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Northeastern News

1HomePageMap small ne 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine

In a letter to State Farm CEO Edward Rust Jr., Don Harvey, of International Collision Service in Englewood, NJ, questions why State Farm does not acknowledge cost accounting programs and practices in setting paint allowance rates. Harvey has previously contacted senior State Farm management to no avail. His letter follows:

The New York State Auto Collision Technicians Association, (NYSACTA) announced February 2 it is alerting its members and the general public to the potential safety risks with the use of aftermarket crash parts, and is calling on all insurers in NY who specify the use of un-tested, unqualified, NON-OEM compliant crash parts to take corrective action immediately.

NYSACTA President, Mike Orso said, “I would think safety would be the most important element of any collision repair. Some insurers by their actions are putting their claimant or insured’s family in a vehicle that the [insurer] specified a repair with untested, at risk parts to save money. No one should be re-engineering a car after a wreck as it puts the consumer in damage as well as all highway users at risk. It creates un-due legal liability on the repair shop.” Orso went on to say,  “the rules are: Repair or Replace the vehicle after a crash. Meaning; return the vehicle to pre-loss condition. One issue here is that; there is no recall system in place to warn consumers that their vehicle may be unsafe to drive or that their families safety is in unknown, unpredictable peril should a repaired car be involved in a another crash. Consumers should call their repair shop or check their collision invoice to identify what parts that may have been installed that are aftermarket. NY State Law requires shops to note the status of parts used in the repair, i.e. New, OEM, Used, Aftermarket, Reconditioned or Repaired.”

In preparation for the AASP/NJ's 35th annual NORTHEAST Automotive Services show, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) held their first-ever NORTHEAST exhibitor boot camp on January 12. The AASP/NJ hoped that this would help exhibitors be more successful at this year's show. The three-hour seminar was held by Susan Friedmann, the "Trade Show Coach." Friedmann is an author and expert in training exhibitors on how to improve and get the most out of their trade show experiences.

“We really didn’t know what to expect when we first found Susan,” said AASP/NJ President Jeff McDowell. “Her qualifications were outstanding so we didn’t doubt what she would bring to the table. We just weren’t sure how our exhibitors would respond.”

The AASP/NJ took surveys following the seminar; the outcome of these surveys encouraged them to continue to hold the bootcamp annually.
“Boot Camp was very informative,” one attendee replied. “It had lots of good information and addressed a lot of mistakes that everyone takes for granted.” Another added, “It covered all aspects of booth presentation at the show. Very comprehensive and well paced. I would recommend this boot camp to colleagues if they want to benefit their company as part of any trade show.”

NORTHEAST™ 2012 takes place March 9, 10 and 11, 2012 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center of Secaucus, NJ. For more information on the show and AASP/NJ, please visit www.aaspnjnortheast.com.

Banking and Insurance Department Commissioner Tom Considine left his post effective Feb. 10, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced on January 30.

Considine plans to return to work in the private sector, according to Insurance Journal. He will become the new chief operating officer of MagnaCare in March, after leaving the NJ Banking and Insurance Department. MagnaCare is a health plan management company. At a news conference in Trenton, NJ, Gov. Christie also nominated Ken Kobylowski to succeed Commissioner Considine. Kobylowski has served as chief of staff to Considine since 2010, and acting director of banking since last October.

Considine served as a vice president with MetLife legal affairs for 17 years prior to serving as NJ commissioner. Considine also previously served as a litigation associate at Connell, Foley and Geiser, a New Jersey law firm.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 22:19

NY Dealers Add $25B to Economy, Report Says

Dealers’ success this year seems to be spurring economic recovery along, at least in the Empire State. According to the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, franchised dealers in the New York metro area sold 403,000 new and used cars.

And as a result, their businesses injected $24.9 billion into the economy, while also providing nearly 56,000 Americans with jobs. Not a surprising number, when the study also showed that the average dealership employs 79 people.

These very same dealers also generated $1.71 billion in tax revenue to state and local governments last year

Commenting on these numbers, Mark Schienberg, president of GNYADA, said, “Our area’s auto dealers are an enormously important part of the local and state economy because of the revenue they generate and the jobs they produce.

“Directly and indirectly, greater New York’s franchised auto dealers provide nearly 56,000 jobs to area residents and are a key part of the region’s economic growth and development,” he added.

Moreover, the average dealership paid more than $4.1 million in payroll expenses. Besides providing jobs and selling cars, dealerships also pump money into the economy through advertising.

“An average dealer employs 79 people of which more than a third are in high paying jobs in the service department. Dealers also purchase more advertising than any other sector, providing a lifeline to many local broadcast, print and online media companies. Last year, area dealership advertising totaled $385 million,” said Schienberg.

The local economy also received another $253.6 million during the New York International Automobile Show. And nearly $24 million of this pot was formed by city-wide special events and public relations activities by OEMs, the organization noted.

“It {the report} includes a review of direct and indirect employment, personal income, tax collections generated by area automobile dealers and a review of dealership financial statistics and operations,” they continued.

Headquartered in Whitestone, N.Y., the GNYADA represents nearly 600 franchised automobile dealerships in the metro area of New York.

Federated member Hovis Auto & Truck Supply has opened its new Hovis Technical Training Center located at 1000 Champion Drive, Mercer, PA.

The 10,000 square-foot hands-on training facility is equipped with the most advanced tools and equipment and is dedicated to instructing professional service technicians about time-saving and problem-solving techniques. The center offers a fully equipped body shop with mixing rooms, prep deck and oversized paint booth, a 14-foot overhead door for heavy duty truck access as well as four-post and two-post lifts, a wirelessalignment machine, tire changer, balancer and diagnostic labs.

“The Hovis Technical Training Center is committed to educating automotive, paint and heavy duty truck technicians in a state-of-the-art facility, close to home, reducing shop downtime and travel expenses,” says Curt Hovis, vice president of Hovis Auto & Truck Supply. “We recognize the critical need to provide technicians with comprehensive instruction, technical materials and educational programs, and we understand they don’t want to travel across the country to get it. That is why we are bringing leaders in the industry to western Pennsylvania.”