Industry News

Farmers Insurance Opens of New Phoenix Office

Industry News - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 11:54am

Farmers Insurance announced the grand opening of its new North Phoenix regional office located at the corner of Pinnacle Peak Road and Interstate 17. The 150,000 square-foot facility will house upwards of 1,000 employees as the insurer group seeks to hire 400 new staff in Phoenix this year.

Farmers first announced plans to construct and staff the new office in spring of 2016, and has since hired hundreds of new customer service representatives and in-office auto claims adjusters to support growth and further enhance the customer experience for its customers across the country.

“Farmers has a proud history in Arizona

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AASP-MN Awards Scholarships

Industry News - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 11:48am

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) announced scholarship awards totaling $18,000 to help automotive service and collision repair students pay for tuition and tools during the 2017-18 school year.  The scholarships are in the amount of $1,000 per student and were made possible by a successful fundraising drive within the AASP-MN membership, as well as a generous donation from the Minnesota State I-CAR Committee. 

Twenty college students from nine schools submitted scholarship applications. This year also marked the first time that AASP-MN opened the scholarships to high school students entering their first year of a 2-year NATEF-certified

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Alamo Body and Paint Acquires Second Location in Texas

Industry News - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 11:46am

Alamo Body and Paint, LLC, will open its second location in Schertz, Texas, on May 22, with the acquisition of Auto Collision Works.

“We are excited to be adding a second location. We look forward to serving the Schertz market and are committed to continuing Auto Collision Works’ tradition of exceptional customer service and quality repair work,” said Mark Fuller, CEO of Alamo Body and Paint.

Previously, Auto Collision Works and its sister company, Schertz Auto Service, a full-service mechanical repair facility, were co-located at 1205 Borgfeld Road. With the sale of the collision business, Schertz Auto Service will move

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New FTC Website Helps Small Businesses Avoid Scams and Cyber Attacks

Industry News - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:49am
Agency provides information on how small businesses can protect themselves.

With the weekend news headlines of a massive ransomware cyber-attack affecting businesses across the world, concerns over computer security issues has never been higher.

Recently, at the direction of Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen, the Federal Trade Commission has launched a new website with articles, videos, and other information aimed at helping small business owners avoid scams and protect their computers and networks from cyberattacks and other threats.

 “Small businesses are critical to our economic strength, building America’s future, and helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace,” Acting Chairman Ohlhausen

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J.D. Power Reports Canadian Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Climbs Despite Premium Increases

Industry News - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:39am
The Co-operators Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction in Alberta, Atlantic and Ontario Regions; Industrial Alliance Ranks Highest in Quebec

Customer satisfaction with auto insurance in Canada increases for the second consecutive year despite nationwide premium increases, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Canadian Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, released today.

 “It does seem counterintuitive to see customer satisfaction increase as premiums rise, but customers are content to pay more when they believe they’re getting value for their money,” said Valerie Monet, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. “While low prices can be effective at getting new customers in

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Main Auto Body Acquires Eighth Collision Repair Center in Oregon

Industry News - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:32am

Main Auto Body, Inc. opened its newest location at 902 SE Textron Street, Suite A in Bend, Ore with the acquisition of Bend Body Shop. With the acquisition, Main Auto Body, Inc has eight locations in the state.

Since 1977, Main Auto Body, Inc. has been serving the Willamette Valley, Oregon Coast and now, Central Oregon.

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European Truck Manufacturers Reveal Plans for Semi-Automated Convoys by 2023

Industry News - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:24am

On May 9, Europe’s truck manufacturers revealed a detailed timeline of steps leading up to the introduction of convoys of semi-automated trucks on Europe’s motorways before 2025. Besides setting out the timing, the ‘EU Roadmap for Truck Platooning’ also provides guidance to policy makers and authorities on the regulatory changes and political support necessary for cross-border truck platooning.

Truck platooning is the linking of two or more trucks in convoy, using connectivity technology and driving support systems. The truck at the head of the platoon acts as the leader, with the vehicles behind reacting and adapting to changes in its

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BASF Names Distributor of the Year

Industry News - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:19am

KAPE/Capital Paint won the BASF Automotive Refinish 2016 Distributor of the Year award at the annual ColorSource conference. Approximately 130 single-line distribution partners attended the conference in Clearwater Beach, Fla.

The 2016 ColorSource Distributor of the Year Award was presented to KAPE/Capital Paint (center) Billy Maxwell, Manager. (Left to Right) Scott Kinsel, owner; Alberto Casillas, Technical Service Representative; Chris Toomey, BASF SVP Coatings Solutions NA; Kayla Simmons, Branch Manager; John Reyes, Branch Manager; Paul Barnes, BASF Color Source Program Manager; Maxwell; Scott Robertson, General Manager; Marvin Gillfillan, BASF VP Automotive Refinish NA; Denise Kingstrom, BASF Distribution Director, NA and Todd

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Auto Body Smart Parts Earns NSF Automotive Parts Distributor Certification

Industry News - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 9:36am

Auto Body Smart Parts, an aftermarket automotive distributor based in Orem, Utah has earned certification from the NSF Automotive Parts Distributor Certification Program.

To earn certification, Auto Body Smart Parts successfully met all of NSF’s requirements which include having effective records management and inventory tracking systems to track orders and parts through the supply chain in addition to having:

  • An ISO 9001 certified quality management system
  • Business liability insurance
  • Customer service procedures requiring timely order processing and communications
  • A defective parts procedure including a customer part complaint process
  • A formal corrective action process for complaints and an immediate recall plan
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Cambridge Automotive Group Acquires Two Maaco Locations in Texas

Industry News - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 9:32am

The Cambridge Automotive Group (CAG) announced it has acquired two Maaco locations in Austin and Lancaster Texas. has acquired an existing Maaco location in Lancaster, TX. With these acquisitions, CAG now owns more than 30 Maaco shops across the country.

Maaco Lancaster, located in Lancaster, Texas, is one of two locations acquired by the Cambridge Automotive Group.

Maaco Austin is located at 10200 N. Lamar Blvd. in Austin and Maaco Lancaster is located at 1440 N. Beckley Ave. in  Lancaster.

CAG was formed in 2015 to pursue a growth strategy in the car care industry and it is the largest

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Caliber Golf Tournament Raises More than $100,000 for American Heart Association

Industry News - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 9:23am

Caliber Collision teammates, partners and friends played their hearts out at the 2nd annual Caliber Classic and raised more than $100,000 to help the American Heart Association fight heart disease.

Proceeds from the golf tournament hosted by Caliber at The Tribute at The Colony Golf Club last week went towards a $4 million fundraising goal for the 2017 Côtes du Coeur event series, a premiere fundraising event held annually in Dallas to benefit the American Heart Association.

Special guest Rowdy, Dallas Cowboys mascot, helps a golfer tee up his ball.

“Caliber Collision is dedicated to restoring the rhythm of lives

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Boyd Group Reports 8.2 percent Increase in Revenue for First Quarter

Industry News - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 9:08am
Same store sales up 1.2 percent, impacted by mild winter weather and currency conversion.

The Boyd Group Income Fund (TSE:BYD.UN) today reported its financial results for the three-month period ended March 31.

According to the multiple collision repair shop operator, sales increased by 8.2 percent to CA$378.9 million ($277.2 million) from CA$350.4 million ($256.3 million) in 2016, including same-store sales increases of 1.2 percent. Currency exchange rates negatively impacted sales by CA$12.0 million ($8.8 million).

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 11.2 percent to CA$32.8 million ($24 million), compared with CA$29.5 million ($21.6 million) in 2016. Adjusted net earnings increased 8.6 percent to CA$13.9 million ($10.2 million) compared with CA$12.8 million ($9.4 million) in 2016.

During the quarter, Boyd added eight locations and an additional two since the end of the quarter.

“As stated in our Q4 2016 earnings results, the extremely warm and dry weather conditions we experienced in many of our markets, combined with currency headwind, had an adverse impact on our results this quarter, ” said Brock Bulbuck, Chief Executive Officer of the Boyd Group. “Notwithstanding these headwinds, we still reported meaningful growth in sales and earnings and we continue to be confident that we are on track to achieve our previously stated long-term goal of doubling our size by 2020.”

 “Despite the impact of weather and currency in the quarter, our overall results show that the business is robust and has been built to withstand fluctuations in regional market conditions,” added Mr. Bulbuck. “We remain committed to achieving targeted growth by continuing to focus on acquiring both single and multi-location businesses, developing new stores and growing same-store sales. In addition, the WOW Operating Way operating model will ensure that we maintain the highest standards of service and customer care.”

While first quarter growth was modest due to the mild winter weather, the company explained the impact will have some carryover in some of its markets into the second quarter of 2017. So far in the second quarter Boyd reports same-store sales growth is showing a slight improvement over Q1 levels.

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Length of Rental Growth Rate Slowed in First Quarter

Industry News - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 8:00am
According to the latest research from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the U.S. collision repair industry’s average length of rental increased at a slower rate during the last quarter.

The rate of average Length of Rental (LOR) growth declined in Q1 of 2017 for the first time in multiple quarters increasing only a modest .2 days from 11.9 to 12.1. In March, the number was flat, the first month without a year over year increase in more than two years.

According to Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s most recent analysis, the data demonstrates very little consistency across and within regions, therefore there doesn’t appear to be

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Small Business Optimism Still High but Expectations for Future Decline

Industry News - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 10:54am
The National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index hovers near record levels, but expectations for future business conditions plunge over concerns on Obamacare repeal.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Index of Small Business Optimism posted another historically high reading in April, but expectations for future business conditions plunged by eight points, a sign that business owners were shaken by Congress’ failure at the end of March to repeal and replace Obamacare.

 “Small business owners were measurably shaken when Congress failed to address one of their most important concerns,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Obamacare

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Axalta Announces Winner of 2016 Refinish Sustainable Star Award

Industry News - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 10:45am

Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE:AXTA) announced that Marshall Auto Body of Waukesha, Wisc. has been named the 2016 Sustainable Star Award winner. In its inaugural year, the award recognizes refinish customers in North America that implement sustainable initiatives to not only benefit the bottom line, but also assist in preserving the environment.

Solar panels help power more than 50 percent of Marshall Auto Body’s annual electricity needs and comprise 10,000 square feet of its roof. 

Marshall Auto Body is credited with installing energy efficient equipment, motion sensors, and timing controls. The company uses Axalta’s Cromax Pro waterborne paint, the Greentech Dryers

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Today’s Guild 21 Concall Examines Autonomous Vehicle Impact on Collision Repair Shops

Industry News - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 10:36am

The next Guild 21 conference call, that takes place today at 2 p.m. EST (11:00 a.m. PST), will feature Hod Lipson, PhD, Professor of Engineering and Data Science at Columbia University, in New York City.

Hod Lipson, PhD, Professor of Engineering and Data Science at Columbia University, will be the featured presenter during the May 11 Guild 21 conference call.

Lipson will examine the impact of autonomous vehicles on the collision repair industry.  Lipson is co-author of the award winning book Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing and Driverless: Intelligent cars and the road ahead by MIT Press that

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Auto Care Association Meets with Canadian and Mexican Associations

Industry News - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 10:09am
Automotive aftermarket associations reaffirm commitment to NAFTA.

The Auto Care Association hosted a meeting with Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA Canada) and Asociación Nacional de Representantes, Importadores y Distribuidores de Refacciones y Accesorios para Automóviles, A.C. (ARIDRA) during its Spring Leadership Days in San Antonio, Texas on May 2. The purpose of the meeting was to share information about the association’s respective programs and identify areas of collaboration, including increased access to market research, education programs, trade promotion activities and technology initiatives.

AIA Canada represents the automotive aftermarket supply and service chain in Canada. The association administers I-CAR Canada

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LKQ Subsidiary Acquisition Faces Possible In-Depth Probe by UK Competition Authority

Industry News - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 9:40am

The United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced today that Euro Car Parts’ acquisition of Andrew Page faces an in-depth merger probe, unless it offers acceptable ways of addressing competition concerns.

Euro Car Parts, the UK-based subsidiary of LKQ Corporation (NASDAQ:LKQ) announced in October 2016 it was acquiring Andrew Page Limited, a distributor of automotive parts in the UK. As part of the transaction, Euro Car Parts would acquire 102 Andrew Page branch locations, its national distribution center and corporate office.

Later in October the CMA announced it had opened an inquiry into the acquisition.

According to the CMA

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Property/Casualty Insurers Report $4.7 Billion Net Underwriting Loss in 2016 

Industry News - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:16am
While suffering an underwriting loss, the industry reported net income of $42.6 Billion, a 25 percent decline from 2015.

Private U.S. property/casualty insurers suffered a $4.7 billion net underwriting loss in 2016, following an $8.9 billion net underwriting gain in 2015, and experienced a 25 percent drop in net income after taxes to $42.6 billion from $56.8 billion a year earlier, according to ISO, a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business, and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

Insurers’ combined ratio deteriorated to 100.7 percent in 2016 from 97.8 percent in 2015, and net written premium growth slowed to 2.7 percent

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PPG Issues Statement on AkzoNobel Decision

Industry News - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:07am
Says it will assess and decide whether or not to continue to pursue an offer.

PPG (NYSE:PPG) today issued a statement on its merger proposal to AkzoNobel (AKZA.AS:AKZOY). On Monday, AkzoNobel rejected PPG’s third offer.

According to the PPG statement:

PPG has reviewed AkzoNobel’s May 8, 2017, response to PPG’s revised proposal of April 24, 2017. PPG continues to believe that its proposal is vastly superior in shareholder value creation compared to AkzoNobel’s new standalone plan and that a combination of the two companies is in the best interests of all stakeholders, including employees.

“We put forward an enhanced,

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