Retro News: January 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009

Retro News: January 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009

ASA Position, CAPA, CIC

20 years ago in the collision repair industry (January 1994)

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) Collision Division has developed a position paper to reiterate the fundamental rights of the collision repair facility when purchasing parts and materials.

ASA’s position is that the collision repair facility retains  the right to select and purchase parts and materials from the supplier of its choice without restrictions, limitations or control by other parties.

The position was developed to help preserve and protect the rights of collision repair facilities as the industry phases in electronic date interchange, enhanced automation and electronic parts sourcing. These technology advances will benefit the industry. However, depending on how they are implemented, they could jeopardize the amount of control the collision repair facility has in the parts, materials and vendor selection process.

—From an ASA press release.

15 years ago in the collision repair industry (January 1999)

Non-OEM fenders received equal or higher ratings than their OEM counterparts in the latest parts demonstration held at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC).

“This is a very good day for CAPA,” Jack Gillis of the Certified Aftermarket Parts Association (CAPA) said, noting the difference in the outcome of the latest demonstration compared to one held last fall, which he had termed, “Not one of our better days.”

Over the course of the meeting in Palm Springs, CA, two right fenders, one made by Ford and one made by non-OEM parts manufacturer Tong Yang, were installed on a 1996 Ford minivan. Nine out of 10 CIC participants, without know which part was which, gave a “thumbs up” to both parts; both were given almost identical ratings in terms of fit, finish and “salability.”

Similarly, two left fenders were hung on the vehicle during the meeting, and while neither part received high marks, the non-OEM fender made by Jui Li outshone the Ford fender, particularly in terms of fit. When asked, Could you sell it to your customer? 63 percent of CIC participants answered “yes” about the non-OEM part; less than half said they could sell the Ford replacement part.

The demonstration, the third conducted at CIC recently, was the first “blind” test and the first to compare OEM replacement parts and non-OEM parts. All of the parts’ packaging and labels were removed or concealed from both the installing technician at a Palm Springs shop, and from the CIC participants rating the parts on a scale of 1 to 5.

California shop owner Kelly Roe, who organized the demonstration, said she purposely chose to replace non-adjacent panels rather than a hood and fender as in past demonstrations.

“People in the past were saying the hood doesn’t fit because the fender is wrong, or the fender doesn’t fit because there’s a problem with the hood,” Roe said. “We were trying to get away from that sort of argument. We also were trying to do a blind test so we could get away from some of the perceptions created by people knowing what the parts were.”

—As reported in Autobody News. CIC continued to conduct these parts demonstrations at several more of its meetings, with OEM parts generally outscoring non-OEM parts when judged by CIC participants.

10 years ago in the collision repair industry (January 2004)

The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) halted its plans for an independent audit of the effectiveness of programs that purport to certify the quality of non-OEM parts.

At two CIC meetings in 2003, the CIC Parts and Airbags Committee described its plans to ask such organizations as the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA), the Manufacturer’s Qualification and Validation Program (MQVP) and parts distributor Keystone Automotive – each of which certifies or brands certain non-OEM parts as superior – to fund and participate in an independent audit by a qualified third-party.

But participants at CIC in Palm Springs voted 40-6 (with at least an equal number not voting) to scrap the plan just days before it was set to launch.

“There are several non-OEM parts entities in our industry that are telling us that they provide a superior part for ‘x’ reasons,” said Rod Enlow, co-chairman of the CIC Parts Committee, saying there is confusion about which programs’ parts are actually comparable to OEM.

But opponents to the plan said the resulting report could be perceived as a CIC endorsement or indictment of one or more of the programs.

“There’s no reason that CAPA, MQVP, Keystone or whoever wants to participate can’t do exactly what you’re saying [without CIC’s involvement],” Rick Sherwood, owner of the Detroit-based consulting firm OEM Collision Repair Resources, said at CIC in Palm Springs. “My concern is CIC is going to be in the position at the end of the audit of having MQVP, CAPA and Keystone or whoever participates saying, ‘The CIC audit process proved we deliver quality parts...’ CIC is not in a position to have that happen.”

For his part, Enlow said he hopes the committee’s efforts will result in an audit even without CIC’s involvement.

“If not, it’s going to put to us right back to square one, where you read the rhetoric, you go to the websites, you make your decision on who makes good parts and you use them,” he said.

– As reported in CRASH Network (, January 18, 2004. No such audit ever took place. The MQVP certification program no longer exists, but a new certification program operated by NSF International, was launched in 2010.

5 years ago in the collision repair industry (January 2009)

In the same week in January the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) was held in Scottsdale, AZ, State Farm distributed a new Select Service agreement to participating shops nationwide, and the company’s George Avery spent several minutes at CIC to discuss the new agreement.

He described the changes as primarily “minor” or “editorial,” and that unlike the transition from State Farm’s “Service First” to “Select Service” program, the change in the agreement was not coinciding with a reduction in the number of shops participating in the program.

Wording in the agreement has been changed, he said, to give shops the option of conducting a more thorough tear-down of a vehicle before uploading an initial estimate (provided adequate photos are taken in advance).

The indemnification section of the agreement had been “too one-sided,” Avery said, and it has been changed to say that both the shop and State Farm will each “hold the other party fully harmless against any lost, damages, claims or expenses” sustained as a result of negligent or intentional acts or omissions of the other.

Several changes that Avery did not discuss at CIC revolve around parts and pricing. The term “prevailing competitive price” no longer appears in the document, a change Avery later said the insurer made because it felt that was term that might not be clear to some repairers. Instead, the agreement only references “pricing identified through State Farm’s survey process.”

As in the previous agreement, State Farm says it may enter into agreements with manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of automotive parts. The new agreement states that “any part pricing agreements negotiated by State Farm are in addition to the price offered” by the shop and that “State Farm shall receive the benefit of both” the shop’s offered pricing and “the price or discount negotiated through any part pricing agreements” with manufacturers or suppliers.

—As reported in Autobody News.

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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