Midwestern News

1HomePageMap small mw 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

In today’s collision industry, many shops and their customers would prefer not to use aftermarket parts, yet due to cost control by insurance companies, many are unable to spend the money to install original OEM parts on some vehicles. OE Reman Direct, based in Redford, MI, offers an alternative solution.

A SkillsUSA advisor, John Wilson of Ohio Hi-Point Career Center in Springfield, OH, won an all-expenses paid trip to SEMA, courtesy of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and the Speciality Equipment Market Association (SEMA).

Thursday, 23 August 2012 17:15

ABRA Auto Body & Glass Enters Indiana Market

ABRA Auto Body & Glass, a leading national vehicle repair company, announced the opening of its 42nd franchise repair center and the first in the state of Indiana.

The new ABRA repair center is located on the site of McGonigal Buick GMC Cadillac at 1220 East Blvd. in Kokomo, about an hour north of Indianapolis.

The move is part of the company’s overall plan to accelerate growth in the months and years ahead and increases the total number of ABRA repair centers to 124 in 13 states.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for ABRA in a new market and represents our commitment to excellence and significant growth across the country,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Duane Rouse. “McGonigal has a rich history of auto body repair in the Kokomo area and is known for their guiding principles of dream, deliver, and drive. With this partnership in place and ABRA’s innovative service model we are confident both the vehicle owner and our business partners will be impressed.”

One arrest may have solved several burglaries in Milwaukee, WI.

For years, those living on Milwaukee’s north side have filed police reports after thieves have broken into their garages to steal tools and equipment. According to a search warrant, police believe they have linked one man to nearly 30 burglaries dating back to 2005.

Dave’s Auto Body on Martin Luther King Drive in Milwaukee is the most recent in a string of burglaries. Those thefts nearly shut down the local repair shop.

Special Olympics athletes in Ottawa and Allegan counties in Michigan have something to celebrate—a new mini-van to take them to and from events.

State Farm Insurance and Auto Body Xperts presented the Special Olympians with a 2009 Toyota Sienna van. It replaces a 1997 van which had been used to transport athletes around the state. Now Special Olympics Area 12 can focus its resources on other ways to help the athletes.

“A program like this would cost us twenty thousand dollars or more, that we can now use for taking our athletes to events and to buying equipment that we need to provide programming for our athletes,” says area director Mark Dalman.

State Farm donated the van after it was involved in an accident while Auto Body Xperts repaired the vehicle free of charge, making it as good as new.

The parts and paint were provided by LKQ Industries of West Michigan and PPG Industries.

Gerber Collision & Glass hosted their 5th Annual Peanut Butter Rally in June at locations in Rockford and Loves Park in Illinois. The rally collects peanut butter and cash donations to help the Rock River Valley Pantry feed hungry children throughout the summer months.

In June, Automotive Service Association (ASA) members and related collision industry vendors in the Michigan area were invited by ASA-Michigan to attend a “facts to date” presentation and member discussion regarding the State Farm electronic parts ordering application.

Since then, ASA-Michigan continues to monitor the controversial program. “We have held a couple of roundtable discussions and data is still being collected,” said Ray Fisher, President of the ASA-Michigan group.

Three associations are serving the collision repair industry in Michigan: ASA Michigan, the West Michigan Body Shop Association, and the recently formed Northern Michigan Body Shop Association.

ASA Michigan, affiliated with the Colleyville, Texas-based national Automotive Service Association, comprises 250 members statewide, says its president, Ray Fisher, noting that dues are priced according to regions, with various terms for individual budgets. “Our membership is back to growing after a decade of a tough economy,” he says.

Ernst & Young has given Safelite AutoGlass® President and CEO Tom Feeney the 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year Award in South Central Ohio and Kentucky in the turnaround category. The awards program was created by Ernst & Young in 1986 to honor entrepreneurs whose ingenuity and perseverance have created and sustained successful, growing business ventures.

This year’s honorees were selected from more than 150 nominations by a panel of independent judges. Now in its 26th year, the Entrepreneur of the Year program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 140 cities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year program, which will be announced on Nov. 17, 2012.

Wednesday, 08 August 2012 18:11

CDE Collision Purchases 6th Location

Chicago-based collision repair company C.D.E. Collision Damage Experts has purchased a sixth location.

C.D.E. acquired South County Auto Body in Lansing, IL, which has served the Lansing area for more than 35 years.

“South County Auto Body is the premier body shop in Lansing, known for their commitment to a high quality repair and incredible customer service. We are pleased to have their staff members join our team,” said Chuck Freiberg, president and CEO of C.D.E. Collision Damage Experts.

C.D.E. Collision Damage Experts also has locations in Lynwood, Hammond, Crown Point and South Chicago.

“I am very excited about this acquisition and feel this location is a critical part of our growth strategy throughout Chicago-land and Northwest Indiana,” said Chris Cardwell, vice president of operations.