Southeastern News

1HomePageMap small se 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia

New jobs related to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi are growing steadily in number and impact in Northeast Mississippi, even though production of the best-selling Corolla sedans won't start until about this time in 2011 at the TMMMS assembly plant near Blue Springs in Union County, according to reports made by the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

TMMMS officials announced that all major internal construction work at the Wellspring site campus has been completed, and that new hires every week (including contract construction of a railroad marshaling yard and other external elements) are building steadily toward a 1,400-1,500 employee pre-production work force on site by March 2011. That will make Toyota and related enterprises one of the largest employers in north Mississippi before the first car is produced.

The Certified Automotive Parts Association October 19 released an in-depth analysis of the facts surrounding a demonstration shown in a July televised report by Fox 5 News in Atlanta that appeared to show that a CAPA-Certified aftermarket radiator support was substantially inferior in strength and quality to its BMW-made counterpart.

The purported comparison by Performance Auto Collision of Alpharetta, Georgia and the FOX 5 News “I-Team” of the “bend-ability,” and thus strength, of a BMW brand radiator support with an aftermarket counterpart was invalid because the two supports were, in fact, completely different parts made to fit on different models of BMW 3-Series vehicles. Specifically, the CAPA investigation found:

1) The demonstration compared two items that were actually completely separate and distinct parts.
a. The BMW-made part shown in the FOX 5 report was an upper tie bar radiator support (BMW#51717114123) manufactured specifically by BMW to be installed in its 3-Series Convertible.

November's nationwide Midterm Elections had a lot of states changing their Insurance Commissioner and Attorney General posts, possibly affecting legislation pertaining to insurers and the collision repair industry. Here are the results by state:

Georgia Insurance Commissioner:
Ralph Hudgens (R)
Mary Squires (D)
Shane Bruce (Libertarian)

Alabama Attorney General:
Luther Strange (R)
James Anderson (D)

Florida Attorney General:
Pam Bondi (R)
Dan Gelber (D)
Jim Lewis

In October a contributor sent a check for $2,500.00 to the recently founded Collision Industry Legal Fund. The Collision Industry Fund was recently established to provide financial assistance to Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, Florida who has been involved in a long-lawsuit against State Farm Insurance over issues of Slander and Tortious interference, as well as State Farm’s wrongful failure to pay for certain repair procedures.

Gunder’s lawsuit against the auto Insurer stems from derogatory comments and wrongful activities on the part of State Farm representatives. The statements and actions are believed to have been made with the intent to harm the collision shop’s business and long- standing reputation within their community.

Thursday, 21 October 2010 16:11

14th Annual GCIA Golf Invitational a Success

The Georgia Collision Industry Association held its 14th annual GCIA Invitational Golf Tournament at the Golf Club at Bradshaw Farms in Woodstock, Georgia on October 13th.

The event was quite a success, filling to capacity as it has for many years in the past according to Howard Batchelor, Tournament Coordinator. Registration started at 11:30 am with lunch at noon and Tee Off at 1:00 pm.

Safelite AutoGlass® celebrated the official opening of its newest vehicle glass distribution center. The 357,000 sq. ft. facility in Braselton, Ga., will process 3 million units of glass in 2011. Safelite AutoGlass® will have a significant impact on the town of just over 2,000, bringing 77 immediate jobs to the area, with an eventual 120 person workforce anticipated.

"Being able to provide employment opportunities for the residents of the Braselton area and aid in the overall economic health of the Jackson County area is something we’re very excited about,” said Tom Feeney, president and CEO of Safelite®.