Industry News

CARSTAR Adds Collision Repair Center to Network in Chicago Market

Industry News - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:07am

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts announced the opening of CARSTAR DANRICH located at 15822 Annico Drive, Homer Glen, Ill. The business is owned by Dan and Rich Schwartz, who have operated a collision center for 35 years.

“We continue to expand our presence in the Chicago region and are proud to welcome CARSTAR DANRICH and owners Dan and Rich Schwartz to our CARSTAR family,” said Michael Macaluso, President, CARSTAR North America.  “Their commitment to the highest-quality collision repair and excellent customer service make them excellent representatives for our CARSTAR brand.”

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Kia Partners with Assured Performance to on Recognized Collision Repair Facility and Wholesale Dealer Program

Industry News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:39am

Kia Motors America (KMA) announced an agreement with Assured Performance Network to develop, launch, and manage its Recognized Collision Repair Facility program and the Kia Recognized Wholesale Dealer program.  KMA will be an integral strategic partner, leveraging the joint-effort collision repair facility certification services, infrastructure, and turnkey program offered by Assured Performance’s Certified Collision Repair Program.

Assured Performance’s Certified Collision Repair Program allows independent collision repair facilities to meet the qualifications necessary to be recognized by KMA as a collision repair facility of choice for its customers.

All Certified facilities will automatically have the option to be recognized by KMA

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AAA Research Shows Vehicle Infotainment Systems Create Increased Distractions Behind the Wheel

Industry News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:36am

New vehicle infotainment systems take drivers’ eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially dangerous periods of time, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message. Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research. With one in three U.S. adults using infotainment systems while driving, AAA cautions that using these

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Mitchell Launches Consumer First Notice of Loss with Guided Photo Capture for Guidewire

Industry News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:28am
Mitchell publishes the first accelerator for Guidewire Digital to enable consumer first notice of loss with guided photo capture and photo estimating

Mitchell and Guidewire Software, Inc. (NYSE:GWRE), a provider of software products to P&C insurers, announced that Mitchell has successfully completed the Ready for Guidewire validation process for two new accelerators.

The Mitchell Consumer Self-Service Accelerators make it easier for an insurance company using Guidewire ClaimCenter and Guidewire Claim Portal to meet increasing consumer needs for mobile transactions, with a single out-of-the-box implementation of Mitchell’s Mobile First Notice of Loss (FNOL) and Photo-Based Estimating solutions with little-to-no additional integration

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Property/Casualty Insurance Industry’s Net Income Drops to $15.5 Billion in First-Half 2017

Industry News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:26am
Decline of over 29 percent in net income compared to 2016

The private U.S. property/casualty insurance industry saw its net income after taxes drop to $15.5 billion in first-half 2017 from $21.8 billion in first-half 2016—a 29.2 percent decline—and its overall profitability as measured by its annualized rate of return on average policyholders’ surplus fall to 4.4 percent from 6.4 percent, according to ISO, a Verisk (NASDAQ:VRSK) business, and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

The industry experienced $17.1 billion in direct catastrophe losses—$3.2 billion above the direct catastrophe losses for first-half 2016. Insurers’ combined ratio deteriorated to

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LKQ’s North American Operations Breaks Ground on New Headquarters in Nashville

Industry News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:05am

LKQ Corporation announced it officially began construction on a new 100,000 square foot office building in Nashville, Tenn. that will serve as headquarters for LKQ’s North American Operations.

With approximately 400 employees in the Nashville area, this new facility will allow LKQ to consolidate its current corporate support staff employees from their Grassmere Park and La Vergne offices into one centralized location. Also, this new facility provides LKQ the capacity to increase their current workforce by 150 new jobs over the next five years.

LKQ’s investment in this new facility is part of our efforts to ensure LKQ will continue

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Lift Institute Online Lift Safety Training Now Available in Spanish and on Mobile Devices

Industry News - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 11:39am

The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) has completely updated its Lifting It Right online training course. The interactive course covers safe lifting practices for all types of automotive lifts. For the first time, the course is now offered in English or Spanish.

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the introduction of Lifting It Right as a simple safety manual in 1987. While the core focus on lift safety is unchanged, the new course is thoroughly modernized, both in content and delivery. The course can be taken online with a computer or mobile device. Most people finish it in an hour or

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Americans Spend Smaller Portion of Expenses on Transportation Today than 3 Decades Ago 

Industry News - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 11:31am

Although the average cost of a new vehicle today is well over $30,000 and the price of gasoline has more than doubled in the past 30 years, Americans spend less on transportation today than they did back when the first George Bush was president.

In 1989, American households averaged 18.9 percent of all expenditures on transportation (vehicle purchases, gasoline, other related expenses). But last year, transportation expenses had fallen to 15.8 percent of all personal expenditures, say researchers at the University of Michigan.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditures Survey, Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of

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BASF Supports Young Spray Painters at WorldSkills Competition

Industry News - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 11:27am

To support up-and-coming automotive refinish spray painters and young talent, BASF’s Coatings division is a global sponsor of the WorldSkills International association until at least 2019.

At the 2017 WorldSkills final in Abu Dhabi, the automotive refinish contenders will compete using Glasurit brand products exclusively.

“As a sponsor of the WorldSkills competition, BASF Automotive Refinish wants to encourage young talent to consider refinish painting as a profession,” said Marvin Gilfillan, BASF Vice President, Business Management, Automotive Refinish. “We’re focusing on promoting the next generation of automotive refinishers.”

The WorldSkills competition will take place in the Middle East for the first

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U.S. Senate Committee Approves Amended Autonomous Vehicle Legislation

Industry News - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 11:19am
Amendment provides for Federal Advisory Committee that includes aftermarket representatives. ASA, PCI supports data access and cybersecurity amendment

A key concern for the independent automotive service and collision repair industries as well as auto insurers with autonomous vehicle legislation moving through the U.S. Congress was access to data generated by vehicle systems necessary to repair vehicles. These concerns have been addressed with an amendment that was included in the legislation yesterday. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation yesterday, by voice vote, approved S. 1885, The American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act,

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NABC’s Program Provides Firefighters with Crash Course on How to Cut Up Complex Vehicles

Industry News - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 11:45am

The National Auto Body Council (NABC), Caliber Collision and State Farm teamed up with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to host a special First Responder Emergency Extrication (FREE) training program for 75 firefighters representing 14 fire and rescue companies throughout Virginia, Maryland and New York.

Greg Brown (center) of State Farm, which donated late-model vehicles for NABC’s First Responder Emergency Extrication program, works with first responders at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

NABC’s training program is designed to provide specialized instruction on the safest, fastest way to extricate accident victims from vehicles constructed with today’s high-strength materials and

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State Farm Reports Deer Hit Damage Costs Up

Industry News - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 11:40am
Animal hit claim cost up 4.6 percent

State Farm released the results of its 15th annual deer claim study that helps define that danger for drivers. It ranks states by the potential likelihood a driver has of hitting a large animal, like deer, elk, moose or caribou.

This year’s study has some good news for West Virginia drivers. The state continues to lead the nation in the likelihood of having an insurance claim involving a deer. However, their one out of every 43 drivers statistic represents a 4.7 percent decrease from 2016.

Unfortunately, there were some increases in likelihood among

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Women’s Industry Network Kicks-off 2018 Membership Drive

Industry News - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 11:28am

The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) announced the kick-off of its annual #ALLIN4WIN Membership Drive. The drive will run through Dec. 31 and will offer special membership pricing of $109 for the both the remainder of 2017 and all of 2018. Additionally, anyone who joins or rejoins WIN during the drive will be entered into a Grand Prize drawing for a free 2018 WIN Education Conference registration fee (a $450 value). WIN membership is open to all women and men in every segment of the North American collision repair industry.

“Our 2018 #ALLIN4WIN Membership Challenge is about spreading the word to

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Interview: Brandon Eckenrode, Collision Repair Education Foundation

Industry News - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 3:38pm

For several years now, the Collision Repair Education Foundation has been asking for industry support to help make back to school more professional for their local high and college collision repair students by sponsoring Cintas Work Uniforms.

A local collision student can be sponsored for $50 each and would be provided with a Cintas work shirt and pants. Those businesses that sponsor more than 20 uniforms for a school will have their corporate logo added as a patch to the front of the work shirts. The Collision Repair Education Foundation will coordinate the work uniform orders and the sponsoring company

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Texas Jury Finds Collision Repair Center Responsible for Improper Repairs in $42 Million Lawsuit

Industry News - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 11:23am
A jury assigned a Texas collision repair center 75 percent liability in a case brought by Dallas couple who suffered injuries in a car accident in a vehicle that had collision repairs performed that did not follow manufacturer procedures.

A jury in the 192nd Civil District Court in Dallas County, Texas found in favor of plaintiffs Matthew Seebachan and his wife Marcia who alleged that repairs that deviated from manufacturer procedures performed by John Eagle Collision Center prior to their purchase of the vehicle led to their injuries in a December 2013 crash.

In the suit, the Seebachans alleged that

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Craftsman Acquires Two Collision Repair Centers in British Columbia

Industry News - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:40am

Craftsman Collision announced it expanded to Prince George, British Columbia (BC) with the acquisition of Jack Schultz Autobody and Queensway Autobody.

The expansion brings Craftsman’s new total to 42 shops under four names in BC, Alberta and California, including 35 in BC alone. The BC communities of Kamloops, Duncan, Vernon and Rutland are other recent additions.

 “I’ve always admired Craftsman Collision, and for some time it’s been my goal to become part of the Craftsman family,” says former Jack Schultz owner and president Lee J. Leslie, who remains shop manager and now wears the title of Regional Manager, Northern BC

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Early Bird Discounts for Collision Repair Training at SEMA Ends October 13

Industry News - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:20am

Early bird pricing for the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) Repairer Driven Education (RDE) programs at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nev. ends after Friday, October 13. The RDE series, featuring the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit on Thursday of the show, will provide collision repairers with access to more than 30 educational sessions. The sessions will be delivered between Monday, October 30 through Friday, November 3.

The sessions can be purchased individually, or accessed with a Full Series Pass which includes admission to one regular RDE session in each available time slot, access to all three segments

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Collision Repair Education Foundation Names Four New Trustees to Board

Industry News - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:13am

The Collision Repair Education Foundation announced the appointment of four new members to its Board of Trustees including: Kevin Burnett, Gerber Collision & Glass; Don Mikrut, Audatex, a Solera Company; Jay Sharp, National Coatings & Supplies; and Karen Sullivan, Allstate Insurance.

The Foundation, founded in 1991, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting collision repair educational programs, schools, and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities.

Russ Hoffbauer, chairman of the Foundation board said, “We are excited to have new representatives of these very supportive organizations join the foundation. Our vision is

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CIC Publishes October 31 Meeting Agenda

Industry News - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 11:44am

The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) agenda for the upcoming meeting, held on October 31, in conjunction with the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nev. Issues ranging from OEM procedures to vehicle scanning to CCC’s Secure Share implementation will be addressed during the meeting.

Registration for the CIC meeting is available online.

From the Open Systems, Data Access and Sharing Task Force: CCC’s announcement regarding the 2018 implementation of Secure Share has raised many questions in the industry. Learn about the impact of Secure Share on other companies supplying goods and services to the industry and what – if

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Industry Veteran To Pen Book on Collision Repair Industry History

Industry News - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 11:40am

Industry veteran and now retired representative for a major OE, Gary Ledoux, has announced that he will resume a project started in the fall of 2009, writing a history about the collision repair industry.

 “I think people in the collision repair industry rarely consider the history that they are a part of,” explained Ledoux. “But there are a number of industry leaders and innovative companies that, over the years have done great things to move the industry forward. It is time those people were recognized and their accomplishment and milestones preserved for posterity. No one has ever written a book

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