Retro News: June 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011

Retro News: June 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011

Topics covered include Northern NACE, Dan Risley's 2001 hire by SCRS, the collapse of M2 and the effect of insurance advertising.

20 years ago in the collision repair industry (June 1996)

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is calling its first but controversial Northern Autobody Congress and Exposition a success. The event, dubbed “NACE Jr.” in the industry trade press, was held in Chicago and drew about 6,380 attendees – a respectable-sized showing, although fewer than the 8,000 attendees organizers had predicted.

Like the annual ASA-sponsored International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE), the Northern Autobody show combined technical and management training sessions, motivational speakers and social events with a large trade show. The new show was designed to attract those in the north central region of the country who may be less likely to travel to the southern locations at which NACE is held.

While many of the speakers and classes during the show had low attendance, nearly all the shop owners interviewed at the event had positive comments about the 522-booth trade show itself.

ASA sources say dates and plans for a 1997 Northern Autobody show have not been finalized.

– As reported in Autobody News. The Chicago show was controversial for ASA because some vendors didn’t like the idea of having two major trade shows a year, and because even some ASA state associations felt left out of the decision to hold the event, which some of the groups felt could impinge on their own regional trade shows. While the number of trade show exhibitors and the announced attendance at the event were larger than NACE itself is is today, it paled in comparison to the size of NACE in those days, and that combined with negative feedback from some vendors and state affiliate groups led ASA to shelve the idea of “Northern NACE.”

15 years ago in the collision repair industry (June 2001)

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists has hired Dan Risley of Oak Lawn, Ill., as its new executive direct.

“After an exhaustive, national search, the board of directors has chosen Dan Risley,” SCRS Chairman Don Keenan said. “The sheer volume and caliber of the applicants necessitated the almost 2-year search for the right person. The board and I believe we have found the right person to continue the legacy of SCRS as the leading collision repairers’ association.”

“It is an opportunity that I longed for,” Risley said. “I am very passionate about the industry, and look to build upon that which John Loftus dedicated 18 years.”

– As reported in Autobody News. Risley worked for SCRS until 2008, when he left to accept a position with Allstate Insurance, saying that decision was not an easy one but “would be best for him and his family.” Five years later, he was back representing the industry, becoming executive director of the Automotive Service Association in 2013.

10 years ago in the collision repair industry (June 2006)

“I think the insurance companies at this point are realizing there’s some real ills to having all their eggs in one basket,” March said. “They don’t want to be in that position again. So I think at least for now they are looking at any larger players real skeptically and making sure they have some back-up positions.”

– California shop owner Dave March, speaking about a year after he took back over the 50,000-square-foot shop he had previously sold to M2, an MSO that collapsed suddenly in the spring of 2005, locking the doors of its 27 shops and leaving a trail of creditors, vehicle-owners and insurers hanging. March continues to own and operate his shop. He’s also developed multiple models of the Watercar, billed as the world’s fastest amphibious vehicle (

5 years ago in the collision repair industry (June 2011)

One reason motorists shopped and switched auto insurers more aggressively in 2010 may be that auto insurance advertising soared 22.6 percent to a record-high $5 billion last year, according to analysis by Dowling and Partners Securities. That reversed a 4.2 percent decline in advertising in 2009.

Prior to 2009, the industry had increased advertising spending for seven straight years. In the past decade, insurance industry advertising – the vast majority of which focuses on auto insurance – has grown 211 percent from $1.6 billion in 2001.
The biggest jump in advertising last year was by Farmers Insurance, which spent $505 million, up 125 percent from the previous year.

– As reported in CRASH Network (, June 6, 2011. The growth in insurer advertising didn’t end in 2011; it reached a record-high of $6.4 billion in 2014, up 28 percent from the 2010 total.

John Yoswick

John Yoswick is a freelance writer and Autobody News columnist who has been covering the collision industry since 1988, and the editor of the CRASH Network... Read More

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