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

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.

Wednesday, 06 February 2013 17:49

Two Illegal Body Shops Shut Down in Detroit

The city of Detroit recently shut down six businesses as part of its “Operation Compliance” program which aims to curb enterprises operating without proper permits.

The Building, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department joined police and fire departments in padlocking and sealing the entrances of six businesses—two auto repair shops, two tire stores, a junk yard and a wood-pallet company—accused of operating without proper licenses and permits.

“Our objective is to bring every business in Detroit into full compliance with the law,” Mayor Dave Bing said. “Proper permitting and ordinance compliance is essential to operating a business in our city.”

The initiative aims to close an average of 20 illegal businesses per week, Bing said. Police said they can be tied to illegal weapons, stolen goods or drugs.

“We are sending a message that if you are doing business in the city, you need to follow the law,” said Nathan Ford, director of the Building, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department, in a statement.

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers, Minnesota (AASP-MN) recently raised over $7,000 in its 2013 fundraising campaign to support the AASP-MN Automotive Education Fund.

The majority of money was raised at the association’s annual Race for Automotive Education, held Jan. 15-16 at ProKart Indoors in Burnsville. The proceeds will fund scholarships for automotive students enrolled in NATEF-certified mechanical and collision repair programs in Minnesota. 

During the course of the two-night event, 105 racers tore up the track in state-of-the-art European karts, reaching speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour. Many fans and spectators were also on hand to cheer their teams on. Twenty one teams of mechanical and collision repair shops and industry suppliers were represented. 

ASA Michigan will host its next webinar on Feb. 6 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The topic is "Paint Materials: How it is impacting your bottom line."

Attendees will learn an overview of the past eight years, how Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and other natural disasters affect pricing, what the government has identified as refinishing using the 6H/NESHAP rule and other regulations, the increased percentages of paint materials in estimates and how it may affect your net profit, the importance of a paint material inventory and what it can tell you monthly, paint material calculators, scales and using your vendors, and solutions toward recovery.

To register, go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/153124210

We all remember this epic holiday story of “It’s A Wonderful Life” available multiple times during the holiday season.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013 20:10

ABRA Acquires 4 More Locations in Two States

ABRA Auto Body & Glass, a Minnesota-based vehicle repair company, acquired four more repair centers in two states.

In two separate transactions, ABRA acquired three Collision Plus Auto Body Repair Centers in southern Illinois just outside St. Louis, MO, and Ogden Auto Body in Utah. The deals boost ABRA’s repair center portfolio to 136 and expands its national footprint to 15 states.

“This is our 16th acquired center of the year and our first step into Illinois and the St. Louis market,” said Duane Rouse, President and Chief Executive Officer of ABRA.