment brings Chrysler’s total U.S. investment to nearly $5.2 billion since Italian automaker Fiat SpA took over the bankrupt company in June 2009. Chrysler has already added some 8,000 jobs in the United States since then.

Thursday, 07 March 2013 17:23

Aftermarket Parts Language Updated

ASA of Michigan released the following update on Senate Bill 249:

Senator Hopgood, along with co-sponsors Anderson, PoppaGeorge and Bieda, introduced Senate Bill 249 of 2013 which added language to the current requirement notifying consumers about the use of Aftermarket Parts.

The current law requires that the following statement be on your estimate using a bold font not less than 10 point: "This estimate has been prepared based on the use of aftermarket crash parts supplied by a source other than the manufacturer of your motor vehicle. Warranties that apply to these replacement parts are provided by the manufacturer, distributor, or insurer of these parts."

The requested language would continue with: "These replacement parts are not covered by the vehicle manufacturer's warranty."

To view a pdf file of this article with photos, click HERE.

A trip across North America that was four years in the planning came to an abrupt stop in Detroit, MI, for Gaby and Jackson Richards, an adventurous couple from Australia. Driving a 2009 Suzuki Grand Vitara, shipped from their home in Brisbane, Queensland to the U.S. for the anticipated year-long journey, the Richards’ vehicle was hit on the right side in a car accident in Detroit.

“It was only a couple of days after New Year’s, and we had just visited Eastern Market when the accident occurred,” said Gaby Richards. “Fortunately, no one was hurt and the car was still drivable.”

The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) are warning Michigan drivers that they may have unknowingly purchased fraudulent automobile insurance certificates from an unlicensed individual reportedly issued through Tennessee Christian Motorist Aid, the Insurance Journal recently reported.

An OFIR investigation found that Mervin Graber, an unlicensed individual, was selling bogus policies through Tennessee Christian Motorist Aid.

OFIR ordered Mervin Graber and Tennessee Christian Motorist Aid to cease and desist from conducting unlicensed and fraudulent insurance activity.

“Any driver who purchased fake auto insurance from Mervin Graber needs to purchase legitimate coverage immediately,” OFIR Commissioner Kevin Clinton said. “Right now they’re driving without insurance.” OFIR can assist consumers in determining whether they have proper auto coverage. OFIR has handed the results of its investigation over to the proper law enforcement agencies.

Central Collision Center, a family-owned and operated collision repair business in Chicago, has announced that Tiger Cellini and Broadway Auto Body Rebuilders, Inc., will join the Central Collision Center of Crete team.

Beginning March 1, 2013, Broadway Auto’s customers can receive service at any of the six Central Collision Center locations in Peotone, Mokena, Crete, New Lenox, Oak Forest and Tinley Park.

Kent Cogswell, with more than 30 years in the parts business, is the Parts Manager and Warehouse Operations Manager for Jack Phelan Dodge of Countryside, just outside of Chicago. Cogswell, 52, has spent decades working as the largest parts Mopar wholesaler in the Midwest and is currently operating from a 35,000-square-foot stand-alone facility where they stock over 14,000 different parts totaling over $1.5 million in inventory. They have a staff of 30 and a fleet of 15 delivery trucks and have sold over $150 million in Mopar parts.

The Chicago market became part of State Farm’s PartsTrader pilot program in December. As a parts supplier, Jack Phelan Dodge is not a preferred PartsTrader provider, but a fax-only supplier and they have hundreds of customers ordering through PartsTrader. Cogswell said he has first-hand knowledge that many of the large suppliers in Chicago are also fax-only suppliers.