Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
A longtime Bloomington, IL, auto body shop has broken ground on a new $1 million facility.
Bob Zook Auto Body expects to move into its new facility at 411 Detroit Drive, Bloomington, by April, said company President Bryan Caldwell. Business will continue at its current location, 413 E. Stewart St., Bloomington, until the new building is complete.
“We are excited by the growth and opportunities the new facility will bring,” said Caldwell, who has worked for the company for nearly three decades.
The new 12,750-square-foot building, next to the Palace Cinemas, will allow the shop to expand its services. A new mechanical department will handle suspension and wheel repairs and alignments related to collisions, said Caldwell.
A fire destroyed an auto shop in Maple, WI, owned by one of the city's fire fighters.
Maple Fire Chief Michael Lundeen says the fire fighters responded around 10:30 p.m. When they arrived on scene, they found half of the building engulfed in flames.
The chief says it took about 20 minutes to get the fire under control.
Nagy’s Collision Specialists has expanded to seven locations in Ohio with the addition of collision repair facility, Doug Chevrolet in Akron.
“We're very excited for this partnership with Doug Chevrolet and moving into the Summit County area,” said Ron Nagy, president of Nagy's.
BASF announced that Karen Broccardo has joined the Automotive Refinish Business group as Distribution Services Manager. She will be located in Southfield, MI.
According to Chuck Soeder, Vice President, Automotive Refinish and Industrial Coatings Solutions, Broccardo will be responsible for sales forecasting, sales compensation administration, ColorSource Distribution administration, Customer Relationship Management Tools, and sales history and data administration.
Prior to joining BASF, she was the Sales Operations Specialist for Ricardo in Van Buren Township, MI, where she was responsible for all sales forecasting in the U.S. and was part of the global SAP implementation team.
Broccardo has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.
Members of ASA of Michigan are invited to participated in a "Back to School" Collision Industry Webinar called "WHERE'S THE WORK?: Identifying Market Changes from 2007 - 2011."
As summer heads into the final stretch, it is time to prepare by going "Back-to-School" and learn about how industry trends are affecting your business. The overview will provide you with business information and practices that may cause you to adjust your marketing efforts.
In mid-July the IABA conducted a member survey they called a Parts Procurement and Insurer Interference Survey which was responded to by hundreds of shops.
Tony Passwater, Executive Director of IABA, wrote in summary: “There is no doubt the Parts Trader is attempting to transform our part procurement process into an ebay type environment, so the “cut-throating” can continue. This will only take away another piece of revenue/profit our businesses have relied upon for a sustainable future. Even though we have “ignorantly” agreed to so many concessions over the years, thinking we would get more work in our doors, isn’t it time to just say “No” ?
See pdf for survey questions and results HERE.
There are extensive comments on the survey available at the IABA website: www.iaba.info.
To contact IABA:
President Mike Hartman, Hartman Auto Body, (260) 837-2802
1st Vice President John Idzik
John’s CarStar, (219) 322-1841
2nd Vice President Debbie Moore
Diamond Collision, (317) 272-6820
Secretary/Treasurer Lora Hackleman-Ehrenberg, Hackleman Auto
Executive Director Tony Passwater
AEII, (317) 290-0611
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).
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.