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2020 BSB Year in Review: Top News Stories

Jason Stahl and Aime Szymanski count down the top news stories of 2020.

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Collision industry veterans Jeff and Marie Peevy created Collision Boost Radio, a weekly podcast series that debuted in February 2020 that offers insight to those considering a career in collision.

Number 9 isFormer Collision Center Manager Invents New Dent Measuring Tool.

Retired collision shop manager Michael Booth invented the Dent Measuring Stick, a new tool that accurately evaluates the size and severity of a dent, visually duplicates the contour of a dent and also calculates the required repair time.

Number 8 isDCR Systems Creates Fastener Solution for Collision Shops.

DCR Systems introduced the DCR Systems Inventory Table to make the repair planning process, and ultimately, the reassembly process, more effective. The table was engineered and built by Symach and DCR Systems, who received a patent for the table’s unique structure in January 2020.

Number 7 isCIECA Webinar to Feature CIECA Founder Erick Bickett.

Erick Bickett, founder of CIECA and past CEO and co-founder of Auto Center Auto Body (ACAB) Automotive Group and FixAuto USA, was set to discuss, “Back to the Future of Collision Repair & How CIECA Brings All Industry Segments Together.”

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Number 6 isHD Repair Forum: Ways Shops Are Addressing Coronavirus,” where the HD Repair Forum spoke with a number of shops and companies to find out what they were doing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Number 5 isPennFleet Offers Truck Drivers Safe Haven during COVID-19.

PennFleet, a full-service repair shop specializing in fleet vehicles, opened its property to truck drivers if they needed a place to stop and rest, since regular spots were closed or full due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Number 4 isVirginia Governor Signs Vehicle Safety Inspection Legislation.

Earlier in 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam unveiled plans to eliminate the state’s motor vehicle safety inspection program. In the final language of House Bill 1414 that was sent to Northam’s desk, however, the periodic motor vehicle safety inspection program remained in place. 

Number 3 is “ASA Seeks Shops to Remain Open as ‘Essential Businesses.’”

ASA emphasized to government leaders the importance of motor vehicle supply, motor vehicle repair and related facilities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Number 2 isBody Shops Taking Precautions in Response to Coronavirus.

When the pandemic hit and quarantines were put into effect, BodyShop Business hit the street to interview body shops and find out what they precautions they were taking to stay in business but protect employees and customers.

Number 1 isFederal Government Issues Guidance to Define Vehicle Service and Repair as Essential Service.

The federal government issued guidance on including the vehicle service and repair industry as an essential service. The document included the list of workers that are considered “essential”: “Automotive repair and maintenance facilities” and “Employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels, and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers.”

Number 10 isIn-Store Financing: Help Build Repeat Business & Loyalty.

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This article by Synchrony Financial discussed how in-store financing can help bring customers back if you offer the right financing options. The wrong type of financing may actually drive customers away.

Number 9 isWhen there’s blood in the streets, buy real estate.

In this article, Spanesi talks about the major trends it believes will take place in the collision repair industry over the next five years in order to guide collision businesses and their decision-making.

Number 8 isConsumer Financing: Optimize Your Program with Training.

This article by Synchrony Financial indicates that there is evidence that suggests that automotive merchants could help increase sales by optimizing their consumer financing program. One example was merchants who promote financing options seeing average ticket sales improve due to the flexibility promotional financing can provide.

Number 7 isCARES Bill Resource Guide for Body Shops and Other Small Businesses.

This article by Industrial Finishes helped body shops needing assistance due to COVID-19 understand the government’s historic CARES Bill coronavirus aid package that provided $349 billion for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to guarantee loans to small businesses hit hard by virus-related losses or complete shutdowns.

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Number 6 isThe Road to Recovery: Restarting Your Body Shop Post-Coronavirus.

Industrial Finishes offered a resource guide to help shops adjust to the new normal as the economy reopened and COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

Number 5 isBrand Integrity and the Value of OEM Parts.

This article by OEConnection discussed the value of OEM parts and how, while it may seem like it comes down to cost, it’s also important to consider the additional value of OEM parts and how they affect the industry.

Number 4 isKnowing When to Repair or Replace a Radiator or Condenser.

This article by Toyota talked about how radiator performance is directly related to vehicle performance, and if a radiator is damaged in a collision and not properly repaired, the engine could overheat, could cause a coolant leak or the transmission could fail.

Number 3 isEffective Marketing for Collision Repairers.

This article by CARSTAR talked about how consistently marketing a collision repair business is important in order to ensure they reach customers before their competitors do.

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Number 2 isA Closer Look at Gas-Catalytic Infrared Curing in Refinish.

In this article, Industrial Finishes discussed how gas-catalytic medium-wave infrared curing is being adapted for automotive coatings as a result of shorter cure cycles and smaller floor space requirements when compared to conventional spray booths.

Number 1 isThe Power Lies Within the Problem Solvers: The Importance of Tech Reps.

This article by FinishMaster emphasized that people make the difference in a business, and FinishMaster prides itself on offering a variety of value-added services – but the one that has the biggest impact is related to their tech reps. 

Number 10 isCity of Angels Welcomes CARSTAR First Choice Auto Body.

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CARSTAR announced the opening of CARSTAR First Choice Auto Body in Los Angeles, Calif.

Number 9 isCaliber Appoints New VP of Glass Operations.

Caliber Collision announced the appointment of Mark Turner to vice president of Glass Operations. The company said since joining Caliber, Turner played a key role in project managing the conversion of ABRA to Caliber Collision and leading the glass business through its integration to Caliber systems and processes.

Number 8 isDent Wizard Acquired by Dealer Tire.

Dealer Tire, LLC entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Dent Wizard, a national provider of automotive reconditioning services and vehicle protection products.

Number 7 isDriven Brands Announces Acquisition of Fix Auto USA.

Driven Brands announced its acquisition of Fix Auto USA and Auto Center Auto Body, adding nearly 150 franchised and 10 company collision repair locations to the Paint, Collision & Glass segment of Driven Brands.

Number 6 isFix Auto USA Adds Eight Locations.

Fix Auto USA announced it added eight locations, expanding its footprint to include Colorado Springs while further expanding in their existing regions of Northern California, Southern California and Nevada.

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Number 5 isCrash Champions Announces Four New Acquisitions.

Crash Champions, one of the nation’s largest independent collision repair MSOs, acquired four more body shops, strengthening their existing market presence in the greater Columbus, Ohio, Springfield, Mo., and Southern California markets, while also gaining a foothold in Iowa.

Number 4 isPuget Sound CARSTAR Shops Raise Money for Children’s Hospital.

Local CARSTAR businesses in Puget Sound celebrated raising almost $50,000 for the Seattle Children’s Uncompensated Care Fund in 2019.

Number 3 isGerber Collision & Glass Acquires Nine Locations in California.

The Boyd Group Inc. announced that it entered the state of California via two acquisitions representing nine locations in the suburban Los Angeles area.

Number 2 isCaliber Collision Announces ‘Restoring You’ Program.

Caliber Collision announced a new program geared toward maintaining operable transportation for medical professionals, first responders and their families serving on the front lines of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Number 1 isCaliber Collision Centers Relocates Corporate Headquarters to Lewisville, Texas.

Steve Grimshaw, president and CEO of Caliber Collision Centers, said the relocation to Texas would allow them to consolidate management spread across a number of locations in California and Texas while taking advantage of Dallas-Fort Worth’s central location, business-friendly environment and large, diversified workforce.

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Number 10 isCIECA Webinar: How Body Shops Are Addressing the Coronavirus.

The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association announced that it will be holding a special CIECAst webinar featuring business leaders from all segments of the collision repair industry highlighting ways companies could continue to provide high-quality service during coronavirus restrictions.

Number 9 isSCRS Asking Body Shops to Donate PPE to Health Care Workers.

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists asked collision repair facilities across the country to consider donating any excess personal protective equipment they may have to health care workers.

Number 8 isAASP/MA Testifies in Support of Revised Right to Repair Law.

On January 13, Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts Executive Director Evangelos “Lucky” Papageorg appeared before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Consumer Protection to urge its support of House Bill 4122, which sought to update the state’s current Right to Repair law to better address the growing presence of telematics in vehicle technology and repairs.

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Number 7 isASA Aims for 100% Deduction of Losses for Non-Remote Businesses.

In an effort to ensure that small businesses are not left behind during COVID-19, ASA signed onto a letter addressed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy requesting immediate disaster relief for small business and their employees where the core functions of the business cannot switch to remote function.

Number 6 isABPA Joins New Consumer Access to Repair Coalition.

The Automotive Body Parts Association announced it joined the new Consumer Access to Repair Coalition, a group of independent automotive parts and repair companies, associations and insurers dedicated to preserving and protecting consumer choice, transparency and affordability in the post-collision repair market.

Number 5 isASE Renewal App Helps Certified Techs Extend Certifications.

More than 100 ASE Certified technicians extended their certification expiration dates by one year without setting foot in a test center, thanks to the ASE Renewal App program which tests technical knowledge through an app on their phones, tablets or computers.

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Number 4 isSCRS to Hold Awards and Corporate Member Recognition Event.

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists invited industry members to join them for the annual SCRS Industry Awards and Corporate Member Recognition luncheon, recognizing organizations who support SCRS and contributions made to the advancement of the industry.

Number 3 isASA Sets New Dates for Training, Business Events.

Due to COVID-19, the Automotive Service Association’s joint Congress of Automotive Repair & Service, Technology & Telematics Forum, annual business meeting and live podcasts were rescheduled from May 4-5 to Aug. 24-25.

Number 2 isCIECA Webinar to Feature CIECA Founder Erick Bickett.

The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association announced that its next CIECAst webinar would feature Erick Bickett, founder of CIECA and past CEO and co-founder of Auto Center Auto Body (ACAB) Automotive Group and FixAuto USA, discussing “Back to the Future of Collision Repair & How CIECA Brings All Industry Segments Together.”

Number 1 isASA Seeks Shops to Remain Open as ‘Essential Businesses.’”

The Automotive Service Association submitted a letter to the National Governors Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties and the National League of Cities reiterating how imperative it is that motor vehicle supply, motor vehicle repair and related facilities be encouraged to support the safe and efficient operation of transportation service during COVID-19.

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Number 10 isSnap-on Introduces More Speed and Power with CT9075.

Snap-on called the new 18 Volt High Output Impact CT9075 the most powerful Snap-on 1/2” drive cordless impact wrench to date. 

Number 9 isHTP America Introduces the Invertig 400.

HTP America introduced the new Invertig 400, boasting twice the amperage output of its smaller counterpart, the Invertig 221.

Number 8 isDent Fix Equipment Releases New Airless Plastic Welder.

Dent Fix launched a new airless plastic welder capable of repairing most basic tears, gouges, cracks and some tabs.

Number 7 isPolyvance Releases New 6149 Sensor Hole Cutting Kit.

Polyvance introduced a new 6149 Sensor Hole Cutting Kit that makes it quick and easy to cut round holes in bumper covers for the installation of parking sensors.

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Number 6 isPPG Launches DPS7500 V-Prime High Production Primer Surfacer.

PPG introduced its advanced DPS7500 V-Prime High Production Primer Surfacer, part of PPG’s Deltron line of refinish products and designed to address spot and panel repairs in high-production collision centers.

Number 5 isRemove Moisture and Contaminants in One Easy-to-Maintain Dryer.

Kaeser Compressors unveiled a new High Temperature Refrigerated Dryer (HTRD) with quick-release front panel that is easy to install and designed to be low maintenance. 

Number 4 isDent Fix Equipment Introduces New Panel Saw.

Dent Fix Equipment introduced a new panel saw, the DF-PS36, that quickly and cleanly cuts through sheet metal panels up to 16 gauge. 

Number 3 isCornwell Quality Tools Expands Platinum Series Tool Box Line.

Several new paint and trim color combinations were added to the Cornwell Quality Tools Platinum Series line of tool boxes. 

Number 2 isAutel Releases ADASCAL2 Expansion Package.

Autel announced it released the new ADASCAL2 expansion package, compatible with both their standard frame and portable MA600 ADAS calibrations systems.

Number 1 isSUN Collision Repair Introduces Interactive Wiring Diagrams.

SUN announced the latest release of the SUN Collision Repair Information software, which features wiring diagrams with exclusive features including interactivity that connects the diagrams directly to component information. 

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