Industry News

Gasoline Price Drops to New Low for 2017

Industry News - Wed, 07/05/2017 - 10:23am

At $2.23, Monday’s average national gas price is the cheapest the country has seen all year according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge report. On the week, gas prices fell in 46 states. Only Illinois, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. saw prices increase, albeit by one cent each, while Hawaii and Maine remained flat. South Carolina continues to carry the cheapest gas in the country at $1.90. Today, consumers can find gas for $2.00 or less at one out of every four gas stations in the country. 

“The combination of tepid demand and increased gasoline and crude output continues to put downward pressure

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Boyd Group Closes Acquisition of Assured Automotive

Industry News - Wed, 07/05/2017 - 10:15am
With the acquisition, Boyd now has 110 locations in Canada and 476 in North America.

Boyd Group Income Fund (TSE:BYD.UN) yesterday announced that it has  closed the acquisition of Assured Automotive Inc. that was announced in May. The total consideration for the transaction is approximately CA$193.6 million ($148.9 million), subject to closing and post-closing adjustments, and was funded through $146.1 million in cash and $47.5 million in Boyd Group Income Fund units priced at $88.31 per unit. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to the Fund’s earnings and distributable cash.

“The addition of Assured significantly increases our

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FinishMaster Opens Greenfield Location in Nashville

Industry News - Fri, 06/30/2017 - 10:12am

FinishMaster, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uni-Select Inc. (TSE:UNS), announced it has opened its first location, a greenfield branch, in Nashville, Tenn. The Nashville opening marks FinishMaster’s fifth location in the state and supports its strategic plan to expand in major metropolitan areas.

With the addition of Nashville, FinishMaster now operates 216 branches in 33 states and remains committed to growing its national footprint organically and through select acquisitions.

“Our Nashville branch extends FinishMaster’s tradition of delivering exceptional customer experiences to a new market. We are committed to elevating the standard in customer service and are excited for the opportunity

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Kemperle Joins Refinish Distributors Alliance

Industry News - Fri, 06/30/2017 - 10:09am

The Refinish Distributors Alliance (RDA) has added Albert Kemperle, Inc., with headquarters in Amityville, N.Y., as a new member. Kemperle has 48 locations in 11 states including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Kemperle was founded in 1940, as a single store operation in Brooklyn, New York by Mary and Albert Kemperle. Today Ron Kemperle, son of Mary and Albert, oversees and continually expands their operations with new locations, training facilities, personnel and innovative product lines.   

Ron Kemperle and his team are looking forward to networking and exchanging

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AAA Predicts Record Travel for Independence Day Holiday Weekend

Industry News - Fri, 06/30/2017 - 8:00am
44.2 Million People Expected to Travel Independence Day Weekend. Americans driving up 2.9 percent over last year.

This Independence Day, a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home, taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways to honor the red, white and blue. With 1.25 million more travelers than last year, 2017 will be marked as the most traveled Independence Day holiday weekend ever.

 “Combined, strong employment, rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry, in particular this Independence Day weekend,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel

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Auto Care Association, American Insurance Assocation Support NAFTA Modernization

Industry News - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 4:52pm

Aaron Lowe, senior vice president, government and regulatory affairs, Auto Care Association, testified June 28 before the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Washington, D.C.

 “A regional agreement with our neighbors and two of our largest trading partners benefits our membership and the U.S. economy,” said Lowe. “While NAFTA may have been ‘state of the art’ when it was negotiated in the early 1990s, it is now nearly 25 years old and could benefit from the modernization effort the administration has initiated.”

The Auto Care Association supports inclusion of ecommerce

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Collision Industry Conference Scanning & Diagnostics Task Force Releases Draft Glossary of Terms, Definitions

Industry News - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 3:04pm
Four documents will be presented at July 25 CIC meeting.

The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) announced several drafts of work products from the Scanning & Diagnostics Task Force of its Emerging Technologies Committee. The Committee will present to the CIC body at the July 25, meeting at McCormick Place Hyatt in Chicago, just prior NACE Automechanika.

The most recent work product draft is the revised CIC Scanning & Diagnostics Glossary of Terms, to include items such as: (ADAS) Advance Driver Assistance Systems, Aftermarket scan tool, Cyber Fingerprint, Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC), Key On Engine Off (KOEO), Pre Scan (Pre-repair Scan)

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Property Damage Appraisers Certifies Franchisees in Recreational Vehicle Estimating

Industry News - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 10:09am

Property Damage Appraisers (PDA) announced that its appraisal staff is now certified through the company’s Recreational Vehicle (RV) Certification Program. The specialized training focuses on writing estimates for recreational vehicles including Class A, B, C and Super C motor homes, 5th wheel campers, travel trailers, toy haulers, pop-up campers, truck campers and camper trailers.

PDA announced that its appraisal staff is now certified through the company’s Recreational Vehicle (RV) Certification Program.

“PDA is a great source for RV estimates because our team has the tools and the knowledge to write estimates quickly, accurately and efficiently to reduce turnaround time,” said

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Michael Linnerooth Named Business Director for the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division

Industry News - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 10:05am

The 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division announced the appointment of Michael D. Linnerooth as U.S. Subsidiary Business Director in the Automotive Aftermarket Division effective June 1.

Linnerooth has held several Sales and Marketing positions across the 3M Consumer Business Group during his career at 3M.  Linnerooth most recently was the U.S. Subsidiary Director in Consumer Health Care in the Consumer Business Group.

He is a graduate of the University of Tulsa with a BA in Finance. He began his career at 3M in 1993.

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Collision Repair Industry Business Conditions: Q1 2017

Industry News - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 9:48am
Collision repair shops reporting higher sales and earnings overall compared to 2016 decreased during the first quarter. 

The CollisionWeek quarterly survey of business conditions reported by collision repair facility owners and managers indicates that the overall percentage of facilities with higher sales decreased in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 2016. The overall percentage reporting higher sales was down 1.6 percentage points below the fourth quarter of 2016 result. The results remains 9.9 points above the average since CollisionWeek began the research in 2002.

The percentage of collision repair shops reporting higher earnings in the first quarter versus last

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Mitchell Announces $70 Million First Lien Term Loan

Industry News - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 1:08pm

Mitchell announced the closing of a $70 million senior secured first lien term loan. The term loan is an add-on under Mitchell’s existing Credit Agreement.

Mitchell expects to use the proceeds of the term loan to pay down its revolver and to invest in technologies and companies that drive better outcomes in the markets it serves.

“We are thrilled that investors continue to show confidence in us,” said Alex Sun, CEO of Mitchell. “Our ability to attract capital allows Mitchell to deliver on our mission to achieve better outcomes for our clients. We look forward to expanding and enhancing our

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BASF Hosts Society of Women Engineers Chapter

Industry News - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 10:33am

BASF recently kicked off its sponsorship of the Detroit chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) by hosting a professional development meeting.  The meeting, held at BASF’s location in Southfield, Mich., featured individuals from various BASF business groups sharing information about their roles at the company.

In addition, BASF attended the recent SWE Professional Development Conference and annual awards dinner.

 “BASF is dedicated to advancing women in STEM careers,” said Denise Kingstrom, Distribution Director for Automotive Refinish, North America “The Detroit chapter of SWE has one of the largest memberships with a vision to be the center of information

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KPMG Reports Autonomous Vehicle Tech Could Shrink Auto Insurance Sector 71% by 2050

Industry News - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 10:31am
According to KPMG report, shifting driving risk to auto manufacturers and adoption of mobility-on-demand will significantly impact insurance business.

Autonomous vehicle technology could shrink the auto insurance sector by 71 percent or $137 billion by 2050, according to new research by KPMG, titled The Chaotic Middle: The Autonomous Vehicle and Disruption in Automobile Insurance. KPMG has extended its actuarial model by 10 years to 2050, finding that the pace of change has accelerated, pushing projections that illustrate greater declines to the insurance sector than KPMG’s previous 2015 study. It also shows an increasing need for new types of insurance

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Fix Auto USA to Seek Legal Action to Retain Rights to Collision Repair Brand in U.S. Market

Industry News - Tue, 06/27/2017 - 5:28pm
Following announcement by Fix Auto World that it would seek to regain rights to Fix Auto brand in the US, Fix Auto USA announces it will fight to retain its license to the brand.

Fix Auto USA has announced that it will legally fight to retain licensing of the Fix Auto trademark in the United States. The response comes following an announcement by Mondofix, Inc., that does business as Fix Auto World, which was distributed to the press on Tuesday.

“We were extremely disappointed to read the Mondofix press release today concerning U.S. operations since it has no basis in

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Jeff Holder named Chief Operating Officer for asTech

Industry News - Tue, 06/27/2017 - 4:52pm

Repairify, Inc., owners of the asTech diagnostic service, named Jeff Holder as their new Chief Operating Officer. Holder will assume responsibility for the company’s field and remote operations. Jeff has over 25 years of management experience in the automotive and transportation industries. He most recently served as Director of Strategic Growth for Copart and held various roles in the areas of regional operations, international integrations, training, corporate affairs, and employee development over his 10 years with the company. Prior to Copart he spent 12 years in operations roles with FedEx Ground and US Xpress.

 “I am very excited about my

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Copyright Office Releases Study on DMCA Impacting Aftermarket Access to OEM Software

Industry News - Tue, 06/27/2017 - 12:34pm

The Auto Care Association reports that the U.S. Copyright Office released its long-awaited report on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) last week, recommending that Congress revise the law to ensure that exemptions be granted to third parties who wish to access certain software.

Last year, the Auto Care Association called on the copyright office to clarify consumer ownership of vehicle software necessary to permit lawful repairs to their vehicles.

Enacted 20 years ago to prevent unauthorized access to or use of copyrighted works, the DMCA, as it relates to competition, has come under scrutiny in recent years.

In

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Axalta Opens Coatings Manufacturing Facility in Argentina

Industry News - Tue, 06/27/2017 - 12:16pm
New facility, Axalta’s first manufacturing plant in Argentina, will support automotive, refinish and industrial markets.

Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA) celebrated its first production and logistics center in Argentina in the municipality of Escobar in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Axalta Chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver met with employees and toured the new facility where initial production began in January 2017 and will continue to expand to provide a full range of next-generation coatings for the automotive manufacturing, refinish, and industrial markets.

Covering 27,000 square meters, the plant has the capacity to manufacture Axalta’s products, and will also house

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Kansas City, Kansas Tops Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report

Industry News - Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:50am
As U.S. drivers approach the Fourth of July holiday, the deadliest day on the road, Allstate launches a new safe-driving campaign, to help combat the rising number of fatal collisions.

The 13th annual Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report names Kansas City, Kansas, the city with America’s safest drivers. Based on Allstate claims data, the company unveiled the report to encourage safe-driving habits. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) the Fourth of July holiday, is the perennial deadliest day on the road for U.S. drivers.

IIHS also found July and August are the deadliest months on the road,

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Maine Collision Repair Anti-Steering Legislation Vetoed by Governor

Industry News - Tue, 06/27/2017 - 10:58am
State Senate fails to overturn veto on measure that would have required insurers to inform a consumer of right to collision repair facility.

Proposed legislation (LD 1540) in Maine that would have required an insurer that recommends a particular collision repair facility to inform consumers they have a right to choose a facility was vetoed by Maine Governor Paul LePage on June 21. The Maine House of Representatives, voted to overturn the Governor’s veto, but the effort to overturn the veto failed to secure enough votes in the Senate.

The bill, as originally proposed in April, would have amended

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Recalled Airbag Manufacturer Takata for Bankruptcy

Industry News - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 12:19pm
Reaches agreement to be acquired by US-based Key Safety Systems.

Japan’s Takata Corp, the manufacturer at the center of the airbag recall, filed for bankruptcy protection in both the United States and Japan, and announced it would be acquired for $1.6 billion by Sterling Heights, Michigan- based Key Safety Systems (KSS).

Under the agreement, KSS will acquire substantially all of Takata’s assets, except the operations that relate to Takata’s manufacturing of phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN) and airbag inflators that are at the center of the recall. According to a press release from the two companies announcing the sale, it is

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