Thursday, 27 January 2011 18:23

East Bay CAA Chapter Hears From GM Collision/Powertrain and BECCA®

The theme was education and information, offered by GM and BECCA, a company that markets paint spray gun cleaning systems designed for automotive and industrial applications. Reps from both companies were the co-keynote speakers at a meeting held by the CAA East Bay Chapter in January, held at Scott’s Seafood restaurant in Walnut Creek, Calif.

First, GM Collision/Powertrain Wholesale Specialist Jeffrey James outlined the carmaker’s parts buying incentive programs for the body shops in attendance and stressed the corporation’s desire to get more of its OE parts into their repairs.

James discussed the three major programs offered by GM, including Bump the Competition, in which shops can submit estimates on aftermarket parts, so that GM can match or beat aftermarket prices where possible. Fast Cash Rebates incentives and the GM Outlet Shop, where body shops can purchase salvaged and/or production overrun parts at highly discounted prices.

“We want to keep our hand in the pot when it comes to OE vs. aftermarket or salvaged/remanufactured parts,” James said. “OEM parts fit better and the quality is superior, and from my experience, body shops and insurance companies want original parts in their repairs.”

These three programs are devised by GM to take the price issue out of the equation, James said, so that more shops can include them in their estimates without hesitation.

“These programs are tailored for shops that want to capture some of these savings, through rebates, reduced prices and price matching strategies.”

Bill Shepherd with BECCA’s West Coast Service Center discussed the importance for shops to keep their spray guns clean, in order to produce a better and cleaner paint job.

Shepherd visits a wide range of body shops weekly, and many of them are still not cleaning their guns properly, he explained. In the end, it means having to re-do jobs or producing low-quality paint jobs, Shepherd said.

“Ninety percent of the problems associated with poor paint jobs revolve around the simple fact that shops don’t properly clean their guns,” he said. “People say that the guns can’t corrode, because they’re made of steel, but the body is aluminum, and they can corrode over time.”

Waterborne paint has a distinct personality and if guns are cleaned improperly, the end result can be a “cottage cheese” like substance clogging your guns and leading to issues with the finished product, such as mottling and tiger stripes, to name a few, Shepherd said.

One useful tip offered by Shepherd is to run air through the gun while cleaning it, he said. “Air is the key to a clean gun. It takes only 5-10 minutes to disassemble and clean a gun, but techs don’t always feel like they have the time to do it.”

At the conclusion of the meeting, CAA East Bay Chapter President Lisa Daves talked about several upcoming events sponsored by the chapter. Several government agencies (including the EDD and EEOC) will be addressing the chapter at their March meeting and on June 4th, they’ll be holding their annual golf tournament for its 25th straight year.