Industry News

PNC Riverarch Capital Acquires Painters Supply & Equipment Co.

Industry News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 10:05am

PNC Riverarch Capital announced the acquisition of Painters Supply & Equipment Co. (PSE), the distributor of automotive, industrial, and architectural coatings headquartered in Taylor, Mich. PSE has 21 branch locations across Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. PSE serves more than 4,000 customers, including collision repair shops, auto dealerships, fleet operators, and various other commercial and industrial accounts. PSE is a PPG Platinum Distributor and maintains strong market share across its footprint.

“Today marks an exciting new day for the future of Painters Supply & Equipment Co.,” said Patrick Mayette, CEO of PSE. “I am excited to partner with PNC Riverarch Capital

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European Commission Fines Three Vehicle Lighting System Producers €27 million in Antitrust Settlement on Parts Sales to Aftermarket

Industry News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 9:47am

The European Commission has fined Automotive Lighting and Hella a total of €26,744,000 ($29.78 million) for participating in an automotive lighting cartel, in breach of EU antitrust rules. Valeo was not fined as it revealed the cartel to the Commission. All companies admitted their involvement and agreed to settle.

The investigation concerned the aftermarket segment for the supply of spare parts to original equipment manufacturer or their authorised service networks for passenger and commercial vehicles. The cartel relates solely to the original equipment spare parts market for car models whose production had ended.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition

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Service King Welcomes 34 Technicians Apprenticeship Program

Industry News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 9:42am

Service King Collision Repair Centers yesterday welcomed 34 technicians at seven signing day events held across the country for its Apprentice Development Program. The events signaled the start of a hands-on 52-week paid training program designed to prepare aspiring technicians for a successful career at Service King and in the collision repair field.

Service King’s apprentice program has more than doubled in size since its unveiling in 2015 with more than 40 programs underway in 16 states across the country. The latest signing day comes less than a week after the White House and President Trump signed an executive order

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ASA Leaders Discuss Tax Policy at White House Meeting

Industry News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 9:13am

On June 14, Automotive Service Association (ASA) board member Bob Wills and Washington, D.C., Representative Bob Redding joined with other automotive industry leaders at the Automobile Industry Tax Reform Listening Session at the White House. Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, spoke to the group about the administration’s tax reform proposals. Wills and Redding stressed the importance of fairness for pass-through entities, repealing the estate tax and lowering tax rates overall.

Attendees also were able to visit with Vice President Mike Pence.

Following the meeting, Wills stated, “After sharing our ideas for tax reform, we were pleased to

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Mitchell and Bosch Automotive Partner on Collision Repair Diagnostic System

Industry News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 8:02am
Collaboration to deliver Mitchell Diagnostics System, a patent-pending collision repair diagnostic system, that combines an aftermarket scan tool with a workflow application to document pre- and post-repair scans.

Mitchell today announced a collaboration with Bosch Automotive Service Solutions in North America to deliver the Mitchell Diagnostics system, designed specifically for the collision repair and automotive claims markets. The Mitchell Diagnostics system is expected to be available by June 30.

Mitchell Diagnostics will provide an end-to-end diagnostic system that combines appraisal and collision repair workflow applications with Bosch’s most advanced aftermarket scan tools. This should contribute to increased productivity, a smoother

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Opus Group Acquires Autologic Diagnostics

Industry News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 2:41pm

The Opus Group AB (STO:OPUS)announced June 16 it has acquired Autologic Diagnostics (Holdings) Ltd, the UK-based automotive diagnostics firm. The purchase price is £8 million ($10.1 million) on a cash and debt free basis.

Autologic had 2016 revenues of approximately £16.5 million ($20.8 million) with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) adjusted for non-recurring items, of GBP 2.6 million ($3.3 million).

After the acquisition the company will continue to operate as a stand-alone legal entity. Autologic has operations in Europe, the U.S. and Australia and relationships with key automotive OEM’s and a customer base of 6,000 accounts located in

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U.S. Body Repair Prices, Auto Insurance and Inflation Through May 2017

Industry News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 10:55am
Auto body repair prices in May up more than two percent compared to year ago. Auto insurance prices were up 7 percent during the same period.

The most recent government figures on inflation through May 2017 indicate the rate of growth of auto body repair prices continue to increase slightly above the rate of inflation in 2017, continuing the trend first seen in 2016, after relatively slow growth in 2015. Both the price of auto insurance and body repair have continued to increase above the rate of overall inflation during the past twelve months primarily due in part to the

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Driven Brands Selects Medallia to Capture Customer Experience

Industry News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 10:48am

Medallia, Inc. has partnered with Driven Brands, the parent of company of Maaco, Meineke, Take 5 Oil Change, CARSTAR and 1 800 Radiator, to capture customer feedback and provide insights tailored to each brand and franchise location. Driven Brands, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, has more than 2,500 franchise locations. Medallia and Driven Brands partnered with LRWCX, Lieberman Research Worldwide’s Customer Experience division, to integrate with CRM and operational data across the organization in order to understand feedback from millions of customers.

Medallia Experience Cloud will easily connect varied information about each customer interaction from all brands and channels, allowing

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BASF Opens Renovated Refinish Competence Center in Netherlands

Industry News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 10:40am

BASF’s R-M brand announced the reopening of its completely renovated Refinish Competence Center in Maarssen, Netherlands on June 15. More than 100 R-M customers came to Maarssen to celebrate the opening.

At the beginning of the evening event two technical specialists, Gert-Jan Kraan and Marc Nauta, opened the Refinish Competence Center by cutting an extra large red bow that was wrapped around the spraybooth.

During the renovation, which began late last year and was ready at the beginning of this year, a new spraybooth with high panorama windows has been installed. 

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Mitchell Artificial Intelligence Partner Tractable Secures $8 Million Investment

Industry News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 10:30am

Tractable, a deep learning company specializing in computer vision, announced an $8 million Series A investment led by Ignition Partners, an enterprise tech-focused venture firm with offices in Silicon Valley and Seattle.

Other investors include Zetta Venture Partners, a venture capital firm focused on artificial intelligence, as well as insurance industry leaders such as Andy Homer (former CEO Towergate, former CEO AXA UK), Scott Roza (Chief Business Officer Guidewire Software), Tony Emms (former Chief Claims Officer Zurich Insurance UK), Greg Gladwell (former CEO Crawford & Company UK and Ireland), and Stuart Bartlett (founder & CEO Vision, founder and CEO BlueGrassComms).

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Boyd Group Acquires Collision Repair Center in Georgia

Industry News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 4:28pm

The Boyd Group Inc. announced the June 14, opening of a new Gerber-brand collision repair center in Greensboro, Ga., about 75 miles east of Atlanta. The center previously operated as Rodfathers Collision Center & Sales.

“This location increases our presence in central Georgia and is well-situated in proximity to the busy Interstate 20 and U.S. Route 278 highways,” said Tim O’Day, President and COO of the Boyd Group. “We look forward to serving new customers and our insurance partners in Greensboro and surrounding communities by providing the same professional and friendly service that is the signature of all Gerber locations.”

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IAA Plans New Fort Worth Branch Opening in November

Industry News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:36am

Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. (IAA), a business unit of KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR), announced the construction of a new facility near Fort Worth, Texas. The new branch, scheduled to open in November 2017, is located north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area and complements IAA branches in Grand Prairie and Wilmer. This is the 16th IAA location in the state of Texas.

“This expansion will provide the flexibility to respond to the growing inventory needs of current and future customers as well as offer a wider vehicle selection for buyers,” said John Kett, CEO and president of IAA. “The location will

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J.D. Power Study Finds Premium Increases Become Sticking Point for U.S. Auto Insurance Customers

Industry News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:31am
Rate increases due to increasing driving, claim frequency and severity impacting consumer price satisfaction.

A combination of record numbers of miles driven, increased frequency and severity of collisions, and extreme weather has crimped U.S. auto insurer profitability, resulting in rate increases for 26% of customers and a strain on customer satisfaction. According to the  J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Auto Insurance Study released today, price satisfaction declined this year, even as other areas of the overall customer experience have improved.

The study finds that the number of customers receiving an annual rate increase of more than $200 per vehicle has more

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PPG Completes Paint and Coatings Facility in Lipetsk, Russia

Industry News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:21am

PPG (NYSE:PPG) marked the opening of a €45 million ($49 million) paint and coatings manufacturing facility and commercial operation in the Lipetsk region of Russia on June 16. The site will provide about 200 total positions and produce about 25 million liters (6.6 million gallons) of coatings at full capacity.

PPG’s celebrated the official opening of its manufacturing facility in the Lipetsk region of Russia on June 16.

In addition to facilities for manufacturing and distributing coatings for automotive, collision repair refinish, industrial, packaging, and protective and marine applications, the facility includes administrative offices and technical laboratories.

 “PPG’s investment in

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Auto Care Careers Offers Bulk and Unlimited Job Posting Packages

Industry News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:12am

“We recently introduced a new pricing structure on the Auto Care Careers Industry Job Board for packages up to 100 jobs, but many organizations have indicated the need for larger job posting packages. Therefore, we are very pleased to announce that custom bulk and unlimited posting packages are now available,” said Courtney Hammer, director, job and career development, Auto Care Association. 

Hiring managers will find the new job posting rates, starting at $75 for technician positions and $105 for a single 30-day post. Internship postings are available at no charge. Information on Auto Care Careers posting rates is available online

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AASP/NJ Race Night Benefits Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Industry News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:09am

On June 13, , the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) hosted its Sixth Annual Race Night at Pole Position Raceway in Jersey City, N.J. For the second consecutive year, AASP/NJ will donate $1,000 from the event’s proceeds to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to help with their fight against prostate cancer. 

Participants in the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) Sixth Annual Race Night helped raise $1000 to benefit the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The night brought together members and supporters from all across the industry for an exciting night of

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Axalta Opens Asia-Pacific Technology Center in China

Industry News - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:45am
Facility includes Refinish Training Center.

Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE:AXTA) formally opened its Asia-Pacific Technology Center (APTC), in the Minhang District of Shanghai.  Announced in 2015, the APTC has a total of 15,500 square meters of space, the APTC expands resources available to Axalta’s global organization of more than 1,300 scientists, engineers, and staff engaged in R&D.

With an employee base of 300 today and capacity for more than 500, the center joins Axalta’s worldwide network of four global technology centers and more than 30 country laboratories. Other regionally focused technology centers are in Mt. Clemens, Michigan and Wuppertal, Germany, supporting

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Auto Care Association and TechForce Foundation Partner on Campaign

Industry News - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:40am

The Auto Care Association has partnered with TechForce Foundation in its new national initiative, FutureTech Success, in an effort to fuel the pipeline of tomorrow’s workforce of technicians. As part of the Auto Care Association’s Job and Career Development program, the association will offer support to the initiative to deliver the message that being a transportation technician is a successful, in-demand and valued career path.

“Future technicians in the auto care industry have to be well-trained, dynamic in their thinking and passionate about the cars of today and tomorrow,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “We are

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Agreement Reached on North Carolina Auto Insurance Rates

Industry News - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:37am

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced the signing of a settlement agreement with the North Carolina Rate Bureau in response to the Rate Bureau’s Feb. 1, request for a 13.8 percent increase in auto insurance rates. The North Carolina Department of Insurance agreed to a lower average increase of 2.2 percent – a savings of more than $1 billion for North Carolina consumers over two years.

Mike Causey, who formerly served as the Director of Government Affairs and Managing Director for the Independent Auto Body Association, was elected Insurance Commissioner in North Carolina in 2016.

“We are pleased that we were able

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Automotive Management Institute Offers Discount Program to Industry Associations

Industry News - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:13am

The Automotive Management Institute (AMi) announced a new Association Discount Program. The new program provides members of participating industry repair associations a 20 percent discount on AMi’s suite of online courses.

To participate in the program, associations must meet annual donation and promotional requirements.  The program is designed to raise the awareness of what AMi has to offer repair businesses, as well as reduce the cost to train management and administrative staff.

“We know the value training customer-facing administrative and management staff has on a repair operation and want to increase the industry’s awareness of it,” stated AMi president, Jeff

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