Industry News

Memorial Day Travel at Highest Level Since 2005

Industry News - 6 hours 44 min ago
AAA projects 39.3 Million Americans are expected to travel during Memorial Day weekend. Automobile travel will grow by 2.4 percent.

AAA projects that 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend. That is one million more travelers than last year taking to the roads, skies, rails and water, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005.

“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer

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Career and Technical Education Faces Cuts in President’s FY18 Budget

Industry News - 6 hours 49 min ago
Cuts, if approved by Congress, could impact collision repair training programs at high schools.

Collision repair training programs in high schools would possibly face cuts under the budget proposed by the Trump Administration this week for Fiscal Year 2018 that begins in October 2017.

The Administration is requesting $976.9 million to support career and technical education (CTE) programs under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins Act). The request represents a 15 percent reduction from the $1.12 Billion that was approved by Congress for FY 2017.

The Perkins Act provides federal support in the form of grants for CTE programs in all 50 states and the territories.

The Administration explained that overall budget priorities make the cuts necessary.

“Although a decrease is necessary to align with overall Budget priorities, the request would continue to provide significant flexible formula grant funds that support State and local efforts to implement high-quality CTE programs, such as programs of study (non-duplicative CTE courses that progress from the secondary to the postsecondary level and lead to a credential, certificate, or an associate or baccalaureate degree), dual enrollment programs, and career pathways that help students attain the credentials or certificates they need to gain employment in high-skill and high-demand occupations,” the Administration said in the budget proposal to explain the decreased funding. “ The Administration plans to work with Congress to reform and improve this program through the upcoming Perkins Act reauthorization.”

The budget request includes a $27.4 million request for CTE National Programs, an increase of $20 million that would support a competition to promote the development of, “…innovative CTE programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.” The remaining funds would continue to support State and local implementation of CTE programs under the Act.

Impact on Collision Repair Training Programs

Clark Plucinski, executive director of the Collision Repair Education Foundation, explained that the proposed budget cuts are a serious concern for the collision industry. Collision repair programs have faced declining funding for many years, resulting in a significant number of school collision repair program closures. The Foundation has been working to help schools realign there programs to industry needs and provide financial support from the industry to support those programs.

“Over the last several years the Foundation has been focused on establishing the needs of school collision programs, from continuous education for instructors, tools and equipment to necessary to achieve accreditation by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), to consistency in their curriculum using I-CAR’s PDPEE for schools,” explained Pluciniski. “Working with over 500 of the 1100 schools teaching collision repair, last year we developed the Career Readiness Benchmark, tiering schools to pinpoint their current status toward achieving the top level, tier one status.  The top tiered schools differentiate themselves in that 63 percent of their students find their way into the industry and embrace higher levels of education versus the 20 percent that are not involved. Our research tells us that to move 300 schools to tier one status to meet the pre-employment training needs of the industry will cost $35 million over five years.”

The Foundation recognized the first 121 schools included in the Career Readiness Benchmark program in April. 

Plucinski continued, “Cutting Perkins Grant dollars is guaranteed to cause hardships for the schools, especially with diminished focus on CTE, the collision programs could be eliminated.  Since 2009, the number of high school and college collision repair programs has shrunk from 1454 to 1100 across the U.S.  Clearly, this is the time for the industry to take a more active role to partner with the schools, administration and the state and local legislators to show our support.”

“The Foundation, with strong industry support, can be the vehicle to not only influence the states and local schools boards, but to show through our rigor, our ability to not only save, but to improve the current status of their collision repair programs,” said Plucinski. “Over the last two years, using the theme of adopting a schools, the local I-CAR committees have raised millions of dollars to support their local high Schools and college collision repair programs.”

Plucinski is urging the industry to contact their legislators to ask for support of continued Perkins funding. “Please take the time to write your local politicians and help us with your generous donations,” concluded Plucinski.

Career and Technical Educator Concern

A joint statement from the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and Advance CTE raised concerns about the impact of the proposed cuts.

According to the statement by LeAnn Wilson, executive director of ACTE, and Kimberly Green, executive director of Advance CTE, “While the Trump Administration talks about supporting workforce and skills development, this dramatic cut is nothing short of an attack on CTE and the students and employers who benefit from it. At a time when millions of job openings go unfilled every year due to shortages in the skilled, technical workforce, President Trump should double-down on an investment in CTE, not propose drastic cuts.

 “This proposed $168 million cut from state grants for CTE significantly reduces states’ abilities to use these resources to improve and expand CTE programs based on their specific needs. It’s incredulous that an Administration that wishes to devolve authority to the states proposes to increase its own funding at the federal level by $20 million; this essentially equates to taking funds out of the pockets of states, colleges and schools to a create a new, untested program run by the Secretary of Education,” the statement continued. “As a businessman who has employed a range of employees – from engineers to computer programmers – the president is well-positioned to appreciate the importance of a skilled workforce that meets the demands of today’s economy. Unfortunately, this budget falls woefully short in its commitment to students, employers, and the next generation American workforce. We urge the President to review the far-reaching impact CTE has on all facets of the economy, and to make investing in CTE a priority.

ACTE has a web page set up where people concerned about the cuts can contact their legislators.

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Service King Hired 250 Veterans through Mission 2 Hire Initiative

Industry News - 7 hours 34 min ago

Service King Collision Repair Centers announced it eclipsed another milestone by surpassing 250 successful hires through its ongoing veterans initiative – Mission 2 Hire.

Mission 2 Hire is Service King’s official veterans outreach campaign actively recruiting and hiring U.S. Armed Forces veterans, military spouses and active duty personnel. The initiative continues to outpace its original goal of 500 hires in five years after launching in May 2015. Service King is currently more than six months ahead of schedule to meeting its goal and now officially beyond the halfway mark of completing its mission.

“Mission 2 Hire continues to be a

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P.B.E. Jobbers Warehouse Adds Location in the Orlando

Industry News - 7 hours 43 min ago

P.B.E. Jobbers Warehouse, Inc. (P.B.E.) announced that the grand opening of its newest location in Orlando, Fla. will be June 19. The new facility will be P.B.E.’s seventh. The new 39,000 sq. ft. facility is located at 11205 Satellite Blvd, and will serve distributors throughout the market.

“P.B.E.’s success can be attributed to the philosophy of providing legendary customer service and inventory that match our customers’ needs,” said Paul Monroe, President. “P.B.E.’s Customer Service Department sets us apart by putting our time-tested, specific product knowledge to work for you and your customers every day.  Our experience and industry insight mean

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Collision Repair Labor Rates for Aluminum Show Wide Variation by Market in the U.S.

Industry News - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:00am
Our comparison of average steel body and structural labor rates to cosmetic aluminum and structural rates shows wide variations by Metropolitan Statistical Area.

As collision repair facilities have invested in aluminum repair capabilities, by far one of the most common questions we get from readers on both the repair and insurance side of the industry, is how aluminum labor rates compare to steel and how they vary across the U.S.

A key challenge for repairers is that estimating system have been challenged by the proliferation in materials and the need to charge and track for multiple rates based upon those

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US Department of Labor Announces Insurance Claim Apprenticeship Program at The Hartford

Industry News - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 10:34am

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that The Hartford welcomed the first cohort of apprentices to its newly launched insurance apprenticeship program at a ceremony in Hartford, Conn.

Part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s ApprenticeshipUSA program, The Hartford is partnering with the Connecticut Department of Labor, Arizona Department of Economic Security, Capital Community College in Hartford and Rio Salado College in metro Phoenix to offer an insurance-specific curriculum, paid on-the-job training and mentoring to help students gain the skills needed to work in The Hartford’s claims operation.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and President Trump are committed to

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Australia’s Capital S.M.A.R.T. Adds Collision Repair Center in New South Wales

Industry News - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 10:30am

Capital S.M.A.R.T announced it our newest site in Ingleburn, New South Wales . The new site is the company’s 11th collision repair center  in New South Wales and over 40 locations in  Australia and New Zealand.

Group Operations Director of S.M.A.R.T, Jim Vais, stated that he was excited about the customer benefits that the new Ingleburn site will bring to the overall NSW operations and wider S.M.A.R.T group, and looked forward to the output that the team will generate under the leadership of the newly appointed Ingleburn Repair Centre Manager, Alan Hickey.

The new site is located at 1 Austool

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ASA’s Connected CARS Provides High-Level Look at New Vehicle Technology

Industry News - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 10:24am

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) held its first Connected CARS event May 18-19 in Detroit. The event provided an in-depth look at the technical aspects of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

The event featured 108 attendees, including shop owners, technicians, educators, engineers and industry VIPs interested in rapidly evolving vehicle technology and testing. Trainers included:

  • Greg Potter, ETI, and Bob Gruszczynski, VW, scan-tool protocols
  • Mohan Sethi, Mahle Aftermarket, secure diagnostics
  • Debra Bezinna, Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Test Environment, University of Michigan (interviewed by Robert L. Redding Jr., ASA’s Washington, D.C., representative), vehicle-to-vehicle communications
  • Dave Hobbs, Delphi, Radar, Lidar, Sonar
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Mike Black Named President and COO at Dent Wizard

Industry News - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 10:21am

Dent Wizard International announced the promotion of Mike Black to president, in addition to his current position as chief operating officer. Black replaces Terry Koebbe as president. Koebbe retains his position as chief executive officer.

Mike Black added the title of president to his current position as chief operating officer at Dent Wizard.

In this role, Black will have more comprehensive responsibility and authority over Dent Wizard’s domestic and international operations, and will take a more active role in new product development and geographic expansion.

 “Mike has done a phenomenal job as COO over the past six years,” said Koebbe.

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Service King Acquires Collision Repair Center in Colorado

Industry News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:18am
New location is Service King’s sixth in the state and its 324th in the U.S.

Service King Collision Repair Centers announced the acquisition of Wilson’s Auto Collision Inc., located at 4365 E. Platte Ave. in Colorado Springs, Colo. The facility is Service King’s sixth location in state. Wilson’s Auto Collision joins the Service King organization with 22-years of I-CAR Gold Class certification to its name.

“This is another proud moment for the Service King team as we continue to provide high-quality, consistent collision repair service to our Colorado customers and business partners,” said Clayton Geisendorff, Service King Director of Operations. “We

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Uni-Select Appoints Brent Windom President and COO of Canadian Automotive Group

Industry News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:09am
Current president and COO Gary O’Connor will retire at the end of 2017.

Uni-Select Inc. (TSE:UNS) announced the appointment, effective July 3, of Brent Windom to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Automotive Group and the retirement of Gary O’Connor, President and Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Automotive Group, at the end of 2017.

Windom has 30 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket industry. During his career, he has held various leadership positions and served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Uni-Select USA, Inc. His previous experience includes the positions of Senior Vice President, Sales and

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CARSTAR Adds Collision Repair Center to Network in Florida

Industry News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 9:59am

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts announced the opening of CARSTAR St. Petersburg Collision Center at 1819 11th Ave. North, St. Petersburg, Fla. CARSTAR St. Petersburg is locally owned and operated by Tampa-based Impact Auto Holdings II.

“We are thrilled to be opening a CARSTAR location in our local area,” said Scott Robertson, Vice President of Operations at Impact Auto Holdings II.  “Partnering with CARSTAR was an easy decision for us.  CARSTAR is not only a respected brand, but it makes the process seamless.  The networking, training and vendor partnerships they provide ensure we will provide quality repairs to customers by

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BASF Names VisionPLUS Performance Groups’ Collision Repair Shops of the Year

Industry News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 9:56am

At the 2017 VisionPLUS Performance Group Business Conference held recently in Litchfield Park, AZ, BASF awarded  2016 Shop of the Year designations to seven collision repair shops. The winners were selected based on overall improvement and gross profit improvement from the previous year, along with excellent Performance Group preparedness and participation.

Performance Group winners were:

  • Wenzel’s Auto Body, Pocasset, Massachusetts – Group I
  • Marshall’s Auto Care, Billerica, Massachusetts – Group II
  • Frank’s Auto Body, Vernon, British Columbia – Group III
  • Herb’s Paint and Body, Richardson, Texas – Group IV
  • Quanz Auto Care, Albuquerque, New Mexico – Group V
  • Mercedes Benz
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Women’s Industry Network Thanks Sponsors

Industry News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 9:38am

The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) would like to thank all of the organizations that provided their generous support through sponsorships for 2017.  There are three categories of sponsorships:  Corporate Sponsors; MIW Sponsors; and WIN Educational Conference Sponsors.   Each sponsorship supports key initiatives for WIN throughout the year.

2017 sponsors include:

Platinum Sponsors ($25,000)

AkzoNobel

Gold Sponsors ($10,000)

Axalta Coating Systems

BASF

Enterprise Holdings, Inc. PPG Industries, Inc.

Silver Sponsors ($5,000)

3M

Allstate Insurance Company Audatex, a Solera company Caliber Collision

Gerber Collision & Glass

Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. (IAA) Nationwide

Service King Collision Repair Centers

State Farm Insurance

Valspar Corporation

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Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices Up in April

Industry News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:26am
According to ADESA Analytic Services report April prices were up both versus the previous month and previous year. Mid-size cars and SUV/CUVs see decreases.

According to the ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices, average wholesale prices in April were up on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis.  As has been stated repeatedly in previous months, however, much of these supposed increases in used vehicle values are the result of strength in truck prices and growth in off-lease volumes.

An analysis of sales prices by sale type, model-year age, mileage and model class segment reveals that prices

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Karl Malone’s Body and Paint and Puente Hills Auto Body Earn Toyota Honors

Industry News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:07am

Two PPG (NYSE:PPG) customer collision repair centers, Karl Malone’s Body and Paint of Draper, Utah, and Puente Hills Auto Body of the City of Industry, Calif., have earned the 2016 Toyota Certified Collision Center of the Year Triple Crown Award. The annual award recognizes the three top-performing Toyota certified collision centers in the country.

“We are extremely proud of these two fine collision centers and their employees,” said Tom Wolf, PPG director, refinish business development. “The National Toyota Certified Collision Center of the Year Triple Crown Award is one of the most prestigious honors in our industry and confirms the

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Auto Care Career and Education Award Application Available

Industry News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:00am

The Auto Care Association is now accepting applications for the Auto Care Career and Education (ACE) Award, to honor auto care companies that continually provide the culture for and facilitation of employee career development, and invest in employee education and training.

The ACE Award, formerly known as the Head of the Class Award, recognizes three companies designated by total number of employees. Winners are selected based on their dedication to investing in the growth of their employees as well as professional development and career opportunities offered. The award winners will be selected by the Auto Care Association Education Committee.

Painters

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Ford Names Jim Hackett as CEO

Industry News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 10:54am
Move to strengthen operations and transform the vehicle manufacturer for the future.

Ford Motor Company today named Jim Hackett as its new president and CEO and announced key global leadership changes designed to further strengthen its core automotive business and

Hackett, 62, has a long track record of innovation and business success as CEO of Steelcase, Interim Athletic Director at the University of Michigan and executive chairman of Ford Smart Mobility LLC since March 2016.

Ford Motor Company named Jim Hackett as its new president and CEO replacing Mark Fields.

Reporting to Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Hackett will lead Ford’s

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UK Competition Authority Launches In-Depth Investigation into LKQ Subsidiary Acquisition

Industry News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 10:30am

The United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced today that it was launching an in-depth review of Euro Car Parts’ acquisition of Andrew Page. The possibility of the in-depth review was announced earlier this month by the CMA

On May 11, the CMA announced that it would refer the deal for an in-depth investigation unless Euro Car Parts offered acceptable ways of addressing competition concerns. Euro Car Parts had until May 17 to propose solutions to address the CMA concerns

According to the CMA, Euro Car Parts chose not to offer these and so the merger will now be

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Autonomous Vehicles Will Add $81 Billion in New Premiums for Auto Insurers by 2025

Industry News - Fri, 05/19/2017 - 12:02pm
According to a report by Accenture, while the long-term impact of autonomous vehicles will reduce the need for auto insurance, initially they will expand the insurance business.

Insurance coverage for autonomous vehicles will bring $81 billion in new premiums to the U.S. auto insurance industry over the next eight years, driven by risks related to cybersecurity, software and hardware and by the need for additional public infrastructure coverage, according to a new report from Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and Stevens Institute of Technology.

According to the report, traditional auto insurance earned premiums will peak in 2023.

 “Insurers are bracing for long-term declines

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