Twitter You Tube Facebook Autobodynews Linked In

Southeastern News

1HomePageMap small se 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia

The Georgia Collision Industry Association will send letters out this month to all Georgia Claims Managers, the GA Insurance Commissioner and the GA Attorney General detailing the results of the GCIA labor rates surveys given in July. The GCIA hopes to inform these parties about their analysis of the prevailing competitive price. More information can be found at The full text of the letter is as follows;

August 9th, 2010
To: Georgia Insurance Company Claims Managers
From: The Georgia Collision Industry Association
RE: Collision Labor/Materials Rates in Atlanta Metro Area

The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) recently completed their 4th Annual Labor & Materials Rate Survey for Metro Atlanta and we are writing to inform you of the results of the research.

The Survey was conducted by CSi Complete to ensure unbiased data collection.

CSi Complete is a provider of customer satisfaction indexing to collision repair, claims and other services industries and you can learn more information about the company by visiting their website at

Our goal in conducting this annual survey and sharing the results is twofold:

1. To utilize an impartial company to identify and communicate statistically valid figures representing the average labor rate for repair services offered in the Atlanta Metro area, and

2. To communicate the results of the research to both collision repair facilities, insurance carriers and the appropriate involved in serving the consumer in the repair and claims handling process.

The 2010 survey indicates a 3.15% average increase over 2009 rates, bringing labor rates to $42.00 and Materials to $28.00.

The GCIA encourages all Claims Managers and insurance company executives to thoroughly review the 2010 GCIA Labor Rate Survey. We urge you and your company to join the GCIA in our efforts to alleviate the variances between the actual prevailing rates (as shown in our survey) versus the rates some carriers are currently compensating collision repair shops for materials and labor in Metro Atlanta.

The GCIA has conducted this survey for four (4) consecutive years. No other industry association in the U.S. has collected this amount of accurate data on collision materials and labor rates.

This year, nearly 300 shops participated, and the results clearly demonstrate the actual prevailing rate in the Atlanta marketplace.

It is our intention that the information offered be used to ensure your company is fulfilling its obligation to the policyholder, be reimbursing for the actual prevailing rates in Metro Atlanta.

If you have any questions about the GCIA, or the results of this survey, I would encourage you to contact our Executive Director, Howard Batchelor, at

Board of Directors
Georgia Collision Industry Association
Georgia Collision Industry Association –
595 Commerce Park Dr Marietta, Georgia  30060  FAX: (770)590-3881 VOICE: (770)770-367-9816.

ECO-Friendly Auto Center in Oakland Park, FL, received Florida State Green Certification through Certified Green Partners (CGP) on August 5. ECO-Friendly received this certification thanks to processes and techniques they use daily in their shop.

To view a PDF of this article please CLICK HERE.

Florida city officials as well as representatives from suppliers attended ECO-Friendly’s Certification Ceremony at the shop on August 5.

“From day one I had being green in mind,” said Sully Dawson, owner of ECO-Friendly Auto Center.

The auto center had to be audited by Certified Green Partners before receiving this certification. The entire shop and all of its processes were looked into by an auditor from CGP to make sure the shop held up CGP’s standards for certification.

ECO-Friendly recycles just about everything possible around the shop from scrap metals to batteries to office papers.

In response to numerous inquiries regarding the status of the Slander and Tortious Interference case Gunder’s Auto Center has against State Farm; we have filed our appellate brief and State Farm has filed their rebuttal and we are currently awaiting the courts ruling relative to a request for Summary Judgment presented in the matter. We anticipate success in this regard and to move forward to achieving the ultimate goal of “having our day in court."

This entire matter hinges on whether any insurer, including State Farm, can merely target a repairer and have the right to say anything they wish with the intent to harm the repairer and disparage their good name in an effort to interfere with the relationship between the repairer and their customer; so long as the insurer does not breach the legal limit referred to as “Expressed Malice”. It is my understanding that according to State Farm, this means they can say anything they wish about me and my company up to the extent that one is a “murderer” or “rapist” etc.!

Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc., the U.S. operations of Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd., will move forward with its plans to provide stamped parts, body weld parts and plastic parts to the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi plant at Blue Springs.

Governor Haley Barbour announced the restart of construction on the $200 million facility in Baldwyn on July 30.

The plant is expected to employ close to 300 people.

A Japanese newspaper reported the work was resuming two weeks ago, but at the time, local industry experts told WTVA it was just a rumor.

The Governor says he expects other suppliers to the Toyota Mississippi plant in Blue Springs to announce resumption of work soon.

The Georgia Collision Industry Association has completed and released the results of its labor rate survey.

To view the results chart in PDF format please CLICK HERE.

The results show an average year on year increase of 3.15% for 2010 over 2009 in five categories: Sheet Metal, Refinish, Mechanical, Frame, and Paint & Material. The 2009 rates had an average increase of less than 1% over 2008.

The largest increase was in the paint and material rate (4.60% over 2009) followed by the frame rate which averaged 4.1% over the prior year. The lowest increase was in the mechanical rate.

The 4th Annual GCIA Labor Rate Survey began on Monday, April 26, 2010. GCIA conducted the survey by mailing a postcard to all Metro Atlanta Shops that included a link to the online survey website. The association then followed up and called all shops in metro Atlanta. A total of 137 shops completed the online version and 154 shops were contacted by telephone for a total of 291 total survey responses.

Shop identities will not be published with the results of this survey and will remain confidential. Names were used to track demographics and ensure that only one survey was cast per Repair Facility location.  No rates were used that may exist between a repair facility and any contracted customer such as a Fleet Account or Insurance DRP Program.

Georgia's infrastructure has not kept pace with their monumental growth over the last three years; Georgia ranks 49th among the 50 states in infrastructure-spending per capita. Its petrol tax—which funds highway, road and bridge maintenance—is the second-lowest in the country. Georgia’s legislature has long been sharply divided between Atlanta and the rest of the state: telling voters in the rural south, for instance, that they will have to pay higher taxes to fund road improvements in the urban north is politically unpalatable. Georgia’s governor Sonny Perdue signed a comprehensive transport bill on June 2nd that was three years in the making, hoping to bridge all of Atlanta together to help strengthen infrastructure statewide.

The bill divides Georgia into 12 regions, and gives each the power to decide on its own transport projects. Voters in each region will decide by referendum whether to approve a one-cent increase in the sales-tax to pay for those regional projects. Atlanta stands to see as much as $790 million through the new tax.

The bill may also help MARTA, Atlanta’s urban-rail system. It is the largest in the country that does not receive any state funding; it relies instead on passenger revenue and a 1% sales tax in the two counties it serves.