Mystery of the SEMA Show Sticker Man Solved!

Mystery of the SEMA Show Sticker Man Solved!

Meet Mickey Kahl, owner of Kahl’s Body Shop who's been fighting insurers in his town a lot lately.

Back in January, I talked about a mystery person who left a roll of stickers at the BodyShop Business booth at the SEMA Show last year that said, “Collision Repair Equal To Mechanical Repair Rates: Why Not?” Well, the mystery has been solved! 

Meet Mickey Kahl, owner of Kahl’s Body Shop in New Albany, Ind. Kahl has been fighting insurers in his town a lot lately, which compelled him to make the stickers. He was preparing for his trip to SEMA and decided he would wear a shirt with the stickers covering the back of it and hand them out to as many people as he could at the show. 

“We’ve always felt that you can take the best mechanic out there and ask him to straighten a dent on a car, paint a car or weld a quarter panel and he’s lost. He doesn’t know how to do that,” said Kahl. “But there is no part of their job that collision repairers can’t do, yet they make three times as much. And we know why that is.”

At the show, Kahl estimates he handed out 1,000 stickers. He stopped and explained what it meant to a lot of people, and some agreed and some disagreed. 

Kahl asked one of his sons to help design the sticker on a computer, and a friend of his who owns a sign shop was able to print them. 

“I wanted people to ask me what I was saying, and if you put it out there and said, ‘Body shops deserve as much as mechanics,’ people would nod their head and go on. With the ‘why not’ thing, people stopped and asked me what I was trying to do.”

As far as his battles with insurers go, Kahl says insurers short-pay him all the time. “That’s because we charge for things that a lot of competitors don’t charge for, but that’s not my fault.”

Kahl does charge mechanical rates for mechanical procedures, but there are certain insurance companies that say, “‘Well, if the same technician is doing it, we’re not going to pay them.’ We have that fight all the time. I always charge … if it’s got an ‘M’ code out beside it in the book, it’s mechanical.”

Kudos to Kahl for standing up for what he (and a lot of the rest of the collision industry) believes in and having the gumption to let the world know at the SEMA Show.

You May Also Like

Sticker Shock at the SEMA Show

This year’s SEMA Show held a new surprise for me — a secret drop-off at our booth in the form of a mysterious sticker.

There are always surprises at the SEMA Show, which is one reason why it’s such a special event. New faces to meet, old faces that you haven’t seen in a long time with which to reunite, new technological wonders … the list goes on and on.

This year held a new surprise for me, however — a secret drop-off at our booth. Visiting the booth one day to make sure the magazines on display were still neat and tidy, I noticed a roll of stickers on the table. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the stickers read: “Collision Repair Equal To Mechanical Repair Rates: Why Not?” And there was also a mysterious symbol that my wild imagination took to be the logo of some secret society. But it wasn’t so mysterious after all; the letter “Y” and the drawing of a knot was a visual representation of: Why + Not. Haha, very clever!

Keys To Making 2023 A Huge Success For Your Auto Body Shop

Stopping daily work to work “on” your business instead of “in” your business is essential in order to deliver change in the new year. 

Auto Body Consolidation Update: What Will 2023 Bring?

The bull market of consolidation is expected to continue in 2023 even amidst high inflation, rising interest rates and other challenges.

The Great Awakening: Collision Repairers Taking a Stand

Many repairers are now taking a stand, realizing they cannot conduct business the way they used to.

CARSTAR Fort Collins: Process Produces Performance

The new facility that CARSTAR Fort Collins moved into was designed with organization and performance in mind.

Other Posts

Exhibitors Demonstrate Strong Commitment to 2023 SEMA Show

Automotive specialty equipment manufacturers are geared up to exhibit at the 2023 SEMA Show Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Las Vegas.

SCRS Announces Digital Access to 2022 SEMA RDE Sessions

SCRS announced that all Repairer Driven Education sessions recorded during the 2022 SEMA Show are now available for digital access.

SEMA Celebrates 30 Years of Advancing Women in Aftermarket

The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2023.

SCRS Members Discuss Blend Study Live from SEMA Stage

SCRS announced that collision repairers can watch a discussion of the association’s blend study that was recorded live from the 2022 SEMA Show stage.