ASA Appoints Ray Fisher As Executive Director

Ray Fisher, Executive Director of ASA’s Michigan affiliate, has been selected to head the Automotive Service Association as its Executive Director and President, from the beginning of 2019.

Fisher replaces Dan Risley, who left to pursue an opportunity in his home state of Illinois in July. Beth Risch has served as ASA’s interim Chief Operating Officer while ASA’s Board of Directors conducted an extensive search.

“I appreciate the opportunity that the ASA Board of Directors has afforded me, and I look forward to serving the independent automotive repair industry,” Fisher said about his new role leading the 67-year-old organisation.

“We are at a critical time in our industry where involvement plays an important role. Education and training are no longer an elective but required. Trade schools were forgotten, technology can be overwhelming, and we have an aging workforce that is faced with some difficult decisions. ASA can help lead the industry in addressing those challenges.”

ASA Board Chairman Roy Schnepper said the board felt Fisher distinguished himself in several categories that led to his selection.

“The ASA National Board considered many variables in choosing our next executive director,” said Schnepper. “After reviewing approximately 80 resumes, the search committee of Bryan Kelly, Jim Keller, Robert Redding, Darrell Amberson and myself narrowed it down to three well-qualified candidates and presented this to the board of directors. Ray’s broad industry background and long association experience as Executive Director of the ASA-Michigan affiliate made him the best candidate. We welcome Ray to his new role and look forward to working with him to grow the association through his knowledge and dedication to serving our members.”

Fisher, who has served the industry in varied roles, has been President and Executive Director of ASA-Michigan since 2010. In addition, he served as a body shop manager for more than 20 years and an expert witness for a local law firm regarding collision repair and processes.

With formal education in business administration, Fisher is an Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) and an Accredited Master Automotive Manager (AMAM). He has extensive legislative experience, driving key issues for ASA-Michigan members on sales tax issues and shop licensing. His recognition and contributions to the organisations he served have resulted in numerous awards, including the ASA Affiliate of the Year Award in 2018, ASA Legislative Award in 2015 and 2016, as well as the I-CAR Founder’s Award.

“I’d also like to thank Beth Risch for her service as interim COO during our search process and look forward to continuing our relationship in her consulting capacity,” added Schnepper.

Robert Bryant Named Chief Executive Officer Of Axalta

Axalta has announced that its board of directors has named Robert Bryant Chief Executive Officer on a permanent basis, effective immediately. He had been serving as interim CEO since October 2018. Bryant was also appointed to serve on Axalta’s board of directors.

“Over the past two months, Robert has seamlessly stepped into the role of interim CEO and led the company in a challenging market environment,” said Charlie Shaver, Axalta’s Chairman of the Board. “Having worked closely with him over the past six years, I am extremely confident in his ability to lead Axalta effectively as our permanent CEO. The board and I look forward to seeing Axalta build on its success and continue to thrive under Robert’s leadership.”

“I appreciate the board’s confidence in me and am honoured to continue working alongside a talented management team and dedicated employees to build on Axalta’s well-deserved reputation for customer service and innovation,” Bryant said.

The company also announced that Sean Lannon has been named Chief Financial Officer on a permanent basis, effective immediately. He had been serving as Vice President and interim Chief Financial Officer since October 2018.

“Sean’s business and financial acumen, years of experience working in increasingly senior finance roles at Axalta, and extensive background in financial reporting make him a great fit to succeed me as Axalta’s CFO,” said Bryant. “I am very excited to continue working with Sean to grow Axalta and build shareholder value over the long term.”

Volkswagen Joins All Auto Recalls To Recover Takata Airbags

Following on from its agreement with Subaru Australia, All Auto Recalls has added Volkswagen Group Australia to its list of partners for recovering Affected Takata Airbag Inflators (ATAIs) from salvage yards and automotive recyclers.

The mandatory recall notice issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) requires all manufacturers to replace all defective ATAIs that were used in their vehicles by 31 December 2020.

As vehicles get older, a combination of high temperatures and humidity can affect airbags installed inside. In the event of a collision, airbags can activate with too much explosive force, causing sharp metal fragments to shoot out and kill or seriously injure people in the vehicle.

Any salvage yard or automotive recycler wanting to determine whether any vehicle or parts in their possession are affected by the Takata mandatory safety recall can use the VIN check tool available on the Volkswagen website. This tool is accessible at au.volkswagen.com.au/airbag-safety-recall.

Alternatively, All Auto Recalls says it offers a bespoke validation tool and process using their systems, which will enable checking of every VIN held on record retrospectively. For more information, contact All Auto Recalls at [email protected], or Chris Daglis at [email protected] or 0411 743 560. Daglis says upon contact, he will discuss next steps and have his team facilitate the collection/return of frontal Takata airbags on behalf of Volkswagen Group Australia.

Suncorp Becomes First Thatcham Research ‘Global Associate’

Thatcham Research has announced the renewal of its contract with Suncorp, extending the successful collaboration that has seen Suncorp distribute Thatcham Research repair data in Australia and New Zealand since 2013.

Under the renewed agreement, Suncorp will become the first ever Thatcham Research Global Associate, providing Suncorp with access to Thatcham Research’s large vehicle research, data and services.

“We are delighted to welcome Suncorp as our first ever Global Associate member, building on the successful partnership we have enjoyed over the last five years,” said Neale Phillips, Global Product Director, Thatcham Research. “We are committed to supporting its needs and those of its repair network – starting with an upgrade to escribe which will shortly see the inclusion of vehicle manufacturer methods, to further increase vehicle coverage.”

Thatcham’s online portal escribe provides insurance assessors and repairers with instant access to the latest multi-franchised Thatcham Research crash repair methods, times and technical newsletters.

“Thatcham repair data helps to ensure that our customer’s vehicles are repaired in the most safe and efficient manner, so the decision to extend and strengthen our relationship with such a respected industry body was an easy one and aligns 100 per cent with Suncorp’s overarching repair strategy,” said Brett Wallace, EM Assessing & Repair Performance, Suncorp.

Holden Launches Power & The Passion

Holden has announced a new sales promotion titled Power & The Passion, with the company’s key aftersales brands – Holden Genuine Parts, ACDelco, Holden Trade Club and Chevrolet Performance Parts joining forces to create an exclusive prize pool for participants.

The promotion, which commences on 1 January, offers two major prizes: a 556 hp (415 kW) supercharged LSA engine and a race-engineered 476 hp (355 kW) 6.2L LSX V8.

Both Chevrolet Performance Parts engines are ready to drop straight into a project car, including a heavy-duty Holden Genuine remanufactured automatic transmission.

One person, along with three mates, will win a trip to the 2019 Bathurst 1000 as VIP guests of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team.

In addition, each month from January to June in 2019, participants will have the chance to win a ride in the 3500 hp (2611 kW) ACDelco Pro Slammer Monaro, which can accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h in under one second, and run the quarter mile in 5.76 seconds at more than 400 km/h.

The promotion is open to trade and retail customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Members of the automotive trade can enter through the Holden Trade Club’s website (www.holdentradeclub.com.au) by following the prompts to enrol in the Power & the Passion competition.

Every $100 (ex GST) spend on Holden Trade Club parts (including oils, chemicals and batteries) between 1 January and 30 June 2019 will earn an entry into the competition.

Bonus entries are also available to trade customers.

Non-Holden Trade Club members or automotive tradespeople can enter by:

  • Spending $100 (ex GST) on Holden Genuine or ACDelco parts from a Holden dealer or as part of a vehicle service,
  • Spending $100 (ex GST) or more on an ACDelco battery – from either a Holden dealer or from an authorised ACDelco Battery reseller, or
  • Spending $100 (ex GST) on Chevrolet Performance Parts from Australia’s only authorised reseller Eagle Auto Parts.

To enter, visit ACDelco.com.au/offers and submit your receipt. Every $100 spent on Holden Genuine or ACDelco parts gains an entry.

The Power & the Passion promotion will launch at the Street Machine Magazine Summernats Car Festival in Canberra, held 3 to 6 January 2019. Participants can receive a free entry in the competition when they visit the ACDelco stand in the Rare Spares Pavilion.

ACDelco will display both prize engines, as well as the ACDelco Pro Slammer Monaro Racing Team.

The team is also looking to set a new Summernats Dyno record, being the first Pro Slammer ever to be run on the Summernats Dyno, and will unveil its new 2019 race car at the event.

I-CAR Announces Gold Class For Fix Auto Wollongong

I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator Gary Wood has announced that Fix Auto Wollongong in New South Wales has been awarded I-CAR Gold Class Collision status.

“I am delighted to announce that Rodney and the team at Fix Auto Wollongong have achieved I-CAR Gold Class recognition,” said Wood.

“We developed a training plan for them to achieve Gold Class in December 2017 and they have achieved the accreditation well ahead of schedule. Congratulations to everyone involved for their enthusiasm and commitment to training.”

“It is a great privilege to be the first Motor Vehicle Repairer in the Illawarra Region to be awarded the I-CAR Gold Class Accreditation,” said Fix Auto Wollongong’s Managing Director, Rodney Tannous.

“We have strived to provide Gold Class service and quality repairs for all our clients, and this new accreditation makes it official.

“I feel a modern-day facility needs to constantly update their equipment, but it’s even more important for my team to have ongoing training. We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service and expertise possible, and this accreditation is part of that promise.

“Being part of Fix Auto is helping me to future proof my business, and as a team we plan to achieve I-CAR Gold Class across the entire Fix Auto Network.”

Subaru And All Auto Recalls To Recover Takata Airbags

Subaru Australia has partnered with All Auto Recalls to recover Affected Takata Airbag Inflators (ATAIs) from salvage yards and the automotive recycling industry across Australia.

The mandatory recall notice issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) requires all manufacturers to replace all defective ATAIs that were used in their vehicles by 31 December 2020. Subaru Australia says it is committed to doing everything possible to locate every one of them.

“Our partnership with All Auto Recalls is a critical component of this effort and commitment by Subaru Australia,” said Colin Christie, Managing Director of Subaru Australia.

“We are proud to be working closely with the AAR team who have already, in only a few months, helped us account for ATAIs that would otherwise have been difficult to locate.”

All Auto Recalls will manage the retrieval of ATAIs on behalf of Subaru Australia from the salvage and automotive recycling industry.

“We are excited at the opportunity to work with Subaru Australia,” said Chris Daglis, Founder and Managing Director of All Auto Recalls.

“Our knowledge of the industry, networks and technology we have built and continue to develop, [offer in a combined way] so much to the manufacturers both today and in the future. We have made a commitment to working with all industry stakeholders to eliminate recalled components from the marketplace in the interest of public safety by working with manufacturers like Subaru Australia, who are proactive in their pursuit of consumer safety.”

Subaru vehicles affected by the Takata airbag recall notice contain a passenger-side front Takata airbag inflator that is subject to a mandatory safety recall issued by the Australian government. It followed an investigation in which the ACCC concluded that certain Takata airbag inflators are faulty and could kill or seriously injure people in the vehicle.

As the vehicle gets older, a combination of high temperatures and humidity can affect the airbag. In the event of a collision, the airbag can activate with too much explosive force, causing sharp metal fragments to shoot out and kill or seriously injure people in the vehicle.

Any salvage yard or automotive recycler wanting to determine whether any vehicle or parts in their possession are affected by the Takata mandatory safety recall can use the VIN check tool available on the Subaru website and check each VIN one by one. This tool is accessible at www.subaru.com.au/takata-recall.

Alternatively, All Auto Recalls says it offers a bespoke validation tool and process using their systems, which will enable checking of every VIN held on record retrospectively. For more information, contact All Auto Recalls at [email protected], or Chris Daglis at [email protected] or 0411 743 560. Daglis says upon contact, he will discuss next steps and have his team facilitate the collection/return of frontal Takata airbags on behalf of Subaru Australia.

Jonathan Hewett Appointed Chief Executive At Thatcham Research

Thatcham Research has announced the appointment of Jonathan Hewett as its new Chief Executive beginning from early next year. Hewett brings a wealth of senior management, international and strategic leadership skills from across the insurance, automotive, and financial sectors at a significant time for the company as it approaches its 50th anniversary.

Thatcham Research says Hewett’s expertise will lead and evolve its strategy and help guide its insurer members through vehicle safety, repair and security in a period of exponential technological advancements in connectivity, future automated driving capabilities as well as complex vehicle materials and structures.

Hewett joins from Octo Telematics where he was Global Chief Marketing Officer and drove business growth, working closely with insurers, vehicle manufacturers, fleet and rental organisations as well as government bodies, also understanding and providing digital solutions in the age of the Internet of Things.

Prior to this, he has held various senior leadership and international roles across the automotive, insurance and finance sectors, including AIG, Dealflo Ltd, Dixons PLC, Post Office Direct, Sainsbury’s Bank and Barclays Bank.

Graham Gibson, Chairman at Thatcham Research said: “In a period when cars will change out of all recognition as we know them today, I am delighted that Jonathan has been appointed as Chief Executive. He brings considerable knowledge and experience, combined with great leadership skills.”

Hewett said: “We are amid once-in-a-lifetime changes to our relationship with cars and mobility in general. The consequent impact on insurers and the automotive sector presents enormous opportunities to improve consumer experience and efficiency for businesses. Over the last 50 years, Thatcham Research has provided crucial insight and data driven analysis for insurers and the automotive industry as a whole, and I am very much looking forward to working with the team in pursuit of our vision – safer cars and fewer crashes.”

BodyShop News Summernats 2019 Tickets Giveaway

BodyShop News is giving away tickets to visit the 32nd Street Machine Summernats in Canberra.

Proudly supported by Rare Spares, the Summernats  is the largest annual horsepower party in the Southern Hemisphere, taking place from 3 to 6 January 2019 in Canberra.

Join more than 100,000 attendees and more than 2000 of the craziest cars in the country for four days of tyre-frying action, featuring a Guinness World Record attempt for largest simultaneous burnout, the Burnout Masters, the colourful City Cruise through the main street of Canberra, Body Art nationals, plus a huge music line up including Dune Rats, 360, Butterfingers and Brooke Evers and much more!

With so much entertainment, Summernats is a motoring lifestyle festival without equal. To experience the fun, unique and action packed iconic Australian motoring experience that is Summernats, get your tickets at www.summernats.com.au.

BodyShop News has four tickets to give away to the first four emails with the right answer to this question: “How many days does the Street Machine Summernats run for?”

Email your answer to [email protected]

I-CAR Australia Launches The I-CAR Professional Development Program

In 2019, I-CAR will begin the implementation of transforming its delivery, recognition and certification of training in response to the ever-changing needs of the modern collision repair industry. The increasing impact of technology, the importance of OEM procedures and changing business needs has resulted in a need for I-CAR Australia to assist the industry in acquiring relevant skills and knowledge.

Over the past two years I-CAR has engaged with and listened to collision repair industry stakeholders, both locally and internationally to ensure that the future training we provide is relevant, sustainable, responsible and affordable. This has resulted in a better programme that will identify knowledge and recognise skills and competencies for career development and progression.

The changes to take place will not affect current training accreditations, certifications or those actively on the Road to Gold. Over the coming months there will be additional announcements made regarding these changes to the I-CAR programme.

The enhancements will include an emphasis on expanding our training delivery to include Live Classroom, Virtual training and On-line training. In addition, new Hands-On Skills training courses will be released as well as a new Aluminium Welding Certification to complement our current Steel Welding Certification.

The upcoming changes will strengthen the value of the Platinum Individual and the Gold Class Professionals designations by ensuring that individuals and businesses are recognised for having the training required to perform in current as well as new specific roles in the collision repair and claims process. The changes to our Welding Certification programmes will bring them into better alignment with OEM requirements internationally and form part of a planned development pathway for structural technicians.

This change process will take 18 months to complete and will deliver a training and skills recognition programme for the Australian collision repair industry that places our technicians among the most highly skilled technicians internationally.

I-Car’s website will provide all the necessary information as the programme is rolled out and will become the first source of information for all Australian collision repair industry professionals.