Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts expanded in the Northeast with the addition of a new collision repair facility in upstate New York. The opening of Automax CARSTAR in West Seneca brings the total number of CARSTAR locations in the Buffalo region to five.
H&V Collision Centers in Saratoga Springs, NY, has partnered with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany (CCDA) and State Farm to donate a vehicle to a needy community member as part of the National Auto Body Council’s (NABC) 2012 Recycled Rides program, a nationwide awareness project where members of the NABC—a not-for-profit organization—repair and donate recycled vehicles to families in need. State Farm works with the NABC to donate vehicles in communities across the country.
Recycled Rides made simultaneous donations throughout the country during Thanksgiving week. The 2012 donation marks the third time that H&V Collision Centers has contributed a vehicle to a family in need or one that is facing special challenges.
“H&V Collision Center’s goal is to help people in our local community, especially during these challenging times,” said Vartan Jerian Jr. of H&V Collision Centers. “This important program allows H&V to make a positive impact for a family in need right here in our community and across the country.”
Superstorm Sandy hit the northeast in late October, leaving thousands without power and leaving behind many damaged homes and businesses.
Keenan Auto Body West recently won the VeriFacts 2012 Repair Center Achievement in Collision Repair Excellence Award, also known as the ACE Award.
“We are truly proud of this award and wish we were able to attend the presentation ceremony at SEMA but Hurricane Sandy had other plans for us here on the East Coast,” said Keenan President and COO Michael LeVasseur.
Mark Scheinberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association told NADA Used Car Guide that “some big issues right now revolve around insurance,” for dealers in areas damaged by Sandy.
“Flood insurance was not available for most of the coastal property, so damage to property is on the dealer,” Scheinberg said.
SEMA-supported legislation to provide a 10-year emissions inspection exemption for vehicles never before registered in Pennsylvania or any other jurisdiction was approved by the Senate. The bill now moves to the House Transportation Committee. Current law only exempts new vehicles that have less than 5,000 miles on their odometer for one year after their first registration.
A 60-year old man in Northampton, MA, was hospitalized in critical condition after being hit by a vehicle in early November and is also the subject of a police investigation into a possible burglary at an outbuilding at Wayside Auto Body just prior to the accident.
Police say Paul Gillis was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident and is possibly connected to the break-in that was reported just minutes before the accident.
When Hurricane Sandy struck the Caribbean and Eastern United States in late October, she left behind $52.4 billion in damage and a couple of hundred fatalities. Sandy touched land in Atlantic City, NJ, and wrought havoc on the Jersey shoreline and throughout New York City, causing severe flooding and a loss of electricity. With such a vast amount of damage, collision shops in the area affected have taken a huge hit.
Ed Kizenberger, Executive Director of LIABRA (Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association), notes that Hurricane Sandy was “one of the most catastrophic, weather-related events that the collision industry has had to endure.” He notes that many shops in the NYC area are still closed, due not only to flooding and a lack of electricity, but also because of the damage sustained to equipment, computers, etc. The largest challenge that owners currently face is the fact that many live near their shops, so they are working on restorations for both their businesses and their homes.
Carsmetics’ new 9,600-square-foot collision repair facility in Attleboro, MA, is the company’s third location in New England. Carsmetics Expert Accident Repair is a chain of collision repair shops based in Tampa, FL.
The shop will focus on fast-track repairs—drivable damage on vehicle panels, bumpers, fenders, hoods and wheels that can be repaired within a two-day cycle time.
"If you can drive it, we can fix it,” said Ed Cleary, general manager of Carsmetics. “We focus on repairing rather than replacing parts when possible to keep the original part intact and return it to like-new condition. This is done at a fraction of replacement costs, saving time and money."
Carsmetics now operates more than 25 shop locations throughout Florida, California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.