By Bradford Wernle, Automotive News
Michigan Ford dealer Ed Joliffe has been calculating the cost of getting his body shop ready for the 2015 aluminum F-150 pickup, and finds the numbers sobering.
“It’s going to cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000. That’s a hell of a chunk,” says Joliffe, who owns Gorno Ford in suburban Detroit.
“I don’t think it’s for the faint of heart. All the small shops won’t be able to touch it.”
He figures it could take five to seven years to recoup that investment, which he deems essential to stay in the body shop business.
Ford is targeting dealers with large body shops as it attempts to organize the F-150 aluminum body repair system. For those dealers, the investment will exceed the $30,000 to $50,000 Ford has cited for a single repair bay. Like Joliffe, many dealers say the cost could be $70,000 or more.
Ford’s effort is creating the Ford National Body Shop Network of dealers and independent shops capable — Ford shies away from the term “certified” — of large structural repairs. The network, whose members have the proper tools and training, will be Ford’s conduit for insurance company repair referrals.
Ford wants to assure customers and insurance companies that collision repair rates will be competitive with rates on the current steel-bodied truck. Those dealers and independent repair shops who invest in equipment and training can hang a Ford National Body Shop Network sign in their showrooms and will be listed on a body shop locator on ford.com.
By year end, Ford wants a network of about 1,500 aluminum-capable body shops, including its 460 dealerships and more than 1,000 independent shops.
By Bradford Wernle
NADA pitch aims to reassure dealers on repair issues
It wasn’t your typical convention display: a color-coded body-in-white cutaway of the Ford F-150 pickup that looked like an oversized Fisher-Price toy.
But Ford Motor Co. was using the toy store approach to make a serious point to dealers: The economics of an aluminum truck – both the repair costs for the customer and the body shop operations for the dealer – make sense.
“We’ve made a lot of really significant changes for repairability,” Jim Farley, Ford global vice president of marketing, sales, service and Lincoln, said at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here. “They will help save a lot of labor costs.”
For those with an engineering bent, the display provided a fascinating first look at how construction and repair of the nation’s top-selling vehicle will change with the aluminum redesign.
Visit http://www.crashrepairinfo.com/ and tell your customers about it.
This is a great resource for our members who work so hard to advocate for the consumer and provide them with information that supports proper repairs.
Please feel free to share your feedback on the site to the SCRS, and they will make sure it is communicated back to the OEM Collision Repair Roundtable.
Executive Director | Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)
I-CAR is happy to inform you that Kia Motors has released its first comprehensive collision repair manual in the United States!
The manual for the 2011-2012 Kia Soul provides a wealth of information valuable to collision repair professionals. It includes body panel repair procedures, sectioning and attachment method instructions, seam sealer and corrosion protection information, body dimensions and plastic part repair instructions. You can find it at www.kiatechinfo.com under Service Materials > Body Dimensions > 2011-2012 Soul (AM) Body Dimensions.
In the same section of the site, Kia has also posted repair manuals for the 2004-2009 Amanti, the 2007-2010 Rondo and the 2005-2009 Sportage that give details on unibody structure replacement procedures, seam sealer information and plastic part repair instructions. Dimension information for several other Kia vehicles is also available.
I-CAR has been encouraging Kia to publish more of its repair information in the United States for some time. So we’re proud to report that the Soul manual is among the most detailed and technician-friendly manuals we’ve seen from any manufacturer to date. We’d like to thank Kia for its efforts to provide this valuable information.
We look forward to updating you on other OEM collision repair information as it becomes available. I-CAR’s ongoing work as a linking pin between OEMs and the industry is just one aspect of our growing Repairability Technical Support Initiative to help collision repair professionals perform complete, safe and quality repairs.
Director, Industry Technical Relations
OVER $200,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS AVAILABLE TO COLLISION STUDENTS THIS SPRING THROUGH THE COLLISION REPAIR EDUCATION FOUNDATION
FIRST 500 APPLICANTS TO RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY TECHNICIAN SHIRT AND PAIR OF SAFETY GLASSES
Secondary and post-secondary collision students attending career and technical schools and colleges have the opportunity to apply for the over $200,000 in available scholarships and tool grants available through the Collision Repair Education Foundation and the organization’s industry supporters. The spring 2014 opportunities include:
- 3M Hire Our Heroes Veteran Scholarships & Tool Grants
- Alliance of Automotive Service Providers Massachusetts (AASP-MA) Tool Grants
- ABRA Auto Body & Glass Tool Grants
- Atlanta I-CAR Committee Scholarship
- Caliber Collision Center Scholarship & Tool Grants
- CCC Michael Salvatore Memorial Student Repair Technician Scholarships
- Chicago Pneumatic Student Tool Grants
- Collision Repair Education Foundation Board of Trustees Scholarships
- GEICO Scholarship & Tool Grants
- I-CAR Northwest Regional Scholarship
- Ingersoll Rand Tool Grants
- The Lon Baudoux Legacy Scholarships
- PPG Automotive Refinish Scholarships
- Robert Author Smith Memorial Scholarship
- Service King Scholarship & Tool Chest Grants
- Van Tuyl Group Scholarship & Tool Grants
- Western Michigan Body Shop Association Scholarship & Tool Grants
As an added incentive to apply, the first 500 collision students to complete the application will receive a technician shirt (sponsored by CAPA) and pair of safety glasses (sponsored by LORD Fusor).
The scholarship and tool grant application is available through the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s web site: www.CollisionEducationFoundation.org, with a deadline of February 13, 2014 to apply. Winners will be selected by members of the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Board of Trustees Selection Committee and notified by mail and phone. For more information, please contact Director of Grant Programs Melissa Marscin at email@example.com or 888.722.3787, Ext. 282.
Florida collision repairers, suppliers and vendors came together in Lakeland, Fla. on November 20 to discuss State Farm’s controversial PartsTrader program and identify solutions to combat “short-pay” trends in the industry.
Ray Gunder, of Gunder’s Auto Center in Lakeland, John Mosley, of Clinton Body Shop, Inc. of Clinton, Miss., along with several other Florida and Mississippi shop owners, joined attorneys John Eaves and Brent Geohagan to share their national efforts to stop State Farm’s attempts to impose a mandatory parts procurement program on an unwilling collision repair industry.
Mosley shared information regarding the recent CIC meeting at SEMA as well as discussions with State Farm’s George Avery. “The simple and clear message was, if you choose not to participate in PartsTrader, State Farm will immediately find you irrelevant,” said Mosley. “The message was clear that State Farm doesn’t care if the collision repair industry likes PartsTrader or not–they will continue to implement the program.”
“We’re in Florida with the purpose of filing an injunction to stop PartsTrader,” Eaves declared to the meeting attendees. “Our ultimate goal is to defeat this mandated parts procurement program and stop State Farm’s intrusion into the collision repair industry in Florida and across the country. We feel PartsTrader is a virus–it infiltrates and destroys long-term relationships between repairers and their suppliers–but we have the cure.”
Eaves added, “This issue isn’t just about you as individual repairers. This issue is about your responsibility to consumers around the nation who are relying upon you, the repair professionals, to look out for and to safeguard their best interests regarding their personal safety and economic wellbeing.”
Additionally, Eaves and Mosley spoke about repairers coming together and filing litigation for “Short Pays” on performed repairs. Mosley stated that their research has shown, on average, that insurance companies have shorted shops $625 to $700 on a $3,500 repair for necessary procedures. These processes included color-sand and polish, fill-block and prime, test drive, clean car for delivery, and others. The attorneys have developed a list of more than 60 necessary procedures that are commonly omitted by insurers.
“This is about taking back the monies insurers have taken from you for procedures and materials that the repair required, that you the repairers have provided, that the consumer received, and that the insurer has failed to pay for,” said Eaves. “That is considered “Unjust Enrichment” for the insurers, and our legal team is going to help participating shops get back the monies they were deprived of.”
Cathy Mills, Executive Director of the Florida Autobody Collision Alliance (FACA) announced during the meeting that FACA was in full support of efforts to stop PartsTrader.
Barrett Smith of Auto Damage Experts (ADE), who was on hand to start the meeting, stated: “There has never been a better time for repairers to step up and collectively be represented and to stop the abuses that they face every day throughout the collision repair industry. Repairers must ask themselves: If not now, when?”
The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) presented a $2000 check to Maxwell High School to help it purchase equipment and supplies for its collision repair training program. The donation was made on behalf of Gene Hamilton (a GCIA Founding member) from the golf tournament honoring his service in the industry on Wednesday, October 2nd at the Trophy Club of Atlanta in Alpharetta, Ga.
Presenting the check is Michelle Coombs, owner Sports & Imports Collision and Gregg Goff, GCIA Board Member.
Sponsors of the event included:
In addition, the association had over 15 hole sign sponsors for the event. Many thanks to all of our wonderful sponsors.
About Maxwell High School of Technology
These guys are doing some great work for our industry by recruiting future technicians for Collision Repair. They currently have about 48 students including both AM and PM classes each day. They have state of the art equipment and train on the most current techniques in collision repair.
They are unsung heroes and GCIA is proud to partner with them to help make the future brighter in the collision industry where the average age of technician is over 50 years of age. If we do not look to support people and programs like this now and in the future, we will be faced with a severe shortage of qualified technicians to properly repair vehicles in our shops in Georgia.
Instructors Butch and Sam follow the I-CAR education curriculum and even train and administer the I-CAR welding test to students as they prepare them to enter the workforce in apprenticeship programs with several partnering collision repair centers. GCIA has agreed to make a commitment to take an active role in helping potential collision repair students and parents understand that the collision repair industry is a great and respectable career path that will engage and challenge students to improve their skill sets in an ever evolving technology based industry.
Maxwell High School of Technology
990 McElvaney Lane
Lawrenceville, GA. 30044
The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has issued a position statement regarding insurer mandates. The position statement is as follows:
In representation of collision repair businesses across the United States, The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) takes exception to business mandates that property and casualty insurers impose upon collision repair businesses; particularly those that specify required vendors, business platforms or internal processes that must be followed in order to be included in, or avoid being excluded from, certain lines of work. As an example, insurer mandates surrounding parts procurement platforms may inhibit independent collision repair businesses from utilizing parts vendors with whom they have an existing relationship, providing insurers with greater influence and control over the parts supply chain.
SCRS believes this control falls outside of the scope of the insurance business. Some insurers are stipulating agreement to these terms, as a condition of being recognized in Direct Repair Programs (DRP). SCRS supports efforts that rightfully seek to eliminate such intrusion into the collision repair business, and enforcement of existing laws, regulations and codes that currently prohibit such actions. It is the opinion of SCRS that voluntary agreements cannot include stipulations which violate existing laws, rules and regulations. SCRS believes that collision businesses are capable of establishing successful vendor relationships and internal processes that will best accommodate the needs of the consumer, and that service providers will continue to respond to the market with increasingly creative solutions that drive performance for their customers and the respective market entities. We believe that solutions with tangible value propositions will be utilized and supported by the marketplace without the undue influence of insurer mandate.
As an example of the concerns addressed by the position statement, SCRS used the elimination of the “fax-only” option in the PartsTrader electronic ordering system that State Farm’s Select Service repair facility participants are required to use. The elimination of the fax-only option effectively requires suppliers to fully participate in the electronic parts marketplace or lose business from Select Service repair shops.
According to the press release announcing the new position statement, SCRS explained, “The rules of the game are changing and it is apparent that maintaining the relationships and negotiated deals of participating repair facilities is only a priority, so long as all involved submit to do business in the manner prescribed by State Farm Insurance, and other carriers with similar programs. Today these mandates address parts sourcing and ordering, but there is valid concern that they open the door to future market manipulation and influence over other similarly critical collision businesses purchasing habits as well.”
Applicable to All Volkswagen Models
Volkswagen continually enhances vehicle styling which includes precise aerodynamic designs and the highest quality paintwork. In order to maintaining these factory engineered standards, Volkswagen is providing collision repair centers with critical information pertaining to collision repair/parts replacement on Volkswagen vehicles.
“Solvent blending” is a method that in the past was commonly used to blend within an exterior body panel. This type of repair procedure cannot be used on the OEM applied finishes on vehicles today. The reason is simple; the bond between the OEM finish and the newly applied refinish paint cannot “blend” or “melt” into one another.
Additionally, the following problems are directly related to “solvent blending”:
- Lack of adhesion and/or delamination of the OEM finish and the refinish coating.
- Visible paint lines and defects are caused by polishing, buffing, or detailing a thin “solvent blended” area.
- “Solvent blending” products are not recommended or guaranteed by the paint companies that manufacture them. For a paint manufacturer guarantee, clearcoat must always be sprayed to the edge of the panel.
- “Solvent blending” products are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Many states have established regulations prohibiting the use of VOCs.
NOTE: “Solvent blending” is not an acceptable method of repair on any Volkswagen vehicle.