Southwestern News

1HomePageMap small sw 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Arizona, Utah, Arkansas, ColoradoTexas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana

Auto Body World Collision Centers, with locations throughout the metro Phoenix and Casa Grande, Arizona markets, announced plans to open its ninth location in Phoenix, Arizona in June. Auto Body World has been acquired by Texas-based Service King in a deal to be finalized this summer.

A Corpus Christi body shop owner is picking up the pieces after his shop went up in flames in the early morning of May 9. See video.

"And for me, I say, 'why, does it happen?' This, because I'm a good guy, I do favor to anybody and why does this happen to me," says Luis Baiza, owner of Baiza Paint and Body.

Around 2:30 AM in the morning, the Corpus Christi Fire Department was dispatched out to Baiza's paint and body at 601 Brownlee.

Crews arrived to find heavy smoke and flames spewing from the business.  The shop restores old cars and the owner, who doesn't have insurance, estimates the damage to be about $75,000.

Fire investigators believe the blaze was the work of an arsonist.

"A friend of mine says he saw someone running from the shop.  Pero, we don't know who it is.  I want to know who it was," says Baiza.

It took about an hour to get the blaze under control.  No one was injured, and firefighters were able to save a dog that lives in the shop.

If you have any information on who may have started this fire, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS (8477).

Caliber Collision Centers’ Woodlands, Texas, location recently donated a refurbished 2004 Volkswagen Jetta to a local military veteran through the National Auto Body Council’s (NABC) 2012 Recycled Rides program.

Michael Ryan Lease received the keys and title to his refurbished vehicle May 2 during a special ceremony to thank and honor him for his service in the military. Caliber said Lease was nominated to receive the Recycled Rides vehicle by ReserveAid, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to military families.

Insurers are finding out the recent severe weather in Texas took a heavy toll on vehicles. The tornadoes that ripped through Arlington, Lancaster and other parts of North Texas on April 3 left behind a load of business for roofers, body shops and tree services, according to Chad Hemenway, writing in Property Casualty360.com.

BodyShopBids, a Web-based bidding mechanism that allows consumers to solicit repair estimates from local body shops, announced that it will help cover repair costs for vehicles that were damaged during recent tornados in the Dallas metro area. BodyShopBids said it will pay for 25 percent of out-of-pocket repair costs on consumer vehicles that were damaged in the storms throughout the month of April.

Chicago-based BodyShopBids provides a Web and mobile platform to connect consumers who need auto body repairs with body shops through an online bidding system. Users are able to upload photos of their damaged vehicles and receive custom quotes from local body shops for free.

“For those Dallas-Fort Worth residents who suffered damage to their vehicle, we're hoping to alleviate at least some of the stress by providing a simple solution to get their cars back into shape and defray some of the costs," said Brad Weisberg, founder and CEO of BodyShopBids.

For more information, visit bodyshopbids.com.