This article originally appeared in the August 2005 Issue of INSIGHT
©2005 Collision Repair Industry INSIGHT All Rights Reserved
Automotive Service Association (ASA) leaders met recently with the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials in Washington, D.C.
The ASA delegates discussed the usage of used and salvage airbags and the issue of airbag covers with NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigations (ODI).
ODI officials announced that so far there has been no evidence to determine a trend in salvage or used airbags and they have no way of determining the number of airbags in a crash that are used or salvaged.
ODI officials recommended that independent repairers should contact the agency when they observe occurrences of used or salvage airbags being used in vehicle repair. They also suggested that repairers contact them when they observe trends in repairing the same vehicle model with the same repair concerns.
ODI can be reached at www.odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/recallsearch.cfm.
ASA officials in attendance included Ron Pyle, president and chief staff executive; Charlie Elder, AAM, Ray Gordon Brake Service, Tallahassee, Fla., ASA chairman-elect and chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC); Ron Nagy, AAM, affiliate director and GAC member, Nagy's Body & Frame Shop, Doylestown, Ohio; GAC members Eddie Ehlert, Mazdonly Ltd., Chamblee, Ga.; Bob Wills, Wills Auto Service, Battle Creek, Mich.; Mike West, Southtowne Auto Rebuild, Tukwila, Wash.; and Bob Redding, ASA's Washington, D.C., representative.
"The agency was open to ASA's concerns on used airbags and airbag covers and agreed to look at the matters further. We are pleased to have opened the door to communication on these important issues with NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation," said Redding.
"ODI also believes that independent repairers can serve as the first line of defense when problems arise in vehicles and is interested in independent repairers' input relative to trends in specific repair issues," added Redding.
The General Accounting Office, in an investigative report requested by the U.S. Congress, stated in January 2001:
"NHTSA has more limited authority to regulate the use of recycled airbags. NHTSA could elect to develop safety standards for occupant restraint systems under the used vehicle provisions of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. These standards could apply to systems containing recycled airbags, but the standards would apply to the restraint system as a whole and not to its individual components."o
TYC, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of aftermarket lighting, has joined CAPA as a Full Participant as of Friday, July 15th.
TYC is the first aftermarket lighting manufacturer to join the program after voluntarily participating in a pre-program opportunity CAPA offered to lighting manufacturers in January of this year. This process enabled manufacturers to observe all aspects of the testing, prior to joining the CAPA Program.
“Clearly, the decision by TYC to subject its parts to CAPA's comprehensive certification re-quirements exhibits great confidence in quality,” said Jack Gillis, Executive Director of the non-profit association. “Quality sells and TYC’s commitment to CAPA certification is an indication that true customer satisfaction is at the top of their list.”
TYC is an ISO/TS/QS/Q1 certified automotive lighting manufacturer, with nearly two decades of experience in automobile lighting design and manufacture for aftermarket and original equipment.
“We’re committed to continual improvement of our business processes to satisfy our customer’s expectations”, said Drue Hsia, President of Genera Corporation and TYC Global Group. “We are confident that CAPA effectively captured and incorporated the voices and needs of both direct and independent repairers in the CAPA 301 lighting program. We felt the urgency from the industry and are committed to meeting their needs.”
“Dramatically increasing automaker lighting prices combined with concerns about the quality of some aftermarket brand lighting products has created a strong demand for a fairly priced, high quality alternative,” said Bob Anderson, of Anderson’s Automotive Services and CAPA Board President.
“Lighting manufacturers who choose to comply with CAPA’s standards will be making a significant contribution to overall vehicle reparability,” said Don Feeley of City Body and Frame and Chairman of CAPA’s Technical Committee.
Included in the standard are the specifications for dimensional checks (form and fit), appearance, composition, coating performance, mechanical properties, adhesives, fasteners, hardware, photometric performance, electrical performance, aiming performance and compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 as implemented by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Lighting products covered by the standard include headlights, taillights, turn signals, brake signals, reflectors, and high-mounted brake lights.
“Our goal has always been to ensure that all CAPA certified parts work for the collision repairer,” said CAPA Executive Director, Jack Gillis. “We’ve heard from both repairers and insurers that there is a strong desire to use competitive lighting, but the parts must fit. The CAPA Standard will not only provide confirmation of a part’s compliance with the applicable FMVSS requirements, but CAPA’s requirements for material comparability, and fit via our vehicle test fit.”
I-CAR has released its first vehicle-specific training program with the introduction of the I-CAR “Collision Repair Overview for the Volvo S40/V50 (VLV06).”
Now available to the entire collision industry, this program is part of the training relationship formed between I-CAR and Volvo in 2004. This program is one in a series of Volvo vehicle specific training programs that are being developed through this relationship.
The program covers vehicle design and construction materials used on the new Volvo S40 sedan and V50 sports wagon. The program also covers non-structural and structural repairs, trim and hardware considerations, glass removal and replacement, and an overview of the mechanical and electrical systems.
Volvo Service Training & Development Manager Edward Spirko noted, "The development of the S40/V50 collision repair program provides quality collision repair training. The establishment of this training program supports a Volvo core value of commitment to quality. The knowledgeable I-CAR trainers and dedicated collision professionals, who put this training into practice, will be appreciated by Volvo owners for years to come."
I-CAR Technical Development Manager Jason Bartanen said, “This program represents a significant milestone for I-CAR training and would not have been possible without the cooperative participation of Volvo. We are very excited about this new, first-of-its kind training program, which has laid the groundwork for future programs designed around a specific vehicle or platform.”
Information on the I-CAR “Collision Repair Overview for the Volvo S40/V50” training program can be found at www.i-car.com.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) have sent a joint letter to the U.S. Congress commenting on federal legislation concerning vehicle service information.
The letter stated: "NADA and ASA want to make perfectly clear to all parties -- and most importantly their customers -- that they can repair vehicles because the service information and diagnostic tools needed are available to them in the marketplace.
"NADA and ASA believe the information necessary to diagnose, service and repair vehicles is already being made available to all parties in the automobile repair industry."
In 2002, ASA and the auto manufacturers signed an agreement to give independents access to service information, training and tool information that franchised dealerships already had.
"We believe the voluntary agreement is working and the federal legislation is no longer necessary. We hope the U.S. Congress will continue to allow the industry solution to work. Federal intervention will only disrupt the processes in place," said Bob Redding, ASA's Washington, D.C. representative.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has presented its coveted Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award to BASF’s Automotive Refinish Coatings business for the company’s eco-efficient UV-curable primer.
Patrick Prevost, President-Chemicals, Plastics and Performance Products, BASF Corporation, accepted the award on behalf of BASF at the 10th Annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award celebration held at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.
BASF’s new UV-curable primer, unlike conventional urethane-based primers, which require heat and can take more than 20 minutes to cure, cures in just a few minutes when exposed to visible or near-ultraviolet (UV) light from inexpensive UV-A lamps--or even when exposed to sunlight. UV curing eliminates the need for bake ovens and dramatically reduces energy consumption.
Compared to conventional primers, BASF’s UV-curable primer requires fewer preparation steps, is more durable, provides better corrosion protection and has an unlimited shelf life.
The new primer is also very eco-friendly, containing only 1.7 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) per gallon versus 3.5 pounds to 4.8 pounds per gallon for conventional primers—a VOC reduction of more than 50 percent.
“We are extremely proud to be recognized by the EPA for this achievement because the UV-curable primer embodies three of BASF’s strategic principles—ensuring sustainable development, forming the best team in industry and helping our customers be successful,” said Guy Bargnes, Interim Director of BASF’s Automotive Refinish Coatings Solutions business in North America. “BASF is an industry leader in developing and commercializing environmentally friendly UV-cured automotive coatings, and that kind of innovation is based on the dedication, skill and imagination of outstanding teams like the one responsible for earning this award. Equally important, this UV-curable primer will help our body-shop customers protect the environment while maintaining and improving their productivity and profitability.”
According to Charlene Wall, responsible for BASF’s Eco-Efficiency program in North America, BASF’s UV-cured refinish primer demonstrates the effectiveness of the company’s Eco-Efficiency Analysis (EEA) in evaluating a product’s economic and ecological “footprint” during its entire life cycle.
“Eco-efficiency Analysis is an important BASF tool that supports sustainable development,” said Wall. “We have conducted more than 240 Eco-efficiency Analyses since 1996 on products and processes spanning all of BASF's diverse businesses. EEA scientifically compares environmental and economic impacts over the life cycle of different technologies, identifying which products are most eco-efficient and why. This knowledge helps us identify the most promising technologies--in terms of capital investment or R&D--and to improve existing technologies. As part of EEA, we also work with external parties, including customers, to help them maximize the eco-efficiency of their operations and products.”
The EPA has presented the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge awards annually since 1996 to recognize businesses and individuals who have discovered innovative ways to use chemistry to significantly reduce pollution at its source. Nominations for the awards are judged by an independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, on behalf of representatives for government, industry, academia and the non-profit sector.
ADP Claims Services Group has announced DealerElement, a Shoplink(R) add-on module that allows collision repair shops to synchronize data between their Shoplink estimating system and the parts and service applications of ADP's w.e.b.Suite(TM)2005 dealer management system.
DealerElement aims to reduce the time needed to write an estimate, eliminate mistakes associated with entering administrative information, and improve parts ordering efficiency for both the body shop and for the dealership.
ADP has also introduced several innovations in the latest release of its Shoplink platform, Shoplink 6.37.1, including enhanced vehicle graphics on DVD, electronic part price downloads and an I-CAR(R) toolbar. These new features aim to allow estimators to generate estimates faster and more accurately, improve workflow by eliminating the need to re-key information and provide on-demand access to industry standards for collision repair.
DealerElement integration streamlines workflow by enabling estimators using Shoplink to search a dealer's w.e.b.Suite2005 client data-base. Estimates are then automatically populated with the relevant customer and vehicle information.
DealerElement integration also enables Shoplink users to order parts directly through the dealer management system with a click of a button.
Other new Shoplink features in the latest release facilitate the creation of the estimates. Enhanced vehicle graphics on DVD provide a much sharper image of part options, improving part recognition and, in turn, the accuracy of estimates while reducing the time spent evaluating the vehicle damage. With electronic part price updates, Shoplink users can access accurate, up-to-the minute OEM pricing information, eliminating the need for manual part price overrides and reducing supplements.
Shoplink's new I-CAR toolbar provides one-click access to I-CAR's Uniform Procedures for Collision Repair, allowing estimators to compare proposed repairs with accepted industry guidelines.
"DealerElement and the new features in Shoplink demonstrate our ongoing commitment to providing innovation that enables repair shops to spend less time on paperwork and more time generating revenue," said Daphne Li, vice president of marketing for ADP Claims Services Group. "We're constantly looking for ways to help our customers automate critical administrative and business processes to improve their workflow and be more profitable."
ADP clients will receive the Shoplink 6.37.1 upgrade in July.o
PPG Canada, Inc. has formed a partnership with the Canadian Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) Council to produce and deliver automotive collision center training across Canada through the CARS interactive distance-learning network, better known as Collision TV.
According to a joint press release, this training opportunity, available to the entire Canadian collision industry, is a convenient and effective way for collision center employees, including refinish technicians, to increase their knowledge and enhance traditional classroom training.
For over six years, CARS has deployed similar technology to train automotive retailers and service providers in Canada. This expansion, into the collision sector of the market, opens an exciting opportunity to reach hundreds of auto body professionals across Canada. This initiative under the CARS Collision Repair Interactive Distance Learning project is funded by Human Resources Skills Development Canada.
Through a series of interactive PPG refinish courses, technicians can increase their knowledge in areas such as surface preparation, corrosion protection, refinishing plastic parts, basecoat/clearcoat application, and color adjustment techniques.
This training approach enables collision centers to minimize costs associated with traditional training events. Concerns once associated with travel related expenses and reduced productivity at work are minimized with the CARS-PPG partnership. By utilizing a combination of live instructor broadcasts with a studio hotline, technicians are engaged in a professional, interactive learning process in their local areas.
Bill Troyer, PPG North American Training Manager, commented, “We are pleased to be a part of this project that addresses our industry’s training challenges. The CARS-PPG partnership is an excellent way for technicians to supplement PPG’s traditional refinish training programs. This learning architecture now enables PPG to offer a blended approach that includes traditional classroom courses as well as interactive distance-learning formats.”
CarMax, Inc., the nation's largest retailer of used cars, has doubled the number of used vehicle transfer sales over the past two years. During CarMax's most recent fiscal year, more than 40,000 used vehicles the company retailed were transferred at customer request to a CarMax superstore most convenient for the customer. Just two years earlier, more than 20,000 used vehicles retailed were transferred at customer request.
"We are the only auto retailer in the country offering a comprehensive used vehicle transfer service that provides our customers easy access to more than 20,000 cars from all of our locations," said Austin Ligon, president and CEO of CarMax. "The growing popularity of this service demonstrates that consumers want to find the vehicle of their choice without wasting a lot of time driving all over town. Our customers are comfortable with using our transfer service, because we are a trusted auto retailer that guarantees vehicle quality, and we offer a vast selection of vehicles that can be transferred to any CarMax store in the country with no obligation to buy."
Finding the car you want and transferring it to the CarMax store nearest you takes only three steps:
Transfers are free between stores within the same market. Transfers between markets cost the customer a fee, which is based on the actual cost of shipping the vehicle. Currently, the transfer fees range from $150 to $850 depending on the transfer distance. All transfer fees are clearly marked on the carmax.com website.
More than 20 percent of CarMax used car retail sales are initiated through carmax.com.
CarMax currently operates 62 used car superstores in 28 markets. CarMax also operates seven new car franchises. During the twelve month period ended May 31, 2005, the company sold 264,958 used cars, which is 93 percent of the total 285,354 vehicles the company retailed during that period.
Collision Group America has endorsed the Coordinating Committee For Automotive Repair’s (CCAR) “S/P2” online training in Safety and Pollution Prevention.
Collision Group America, which is made up of 20 independent collision repair shops in the State of Michigan, was founded in 2003. The Collision Group America facilities work together for marketing, sales, promotional and training opportunities, as well as insurance company programs.
“All of our shops received the training after one of our insurer partners made S/P2 a requirement of their DRP,” said Dennis Liphardt, spokesman for Collision Group America. “Now our members all feel that the program is worth its weight in gold, even if insurers weren’t requiring its use.”
S/P2 is an Internet-based training from CCAR that addresses key safety and pollution prevention issues for automotive repair professionals. S/P2 conforms with U.S. EPA and OSHA standards, which require that shop personnel be trained on safety and environmental issues before they begin work and again on at least an annual basis.
“It’s a privilege to be working with the quality of facilities represented by Collision Group America,” said Robert G. Stewart, CCAR President. “We share a common goal, to improve industry’s performance in environmental and safety compliance, and to strengthen the commitment to protect the health of technicians and the quality of the air and water we all share.”
The International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) has announced that the 2005 Conference Program is the largest, most comprehensive compilation of sessions, speakers and topics ever. There are 75 total Conference Sessions with tracks in Estimating, General, Lifestyle, Management, Sales & Marketing and Vehicle Repair --- including sessions focused on and recommended for dealer body shops and claims professionals. Sessions are offered Wednesday (Nov. 2) through Saturday (Nov. 5) in 90-minute and 45-minute “Crash Course” timeslots. Out of the 75 sessions, 61 percent are accredited by the Automotive Management Institute.
Search online at www.NACEexpo.com for a complete listing of sessions, descriptions and speakers – search by keyword, title, track, date or speaker. Some of the Conference Sessions featured include: Successfully Managing Your DRP Relationships; Understanding Severity 101; How Are You Servicing Your Customers?; Analyzing Steering & Suspension Problems; Customer Satisfaction: The Road to Repeat Business; Auto Physical Damage Performance Measures; Shop & Insurer Relationships: Why Can't We All Just Get Along?; Repair Quality: Measurements & Benchmarking; Insurance: A Primer for the Body Shop Operator; and Marketing Your Collision Repair Center. Included in the expanded line-up of Conference Sessions are topics being offered by Akzo Nobel, BASF, DuPont Performance Coatings, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Corp., and Valspar.
Additionally, I-CAR will present six training sessions on Wednesday (Nov. 2), most of which are new and/or new model specific, and ASE will offer certification testing for collision technicians and estimators on Friday (Nov. 4) -- register for ASE testing at www.ase.com. Targeted sessions for Jobber Professionals will include topics to expand their distribution, marketing and cost-efficiency (offered Wednesday-Friday). PCI will again offer a session, Insurance and Auto Repair: Issues 2006, for the independent insurer and repairer on Friday (Nov. 4).
To complement the Conference Program, NACE offers a variety of key events including Wednesday Evening’s Welcome Reception at the House of Blues Music Hall (sponsored by Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Corp.), Thursday’s Opening General Session – featuring Rudy Giuliani (sponsored by DuPont Performance Coatings), Friday’s ‘Call to Action!’ Luncheon (sponsored by Akzo Nobel), plus Wednesday’s IBIS@NACE -- an all-day globally-focused program and luncheon, and the Thursday’s special Spouse session – Empowering Women with Power Tools featuring celebrity contractor, Eric Stromer.
Be an Early Bird and SAVE!
Save up to $30 on registrations submitted prior to August 25th – depending upon the package selected! Attendees can choose from Member/Non-Member Full-Congress ($285/$325), Spouse ($245) or IBIS@NACE ($350) Packages, as well as Expo Only Registration ($15) – all of which include the NACE Exposition and admittance to SEMA and AAPEX.
Register and book housing online at www.NACEexpo.com.
The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is committed to purchasing a new bus for Camp Mak-A-Dream. The action was approved during the Foundation’s Board meeting in Charlotte, NC.
“Two years ago NABC, through the Collision Industry Foundation, raised $500,000 to help fund a health center at the Camp,” said Chuck Sulkala, Executive Director of the National Auto Body Council (NABC). “Since then, we’ve kept an eye on the Camp’s wish list. Acquiring a new bus to transport the children was one of the highest priorities.
“Children attending the camp are undergoing active cancer treatment,” Sulkala continued. “So the bus must undergo some modifications. Making it wheelchair accessible is one example. We estimate the total cost of the bus will in the $100,000 neighborhood. NABC most certainly supports the Foundation’s goal because it supports the NABC mission of improving the Industry’s image.”
To raise the money, CIF, with the support of NABC, will be conducting a drawing. Drawing tickets will cost $10 each. Winning tickets will be announced at NACE. The Grand Prize is a trip for two to the 2006 NASCAR Daytona 500 including race tickets, hospitality tent tickets, airfare and lodging.
There will be six runner-up prizes of $2000 gift certificates to stores such as Circuit City and Best Buy, as well as certificates that can be used for air travel on American, United and Delta airlines. Additionally, the individuals selling the winning tickets are eligible for $1000 gift certificates.
“I need to offer special thanks to two people,” stated Sulkala. “In order to get this project underway, we needed to make a good-faith downpayment on the bus. Marco Grossi of Collision Craftsmen in Detroit has regularly held a dinner dance to raise money for the Camp. This year he donated 100 percent of the proceeds for this effort. Toby Chess from California conducted an educational seminar with I-CAR and BMW. And he turned it into a fundraising activity which resulted in his, as well as Marco’s activity being able to make that downpayment. Because of the good work of those two individuals, all systems are go.”
“The bus will be on display at NACE,” said Doug Webb, CIF Chairman. “That way, people who contributed to the cause will get to see the results of those contributions. At the end of NACE, the bus will be delivered to the Camp in Montana.”
For more information on this effort, or other information about the Collision Industry Foundation, please contact the NABC office at 888-66-PRIDE or online at www.collisionindustryfoundation.org.
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