Prior to the start of the meeting at 5PM, a preliminary meeting was held to discuss possible leadership roles, direction and the association’s future plans. Sponsors for the meeting included Larry Walker and Sons Body Shop, PPG and LKQ.
Following a reading of Antitrust guidelines, attendees were introduced, with 16 shops, eight vendors, and several sponsor groups from NC being represented. Additionally, three members of the Nissan Group of North America attended, including one who “drove over seven hours to attend the meeting and show support for Nissan’s grassroots approach to the collision industry,” stated Brian Davies, acting President of NCACAR.
The meeting opened with Davies, providing an update on the association and its membership drive, focusing on gaining members, sharing the benefits of combined resources to include safety groups for workers compensation, buying groups, and manufacturer discount programs.
Next, Michael Bradshaw, vice president of Operations for K & M Collision, provided updates on the changes made to the NC Department of Insurance Consumer Guide to Automobile Insurance and on the changes of CCC One regarding weld setup and testing.
Following those updates, “Craig with Nissan discussed their willingness to help support the local independent repair shops,” Davies recalls. “In addition, they introduced a new parts program. Nissan Value Advantage: OEM Replacement Parts, a new line of parts that are engineered to factory specifications with over 600 part numbers.”
Charles Humphreys, President of WACH Marketing, next spoke to attendees about the importance of creating a positive image to consumers as well as the value in combining resources as a group. Humphreys believes, “It’s essential to the long-term sustainability of the independent collision repair industry,” and he ended with a call to action: “Make it happen!”
Mike Causey, Republican candidate for the office of NC Insurance Commissioner, addressed the group next, speaking of the struggles he has witnessed within the NC collision repair industry regarding current leadership, laws and policies. According to Davies, “Causey made clear the positive impact he plans to make in the independent collision industry within NC when he is elected to the role of Insurance Commissioner.”
Lastly, Billy Walkowiak of Collision Safety Consultants suggested ways his company can collaborate with shops to provide a better repair and produce a more favorable outcome for the consumer.
Davies noted, “I felt the meeting was a huge success and shared with everyone how much support and encouragement we are getting from leaders of other body shop associations all across the U.S.!"
NCACAR will hold its next meeting on October 25 from 5-8PM at the Gaston County Wildlife Club in Belmont, NC. Guest speakers will include Wayne Goodwin, NC Commissioner of Insurance, and Ed Kizenberger, Executive Director of the New York State Auto Collision Technician’s Association (NYSACT).