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

Wednesday, 06 February 2013 17:49

Two Illegal Body Shops Shut Down in Detroit

The city of Detroit recently shut down six businesses as part of its “Operation Compliance” program which aims to curb enterprises operating without proper permits.

The Building, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department joined police and fire departments in padlocking and sealing the entrances of six businesses—two auto repair shops, two tire stores, a junk yard and a wood-pallet company—accused of operating without proper licenses and permits.

“Our objective is to bring every business in Detroit into full compliance with the law,” Mayor Dave Bing said. “Proper permitting and ordinance compliance is essential to operating a business in our city.”

The initiative aims to close an average of 20 illegal businesses per week, Bing said. Police said they can be tied to illegal weapons, stolen goods or drugs.

“We are sending a message that if you are doing business in the city, you need to follow the law,” said Nathan Ford, director of the Building, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department, in a statement.

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers, Minnesota (AASP-MN) recently raised over $7,000 in its 2013 fundraising campaign to support the AASP-MN Automotive Education Fund.

The majority of money was raised at the association’s annual Race for Automotive Education, held Jan. 15-16 at ProKart Indoors in Burnsville. The proceeds will fund scholarships for automotive students enrolled in NATEF-certified mechanical and collision repair programs in Minnesota. 

During the course of the two-night event, 105 racers tore up the track in state-of-the-art European karts, reaching speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour. Many fans and spectators were also on hand to cheer their teams on. Twenty one teams of mechanical and collision repair shops and industry suppliers were represented. 

ASA Michigan will host its next webinar on Feb. 6 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The topic is "Paint Materials: How it is impacting your bottom line."

Attendees will learn an overview of the past eight years, how Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and other natural disasters affect pricing, what the government has identified as refinishing using the 6H/NESHAP rule and other regulations, the increased percentages of paint materials in estimates and how it may affect your net profit, the importance of a paint material inventory and what it can tell you monthly, paint material calculators, scales and using your vendors, and solutions toward recovery.

To register, go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/153124210

We all remember this epic holiday story of “It’s A Wonderful Life” available multiple times during the holiday season.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013 20:10

ABRA Acquires 4 More Locations in Two States

ABRA Auto Body & Glass, a Minnesota-based vehicle repair company, acquired four more repair centers in two states.

In two separate transactions, ABRA acquired three Collision Plus Auto Body Repair Centers in southern Illinois just outside St. Louis, MO, and Ogden Auto Body in Utah. The deals boost ABRA’s repair center portfolio to 136 and expands its national footprint to 15 states.

“This is our 16th acquired center of the year and our first step into Illinois and the St. Louis market,” said Duane Rouse, President and Chief Executive Officer of ABRA.

2013 marks the 40th anniversary of Nagy’s Collision Specialists in Ohio.

Dave Nagy founded the collision repair business at 12145 Whitman Rd. in Doylestown in 1973. His sons, Ron and Dan, bought the business from their father in 1995 and added multiple locations in Wooster, Wadsworth, Millersburg, Orrville, Akron and Ashland.

Nagy’s will celebrate their anniversary all year long by offering numerous prizes and giveaways to their customers via Facebook and their website.

Nagy’s offers services such as Autowatch, where customers can view their vehicles being repaired online, and e-Estimates, where customers can receive estimates at their homes or offices.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013 20:07

CARSTAR Expands in Ohio

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts recently added a new collision repair center to its network in Cleveland, OH. CARSTAR now operates a total of 25 collision repair facilities in Ohio.

CARSTAR’s new location, Coach & Collision CARSTAR, is independently owned by Jeremy and Theresa Orsky.

As part of CARSTAR’s network, Coach & Collision CARSTAR will have access to the company’s management system and business tools, 19 corporately-managed direct repair programs (DRPs), and 45 corporately-managed purchasing programs.

“We are excited to welcome and Jeremy and Theresa Orsky and Coach & Collision CARSTAR to the CARSTAR network,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR.

“We are thrilled to expand our presence in Cleveland with this new top-notch collision repair center,” Byers added.

CARSTAR operates more than 400 collision repair locations throughout 31 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013 20:04

Subaru to Expand Production in Indiana

Subaru will expand production capacity at its existing assembly plant in Indiana, rather than build a new factory, and will start making a new model there in 2016.

Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries Inc., said Subaru expects U.S. sales to climb 9% to 365,000 units in 2013.

“We'll be selling 1,000 cars every day,” he said. Global sales will rise 6% to 750,000.

Yoshinaga said he will release details of the capacity-expansion plan by March 31.

Tom Kellogg—the wholesale director for the Zeigler Automotive Group’s 13 franchises in Grandville, MI—has been using PartsTrader the past several months as one of the first test markets in State Farm’s PartsTrader program.

Kellogg has been with Zeigler since 2003 and in the industry since 1975. He says he wishes programs like PartsTrader would just go away.

“We all know that PartsTrader isn’t the greatest thing out there,” said Kellogg. “I don’t know what I am going to do to stop it, because from what I understand, it’s pretty much here to stay. We’ve got to figure out how to work around it. Not enough writing was done on it. It’s just going to be the pathway of all things in the future to come. It’s PartsTrader today, and tomorrow it’s going to parts for you, parts for them, and pretty soon there’s a plethora of third-party people involved in our business,” he said.

Recently opening a new location in Chicago, CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, North America’s largest multi-shop operator network (MSO), expanded their presence in the Chicago market with the opening of West-Hill CARSTAR in Hillside, IL.

Owned by Joseph, John and Mark Esposito, West-Hill CARSTAR is located at 4907 Butterfield Road, in Hillside, IL. West-Hill CARSTAR has been family owned and operated since John Esposito founded it in 1960 and is a proud member of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Illinois.