Motoring Clubs Launch ‘My Money. My Transport’ Election Campaign

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has launched a nationwide campaign that lets voters communicate directly with their federal election candidates on priority road and transport issues.

The AAA says the ‘My Money. My Transport’ campaign seeks to enlist voters to hold all political candidates to account and ensure road and public transport users secure a fair share of funding for safer roads, expanded and more affordable public transport options, and policies to keep costs down for motorists.

AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said when it came to lobbying political candidates, motorists were one of the few groups that brought their own money to the table.

“Last week’s budget confirmed that no matter who wins the May election, the federal government is planning on collecting nearly $56 billion over the next four years from fuel excise alone. That means this year, the average household will pay $1288 in fuel excise,” said Bradley. “Yet transport costs are rising at twice the rate of inflation. Our roads have never been more congested and about 100 people die on Australian roads every month.

“That’s why the AAA wants people to directly engage with their candidates during the campaign about how and where they want their money invested in transport. Through the “My Money. My Transport” campaign, voters can fill out a survey and tell their candidates of their local priority issues.”

The “My Money. My Transport” campaign is hosted on the websites of the AAA’s state and territory clubs, including the NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAA, RAC, RACT and AANT.

“Through these clubs, the AAA represents about eight million members across Australia,” Bradley said.

The AAA and its member clubs are calling on all political parties contesting the federal election to commit to:

  1. Developing federal leadership in making Australian roads safer
  2. Developing a “land transport white paper” to address the challenges of the future
  3. Investing in priority transport projects in every state and territory
  4. Reforming transport funding so it is fairer for motorists and provides sustainable government revenue
  5. Introducing real-world driving emissions testing to give more accurate information about fuel use
  6. Eliminating unfair car taxes that discourage upgrading to newer, safer and cleaner cars.

Volvo To Reduce Emissions With New Torslanda Paint Shop

Volvo Cars announced it will replace the paint shop at its Torslanda car manufacturing plant, resulting in an expected reduction of paint shop energy consumption and emissions by at least one third.

The company said the move is in line with its ambition to have climate-neutral global manufacturing operations by 2025. It follows the 2018 solar panel installation at the company’s Ghent factory and, also in 2018, its Skövde engine plant in Sweden becoming the first climate-neutral facility in its global manufacturing network.

The Torslanda plant is Volvo Cars’ largest manufacturing facility in terms of volume and built 291,000 cars in 2018. It employs around 6500 manufacturing staff and produces cars on the company’s in-house-developed scalable product architecture (SPA) platform, which underpins the company’s 90 and 60 series cars.

Volvo Cars said the introduction of the new paint shop will allow for more efficient manufacturing processes, and supports the launch of the next generation of Volvo models, most of which will be based on an upgraded version of the SPA architecture, called SPA2. The new paint shop represents a multi-billion-dollar investment in the Torslanda plant and is one part of a broader investment plan for the plant. Construction will begin in 2020.

“We have identified our paint shop operation as one area in which we can achieve significant reductions in energy consumption and emissions,” said Javier Varela, Senior Vice President Manufacturing and Logistics at Volvo Cars. “Volvo Cars is committed to our vision for a more environmentally sustainable business. This investment also strengthens our plans for the Torslanda plant to remain globally competitive.”

In addition to addressing energy consumption and emissions throughout its global manufacturing network, Volvo Cars said it is also working to make greater use of sustainable material in its products. By 2025, it wants at least 25 per cent of the plastics used in every newly-launched Volvo car to be made from recycled material.

Volvo Cars had originally made a commitment to electrify all new Volvo cars launched after 2019, with the company since saying that it now aims for fully electric cars to make up 50 per cent of its global sales by 2025.

CIECAst Webinar Will Feature Raj Pofale

CIECA has announced that its next CIECAst webinar will feature Raj Pofale, founder and CEO at Claim Genius. Pofale’s presentation, “Photo Estimating and AI (Artificial Intelligence),” will be held on Tuesday, 9 April at 11 am CST (USA time).

During the one-hour live broadcast, Pofale will address why insurance needs AI and photo estimates, and share how “Photo Estimatics” is bringing innovation to the claims and recycling industry.

According to the CIECA, Pofale is a senior technology executive and product development leader with more than 20 years of experience in large-scale enterprise platforms. With a passion for technology and entrepreneurial skills, Raj invented a “disruptive AI product” with “the intent of making touchless claims a reality.”

To register for the CIECAst, visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/720986453775913731.

Killen’s Smash Repairs Strikes Gold With I-CAR

I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator Gary Wood announced that Killen’s Smash Repairs in Armidale, New South Wales has been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status.

“I am extremely pleased to award Killen’s Smash Repairs I-CAR Gold Class status,” said Wood. “Michael and the team have been regular participants in I-CAR training for a number of years. They made the decision to join the Road to Gold 12 months ago and have now successfully met all the requirements for I-CAR Gold Class status.

Through a combination of virtual classroom sessions, ITA training in conjunction with PPG and participation in the I-CAR welding certification, they fully deserve the recognition. Well done to everyone at Killen’s Smash Repairs.”

“Killen’s Smash Repairs are very proud to have achieved I-CAR Gold Class,” said Michael Killen. “We have valued I-CAR training since it began in Australia and believe that it provides direct benefits to our business, in helping us to ensure that our repairs are completed to the highest possible standard and our clients can be confident that we are delivering the safest possible repair.

“We are also very proud of the fact that as part of our Road to Gold training, all of our panel technicians have achieved structural weld certification. We look forward to continuing our training commitment with I-CAR into the future.”

Leading UK Body Repair Expert To Present At 2019 Collision Repair Expo

UK-based co-founder of Auto Industry Consulting Limited, Andrew Marsh, will share his expert body repair knowledge during the 2019 Collision Repair Expo (CRE) seminar series.

During his keynote presentation, Marsh will focus on ADAS and the new static, dynamic and self-calibration demands that such systems bring to collision repairers, while also discussing the challenge of repair complexity and the need to enhance collision repairer software skills. Vehicle manufacturer and motor insurer perspectives will be covered, including the rapidly-expanding number of vehicle models, the reducing number of key architectures, and the impact of unique body shape parts.

Marsh will give his presentation at 11:30am on Saturday 6 April.

The 2019 CRE, held concurrently with the 2019 Australian Automotive Aftermarket Expo, will run from 4-6 April at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Entry is free to all members of the trade, including all seminars and keynote presentations throughout the three-day event.

Fix Auto Australia Appoints Scott Holden As Regional Head Of Sales

Fix Auto Australia has announced the appointment of Scott Holden to the role of Regional Head of Sales, effective immediately.

Holden brings to Fix Auto over 30 years’ experience in the automotive industry. Having started his career in the sale of paint and consumables, he moved on to manage his family’s body shop for almost 20 years before assuming ownership in December 2007, running through to 2017.

In addition to his real-world repair experience, Holden possesses business consultancy and project management skills, working with TTi Global in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as with luxury OE manufacturers. As a consultant, he delivered business improvement coaching, along with dealership assessments to the OEM core standards while providing recommended action plans for attaining OEM ‘approved’ status.

In his new role, Holden is responsible for supporting network development for Fix Auto in Queensland and New South Wales, and helps liaise with and manage relationships with work providers and various industry stakeholders.

Holden says he believes Fix Auto’s value proposition is a sure point of difference for independent repairers looking for the benefits of joining a managed network.

“Following my onboarding with the Fix Auto Australia team and network, as well as a recent visit to Fix Automotive Network Canada, I know I have joined an organisation with a genuine interest in delivering value for its members. I look forward to bringing more quality-driven repairers into our fold and growing as a national solution,” he said.

“Scott is a welcomed addition to our team, he has in-depth understanding of our industry and can navigate the complex mechanics and business needs of independent repairers in a time of change,” said Stuart Faid, Regional Head of Business for Asia, Australia and New Zealand at Fix Auto.

“We are pleased to welcome him onboard.”

Dave Luehr To Reveal “The Six Secrets” At The Collision Repair Expo

During the 2019 Collision Repair Expo (CRE) being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 4 to 6 April, Luehr will give an account of his book, “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops”, in his presentation titled “The Six Secrets Revealed.”

Throughout the book, Luehr, along with co-author and BodyShop News US Correspondent Stacey Phillips, share lessons along with real-world stories of collision repairers who “have discovered the secrets that have propelled their businesses to a much higher level than their competitors.”

“The concepts are very simple in nature, but often contrary to common beliefs and traditional practices,” said Luehr. “It is my promise to you that if you are willing to challenge traditional methods and apply the lessons contained in ‘The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops,’ you will transform your business in ways you may not have thought possible.”

Throughout his presentation at Australia’s major collision repair industry trade exhibition, which will take place at 1:00pm on Friday 5 April, Luehr says he will challenge smash repairers to think differently and understand that anyone with the right mental attitude can achieve incredible levels of success. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear lessons learned from Luehr’s industry experience as well as those from several successful repairers worldwide.

By applying some of the information contained in the book, as well as the stories he shares during his presentation, Luehr says smash repairers can grow a sustainable and profitable business in an industry experiencing unprecedented rapid change.

Luehr’s paperback book will be offered to 2019 CRE delegates at a discounted rate, while electronic versions are also available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. For more information, visit bodyshopsecrets.com.

The 2019 CRE is concurrently being held with the 2019 Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo (AAE), forming Australasia’s largest automotive industry. Along with international guest speakers, a comprehensive free seminar program has also been organised specifically to assist the collision repair industry throughout this bumper three-day biennial trade exhibition. This combined with the products and services from some 400 local and world leading companies, makes the 2019 CRE and AAA Expo a priority to take part in this April. Pre-registration to attend is available at www.collisionrepair.com.au.

IAG Releases Its 2017-18 Quality Report

IAG has released its sixth Quality Report, providing an insight into the monitoring, assessment and quality repair standards across IAG’s nationwide property and motor repair network.

The report is the industry’s only statement that provides annual data on motor and property repair standards.

IAG Executive General Manager of Short Tail Claims, Steven Fitzpatrick, said the report reflects the importance IAG places on delivering safe, quality repairs and great customer service.

“In the past year we completed more than 60,000 quality inspections across our motor and property repairs,” said Fitzpatrick. “In the motor vehicle industry, the increased use of advanced technology is making the modern vehicle not only safer, but smarter. We’re focused on ensuring our assessors and partners continue to build their knowledge, keep up to date with the latest technology and are suitably trained.

“At the same time, we want to provide our customers with the best possible experience and the peace of mind that their vehicle is being repaired to the highest possible standard through our National Metropolitan and Rural Partner Network. This latest IAG Quality Report reflects our dedication to quality repairs, continued improvement and leading industry initiatives across the Motor and Property portfolios, to ultimately meet IAG’s purpose – we make your world a safer place.”

The report shows that IAG undertook more than 440,000 motor vehicle repair assessments and completed 54,108 quality inspections. Potential quality issues were identified in approximately four per cent of inspections.

For the sixth consecutive year, IAG achieved an I-CAR Gold Class Insurance Certification.

Axalta Opens Its Largest Refinish Training Centre In India

Axalta has opened its largest and most advanced refinish training centre, spread over 20,000 square feet (nearly 2,000 square metres) in India. The state-of-the-art training facility was inaugurated by Sobers Sethi, President, Emerging Markets, Axalta. The company now has four dedicated training facilities in India.

“The opening of this new training facility demonstrates the confidence we have in the opportunities for growth in India,” said Sethi. “The coatings industry, especially waterborne coatings, in India has been growing at a rapid pace. The new refinish training facility will provide our customers with the most advanced painting techniques to help them be more efficient, productive, and profitable. And, we are helping our customers drive these improvements while being mindful of the environment with sustainable techniques and products. Our customers’ success is our success and we are proud to be the refinish leader in India and around the world.”

Axalta says it expects to train approximately 1000 technicians at the new training centre this year. Customers will use the company’s latest coating technologies, as well as industry-leading training techniques and advanced digital tools. Axalta says it will also demonstrate the most advanced spraying application systems that use less energy and reduce waste, have fast-drying finishes, and use superior colour matching technologies. Through this centre, the company says customers in India can stay on the cutting-edge of coating technologies and techniques that are designed to deliver benefits to their businesses immediately and for the long-term.

The training centre is also equipped with an advanced virtual reality (VR) training room, digital colour matching tool, and an online training facility for customers that cannot be physically present at the centre. Axalta says the VR training duplicates the paint spraying activity and experience, and enables customers to gain the benefits of the training without actually using the paint material.

End Of The Road For Car Museum

The largest collection of classic cars in the Southern Hemisphere is going up for Auction in April, with most cars completely unreserved.

The Gosford Classic Car Museum has closed its doors after a bitter dispute with the Australian Tax Office, based around whether the museum/dealership is entitled to the same taxation exemptions as other car dealerships.

More than A$30 million worth of luxury cars will go under the hammer after the owner of the classic car collection appointed Lloyds Classic Car Auctions as the exclusive worldwide auctioneer.

“Interest in this auction is already pouring in with strong bidding already commencing online and we’ve only published the auction on our website in the last few days,” said Lee Hames, Chief Operations Officer for Lloyds Auctions.

“This impressive collection of classics is highly important to motoring enthusiasts and collectors, and because there is such a wide range of cars from European, Australian and American classics, we are expecting thousands of people to show up even more than the Brock Collection Auction we ran in October last year.”

Cars within the collection include an extensive range of classic and vintage cars and motorcycles, including European, Australian and American classic cars. Ferraris, Aston Martins, Porsches, Fords and Holdens are all part of the auction.

The collection is now open for bidding online and will go up for auction in a simulcast live and online event on the weekend of 6-7 April at the Gosford Classic Car Museum. Further details can be found at www.lloydsauctions.com.au.