Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia
Motor vehicle registration procedures will change when the new immigration law signed by Gov. Robert Bentley goes into effect Sept. 1, according to The Clanton Advertiser. According to an Aug. 26 press release, Act 2011-535 of the Alabama Legislature, also known as the Immigration Act, will require everyone to show proof of U.S. citizenship for every business transaction made through the Alabama Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division and County Licensing Offices.
“Business transactions” include applying for or renewing a license plate, a driver’s license, a non-driver identification card or a certificate of title.
“It’s really going to change the way we do everything in our office,” said Tim Little, Chilton County tax collector. “Just be patient with us. We’re going to suffer along with the public until we can get the wrinkles ironed out.”
Beginning Sept. 1, any person applying for or renewing a license plate, driver’s license, non-driver identification card or certificate of title must come into the Motor Vehicle Registration Office and present documents proving U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S.
“You will have to go in and show the proper I.D.,” Little said. “No more online renewals. It’s going to be bad.”
Examples of acceptable documents for U.S. citizenship, original or photocopied clearly, include:
● A valid, unexpired driver’s license or non-driver identification card issued by the Alabama Department of Public Safety.
● A U.S. birth certificate.
● A valid or expired passport with I.D. and passport number.
● Naturalization documents or the certificate of naturalization number.
According to the press release, applicants trying to prove lawful presence must present one document for verification each year, such as a valid, unexpired Alabama driver’s license, a valid, unexpired non-driver identification card or a valid tribal enrollment card.
Safelite AutoGlass on August 30 announced the company will relocate its SuperCenter warehouse in Tampa, Fla. to a larger facility in northern Tampa. The move is scheduled for Sept. 15.
The new 33,000 square foot facility will house an inventory of 10,000 parts. The SuperCenter also has a service shop with four service bays. The company plans to hire more service representatives, dispatchers, seasonal repair specialists and technicians, according to Safelite. The existing store will continue to serve the South area of Tampa.
“Safelite AutoGlass is committed to serving customers in the Tampa area, and this larger SuperCenter will allow us to have more inventory on hand to service customers,” said Amiee Nickerauer, Safelite’s local general manager. “Keeping people safe while they are in their vehicles is a key component to Safelite’s approach to the business. Vehicle glass is an important element of a car’s structural integrity, and we are happy to perform inspections to identify any risky chips or provide a quote on glass damage.”
Seung Chang Airtech, Inc. (SCA) is announcing the completion of a 95,000 plus square-foot expansion to its manufacturing operation in Auburn Technology Park North in Alabama, according to WLTZ News Columbus.
The 214,800 square-foot large manufacturing facility will help the company respond to the growing demand for its products.
“Our decision to expand our production is the result of additional business and increased demand from our clients KMMG in West Point, Georgia, and HMMA in Montgomery, Alabama. Our Auburn manufacturing facility strategically places us in a position to grow our company, and provide additional jobs in the community,” said Dr. Daniel Yu, CEO of SCA.
SCA is also announcing another major project coming to Auburn. SCA has already began occupying a 20,000 square-foot facility in the Auburn Industrial Park where it will produce vibration and noise dampening materials used in the automotive, industrial, and construction industries.
With these two projects SCA will have invested $16.8 million and will have created approximately 200 additional jobs in Auburn.
“We are excited about the announcement by SCA,” Mayor Bill Ham said. “SCA became a corporate citizen to Auburn in 2004, creating 40 jobs. In the near future, the company will employ 400 workers. I want to congratulate the leadership of the company and its employees for this achievement,” Ham added.
The Auburn automotive parts manufacturer serves the automotive industry with black plastic injection molding parts and the assembly of heater and blower modules.
Nalley Toyota of Roswell, Georgia, is pleased to announce that it has won the prestigious President’s Award for the first time. The award is given annually by Toyota Motor Sales and is awarded to select dealers for their commitment to maintaining Toyota's high standards for customer satisfaction.
The President’s Award recognizes those dealerships that provide customers with an excellent experience for the entire lifetime of their vehicle. In order to qualify as a President's Award winner, dealerships must excel in each of a series of categories. Dealerships which meet the requirements in all categories receive name badge recognition at all dealer events, national recognition in an Automotive News advertisement and, of course, the beautiful President's Award Tiffany crystal trophy.
Nalley Toyota of Roswell, which sells new and pre-owned vehicles to the Atlanta Metro area, was selected for the award based on excellence in a number of categories, including Customer Sales Satisfaction and Customer Service Satisfaction.
Nalley Toyota was selected for a President’s Award due to its commitment to both selling cars of the highest quality and providing the best customer service in the Atlanta region for as long as the customer owns the vehicle.
Nalley Toyota of Roswell is part of the Nalley Automotive Group, which has been a presence in Atlanta since 1918. Visit toyotaofroswell.com for more information.
Nalley Toyota of Roswell
11505 Alpharetta Highway
Roswell, GA 30076
Copart, Inc., a live online vehicle auction, announced August 30 the opening of its new South Atlanta facility in Ellenwood, Georgia. This latest addition to Copart's footprint marks the company's fifth facility in Georgia and the 154th facility world-wide.
Copart President Vincent W. Mitz said the 77-acre site will improve Copart's service in the greater Atlanta Metropolitan area.
"Atlanta is a major market, and our new South Atlanta facility in Ellenwood provides additional capacity to more efficiently cover the region as demand for our services grows," said Mitz.
Copart, founded in 1982, provides vehicle sellers with a full range of remarketing services to process and sell salvage and clean title vehicles to dealers, dismantlers, rebuilders, exporters and, in some states, to end users. Copart sells vehicles on behalf of insurance companies, banks, finance companies, fleet operators, dealers, car dealerships and others as well as cars sourced from the general public. The company currently operates 154 facilities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information, or to become a member, visit www.copart.com.
ABRA Auto Body & Glass, a Minnesota-based damaged vehicle repair company, announced July 13 the opening of a new repair center in Olive Branch, Mississippi. The facility, located at 7532 Craft-Goodman Frontage Road, will increase the total number of ABRA repair centers to 107 in 12 states.
Tim Adelmann, ABRA’s Executive Vice President of Business Development says, “ABRA built this repair center to meet the growing needs of vehicle owners and our insurance partners in the community of Olive Branch. ABRA’s long-term plan is to make it convenient for consumers to find a state-of-the-art ABRA repair center no matter where they happen to live or work.”
The repair center will eventually staff more than 20 new employees and is equipped with all the latest technology to maintain high standards and assure top quality repairs.
The repair center is one of ABRA’s newest prototype models consisting of more than 13,000 square feet and offers collision repair along with glass repair and replacement services with free mobile service to home or work.
Continuing its expansion, America’s Car-Mart broadened its buy-here, pay-here dealership footprint in Alabama. The newest rooftop is located in Albertville, AL, raising Car-Mart’s total in the state to nine.
Car-Mart now has 108 dealerships spread through Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
“Car-Mart has tremendous growth opportunities especially in states like Alabama. Albertville is our ninth location in Alabama, a state that has potential much like our home state of Arkansas, where we have 37 dealerships,” explained William “Hank” Henderson, president and chief executive officer of Car-Mart.
Henderson added the Albertville dealership will be managed by Brad Martin, “who is very excited to lead our efforts at this great new Car-Mart location.”
Elaborating more on the company’s future, chief financial officer Jeff Williams reiterated Car-Mart anticipates opening new lots at an approximate 10-percent annual rate.
The Florida Auto Collision Alliance (FACA) held its first-ever statewide convention and industry exposition May 19 to 21 at the Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando, FL.
Vendors, technicians, managers and owners of repair centers across the state came together to examine best practices, new products,and efficient alternatives to conventional shop-management and supplychain systems.
The Florida Collision Repair Summit was held in conjunction with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)’s Improving Workshop Efficiency seminar. The co-sponsored program focused on the implementation of “lean” production practices designed to eliminate wasteful processes in body shop management.
The event drew in approximately 30 attendees in the classes, and 26 vendors set-up on the expo floor for the weekend, according to Cathy Mills, FACA’s executive director.
“The Summit was an excellent opportunity to network with peers, learn new skills, share expertise, and explore emerging products and services in the collision repair industry,” said Mills.
The Collision Repair Education Foundation will be presenting Lake Technical Center of Eustis, FL with a “Mini-Makeover” during the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) Thursday, October 6th in Orlando, FL.
Lake Technical Center was the only school in Florida that applied for the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s 2010 $50,000 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant. Due to the school’s proximity to NACE in Orlando, the Education Foundation has been gathering industry supporters/donors to fulfill portions of the school’s $50,000 wish list that they provided as part of the grant application. School instructors, administration and their collision students will be on hand during a presentation at NACE to showcase how the Mini-Makeover donors have benefited the school’s collision program.
The presentation will take place from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. in the ASRW Media Center located inside the Orange County Convention Center’s West Building.
Scott Kruger, Executive Director of the Collision Repair Education Foundation, said, “Lake Technical Center was one of 52 schools nationwide that applied for the Foundation’s 2010 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant and the only school in the state of Florida to apply. As industry professionals from across the country will be gathering in Orlando for NACE this fall, we thought it would be a great opportunity to not only highlight the Makeover grant program, but also help this local school through the support of our donors and supporters. We invite industry professionals attending NACE and ASRW to attend the presentation to hear how Lake Technical Center’s collision program has benefited through the support of industry donations and to learn how to get involved with helping schools in your local area.”
Drivers in Florida and Georgia will be able to start ordering the new Nissan Leaf electric car on July 25— but only if they were among the 20,000 who made $99 deposits during a fall online reservation period, according to reports made by the Florida Times-Union.
Nissan has sold 4,000 of the all-electric sedans since February in its first market phase in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington State.
Now the ordering process opens to consumers with reservations in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina and Alabama.
The Leaf is an all-electric car with 48 lithium-ion battery modules, giving it an estimated 100-mile range.