This Week in Auto Body News

New Industry Resource from I-CAR

I-CAR has launched a new industry resource, the Repairability Technical Support (RTS) Portal, the company announced Friday.

The portal includes industry information on topics like original equipment manufacturers (OEM), partial parts replacements searches, the current top-10 vehicle-specific questions, and has an option to ask the organization a question.  RTS is part of I-CAR’s initiative to connect the auto body repair industry to OEMs.  The organization will also discuss OEMs at the I-CAR main stage during the 2014 NACE/CARS Expo & Conference, July 30–Aug. 2 in Detroit.

Key I-CAR Conference topics are:

  • Ford: CAFE and vehicle optimization challenge, and the new aluminum-intensive 2015 Ford F-150, Collision Repair Service strategy
  • Lightweighting: Carbon fiber, advanced steels, aluminum
  • Vehicle technology: The changing DNA of the vehicle
  • Advanced electronics, communications and safety: Collision avoidance, connected vehicles, vehicle data

Companies presenting at the Conference include:

  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors Corporation
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Alcoa
  • Steel Market Development Institute
  • Robert Bosch LLC
  • The University of Michigan; Larry Burns PhD, and Transportation Research Institute
  • SCG Management

Enterprise ARMS Product May Help Reduce Cycle Time

Collision Repair shops that use Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s Automated Rental Management System (ARMS) have, on average, a shorter cycle time than those who do not, according to newly released data from Enterprise.

The ARMS product, initially developed in 1999, measures the length of time a customer uses a rental car, tracks and forecasts labor needs, and can generate monthly reports. The program also enables repair centers to book rental reservations and send vehicle status updates to insurance partners or customers.

Enterprise_Rent_a_Car_Logo2ARMS aims to help collision repair centers increase operating efficiencies, enhance customer service and streamline communications with insurance companies and customers.  According to data collected by Enterprise between January 2014 to May 2014, ARMS product users’ cycle time is nearly four days shorter than non-ARMS users, on average.

“Losing a customer due to perceived excessive repair time is costly for both collision repair centers and insurers,” Frank LaViola, assistant vice president of collision industry relations at Enterprise, said. “That’s why cycle time has become one of the most important performance metrics in the collision repair industry. With ARMS, communication between insurance companies, collision repair centers and car rental offices is streamlined to help reduce cycle time and get policyholders back in their cars sooner.”

Sanford Paint & Body and Martin’s Collision center are members of both I-CAR Gold and Enterprise.  We utilize the technology produced by both of these companies and will be implementing them as soon as they are available to the public.  We are excited for the recent developments in the industry, but also like to stick to old school ways – like offering you a free quote for your collision repair.  Contact us today for a free estimate!!

Auto Body News Update

New Automotive Refinish Available

PPG Automotive Refinish expanded its OMNI PLUS product line by adding a new 15-minute bake clearcoat.

The MC2800 EUROPLUS Speed Clear is a 4.2 VOC high solids clearcoat, which offers both a quick bake option and the ability air-dry and buff the same day. The clearcoat is also able to adjust to production conditions, like the temperature of the facility, when used with one of two Omni Plus activators, MH2880 or MH2890 High Temperature.

“As part of the Omni Plus product line, MC2800 EuroPlus Speed Clear helps enhance a repair shop’s throughput and productivity while delivering excellent results,” said Jennifer Boros, PPG’s segment manager of solvent-borne brands. “This new clearcoat’s fast dry times and exceptional finish—all at an economical price—make it the kind of product our value-focused repair shops will want to incorporate into their refinish systems to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction.”

CARSTAR Fixes ‘Hero’s’ Truck For Free

West Valley CARSTAR in Utah performed free truck repairs for a man being hailed as a hero after he used his Dodge 2500 to barricade against a car attempting to drive through a public park where several children were playing, the company announced Wednesday.

Back in late May Bryson Rowley used his 2006 Dodge pickup to block a car being driven by a 14-year-old boy who had stolen his grandfather’s car and was being chased by police. The boy had already driven the truck through the park once and was on his way back for another pass when Rowley blocked the entrance to the park with his truck.  “The car came from the opposite side of the park. It came across all the ball fields, across the grass, right at all the kids,” Rowley said. “He jumped the car over a grass patch, into the road. At that point I told my wife I can’t let him back in.”

Rowley drove his truck in front of the vehicle, ending the chase. Rowley wasn’t injured, but he knew the $7,000 worth of repairs to his Dodge would probably not be covered by his insurance carrier. When Brian Ellison, West Valley CARSTAR production manager and co-owner, heard about the accident he reached out to Rowley.

“I saw what happened on the news that night, and thought the least I can do is help him out,” Ellison said. “If it was one of my kids, or one of my nieces or nephews, you can’t replace that. Cars can be replaced, people can’t.”
The shop not only fixed Rowley’s truck, but with the help of vendors, also gave it several upgrades. In all, Rowley ended up with $15,000–$20,000 worth of repairs and upgrades. Vendors that donated parts include Fusion Bumpers, Diesel Power Gear, Smittybilt, Sinister Diesel, Jacket Accessories, Tip Top Transmission, Precision Dent, Diesel Sellerz.com, Sparks Motors, MBRP, Monster Hooks Inc., and Larry H. Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge.
Hertz covered the cost of a rental car for Rowley while his truck was being repaired. “We’ve been pretty blessed down here. It was the least I could do,” Ellison said. “He’s a good guy. When he came to pick it up, he was in tears.”

Sanford Paint & Body and Martin’s Collision Center prides itself in customer satisfaction and client retention. We use the most up to date technology in order to insure your car is repaired according with the highest industry standards. Contact us today for a free quote!

Auto Body News Update

I-CAR Celebrates 35th Birthday

 There were several new updates to the auto body industry in the past several weeks that are worthy of mention here today.  First on the docket is I-CAR.  Inter-industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (or I-CAR) celebrated its 35th birthday on Monday, July 1st.  For the past 35 years, I-CAR has been working to provide collision repair training courses for repair technicians.   Currently, I-CAR offers over 178 courses and has served a total of almost 9,000 businesses and over 56,000 prospective students.

Over the years, I-CAR has helped raise awareness of standards for education on repair techniques and safety procedures, which has had a direct correlation with the increase in customer satisfaction and workmanship integrity in the auto body repair industry.

Florida Lawsuit Against Insurers Gets Refiled

As we reported several weeks ago, there was a class action lawsuit filed by over 20 collision repairers in the State of Florida against 39 insurance companies.  The suit was dismissed without prejudice last week.

The suit currently alleges that State Farm has been at the center of an effort to reduce payments made to collision repair centers in Florida.  It has also been mentioned that these efforts have been made in order to suppress labor rates and to force shops to accept lower payments for materials required to make the necessary repairs.

On June 27th, district Judge Gregory Presnell requested more information about the complaints.  The judge specifically asked for further clarification surrounding specific instances where this happened and what shops were directly involved.  The plaintiffs in the case believe that they now have a strong case and should have a leg to stand upon when the case is finally brought before a jury.

valspar-logo-homeValspar Announces New Clearcoat Technology

On July 2nd, Valspar announced an addition to its Air Cure Clearcoat technology into the refinish product line that they offer.

The new Air Cure Clearcoat, or AD4200, as well as the Air Cure Clearcoat Low VOC, or AD4221, now offer to be applied in a wet-on-wet technique which has allowed them to cut the dry time on these clearcoats to be cut to as low as half an hour when drying in optimal conditions.  Valspar continues to lead the technology present in refinishing cars and has set the standard for the industry as a whole.

Martin’s Collision and Sanford Paint & Body has proudly been a member of I-CAR Gold certification since we have been in business.  In addition, we always use the state of the art training manuals as well as paints and clearcoats that are at the pinnacle of their industry.