IAG Presents Auto Industry Scholarship Award

IAG has teamed up with AAPR’s Auto Industry team to recognise and assist automotive repair businesses that support the collision repair industry and employ apprentices.

As a result, IAG presented the AAPR Auto Scholarship Award to Cessnock Smash Repairs and its apprentice, Matt Brandt, the first winners of the award.

“This Auto scholarships programme provides a unique platform and opportunity to support the collision repair industry, that aligns to IAG’s vision,” said Troy Johns, Specialist – Industry Relations at IAG. “AAPR’s Auto Scholarship programme, supported by WorldSkills Australia, SAPE and other key industry stakeholders, reflects our focus on supporting emerging talents, the future of vehicle repairs and the rapidly changing technology in the modern motor vehicle. It is exciting and a great pleasure to congratulate our first recipient, Cessnock Smash Repairs and their apprentice Matt Brandt.”

Cessnock Smash Repairs is a family-based business that has been operating for over 30 years, run by Greg and Jennifer Gearing, supported by their two daughters and many long-standing employees.

“We have great pleasure in accepting this award from Troy and would like to thank the local Newcastle team from IAG, Greg Preston [from] AAPR, Ian Vickery [from] WorldSkills Australia, Adam McDonald [from] TAFE NSW Glendale campus and a special thanks to Beau Knowles from Sydney Automotive Paints and Equipment, which supplied and contributed to this award with a GYS induction system,” said Jennifer. “This will complement our high standards in auto repairs using innovative equipment which benefits our whole team and our customers.”

Elite Body Shop Solutions Announces 2020 Webinar

Dave Luehr’s Elite Body Shop Solutions has announced its next free Elite Webinar Series, “Five Disruptions the Collision Industry Will Face in 2020 and Beyond”.

Frank Terlep, automotive industry executive, entrepreneur, author and disruptor, will present the webinar, which will be held on 23 January at 1 pm CST. You can register by clicking here, however those who are unable to attend the live event can watch the recorded webinar by joining the Elite Body Shop Academy for free here.

Terlep will talk about the five major disruptions the collision repair industry will face in 2020 and into the future, and how organisations can best prepare. The disruptions include the digitisation of the automobile, the digitalisation of business, digital intermediaries, mergers, acquisitions and consolidation, as well as new calibration and test drive requirements.

“Frank Terlep is a highly respected member of the collision repair industry and we are honoured to have him speak as part of the Elite Webinar Series,” said Dave Luehr, Founder, Elite Academy. “We’ve been watching him disrupt the auto and collision industries since the mid-1980s during his long and successful career and it will be exciting to hear his insights.”

Elite Body Shop Solutions says the key talking points will include:

  1. How the digitalisation of the automobile will challenge almost everything we have come to know about the automotive industry
  2. Why all businesses must become digital and implement technology to compete and win
  3. Why and how digital intermediaries are getting between the consumer and the shop
  4. Why mergers, acquisitions and consolidation will not go away anytime soon
  5. New ways to perform, manage, document and get reimbursed for test drives.

HD Repair Forum Forms Committees For Issues In Industry

The HD Repair Forum, a gathering of the heavy-duty collision repair industry executives and leaders, has formed four committees to address issues in the industry: Education, Technology, Parts and OEM Repair Standards.

More information regarding each of the committees will be presented during the 2020 HD Repair Forum, to be held from 24-25 March in Fort Worth, Texas, and will be co-chaired by leaders from various segments of the market.

“The purpose of these committees is to address challenges and solve problems throughout the year, not just during the HD Repair Forum,” said Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum President. “The key to the success of these committees is strong leaders who share a passion to drive change and a vision for a path that improves the industry for all stakeholders. We are fortunate to have this diverse group of leaders pave the way for a brighter future.”

Education Committee Co-Chairs

Doug Schlueter – I-CAR
Brandon Eckenrode – CREF

OEM Repair Standards Committee Co-Chairs

Kevin Clary – Daimler Truck North America
Rohit Mathew – Carlisle & Co

Parts Committee Co-Chairs

T.J. O’Hanlon – Navistar
Mark Polzin – Budget Truck & Auto

Technology Committee Co-Chairs

Chuck Olsen – AirPro Diagnostics
Aaron Polzin – Budget Truck & Auto

HD Repair Forum says collision repairers, shop owners and management, fleet repairers, OEMs/manufacturers, insurance professionals and appraisers, equipment/service/technology companies, and any others serving the heavy-duty collision repair industry are encouraged to participate.

Hongqi Readies Push Into EVs

Hongqi is planning to introduce 21 new models over the next five years, 18 of which will be electric, in efforts to evolve with the times and work toward an electrified future, according to Bloomberg.

Hongqi is targeting a doubling in sales this year to 200,000 cars and wants annual deliveries to reach 1 million by 2030. State-owned China FAW Group developed the first Hongqi in 1958 and the sedans have since been used by political leaders from Chairman Mao to President Xi Jinping. FAW kicked off a rejuvenation effort for the brand after Xu Liuping took over as chairman in 2017.

“The global automobile industry is going through a great reshuffle and the fully open Chinese car market is becoming the most competitive one in the world,” Liuping told Bloomberg. “The Hongqi brand is becoming a benchmark for China’s high-end automobile industry and a role model for local brands.”

FAW hired Giles Taylor, who helped create vehicles such as the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII and the Cullinan SUV, in 2018 to oversee Hongqi’s design team. Hongqi is targeting the premium segment of China’s car market, with its current models priced at around US$21,000 to $66,000.

Fix Auto Australia Adds Somerville & District Panels

Fix Auto Australia has partnered with a new Victorian panel shop, its second appointment in the region in the last month. Somerville & District Panels is the latest independent repairer to join the network which has been expanding rapidly recently.

Bill Kubeil, owner of Somerville & District Panels, said he knew for some time that things are changing for independent repairers, and felt that being part of a network would bring scale and sustainability for those that otherwise find it difficult to stay relevant. Kubeil said his issue was being sure that the group or network he joined would deliver real value, so he looked at several options and decided the Fix Auto model to be the best choice.

“Fix Auto is not just a buying group, they are not motivated or rewarded by what I do or do not buy from them, that is not their model,” said Kubeil. “They are focused on making my business better and more profitable and giving me a voice in the industry that I would not have here on my own. They give me systems, support, training and coaching that makes a real difference to my day-to-day business and of course they act on behalf of the whole network, providing those consolidated services to work providers. It really is the best of both worlds for an independent business.”

“There is a deliberate and recurring theme with the partners we select,” said Stuart Faid, Vice President for Asia, Head of Fix Auto Australia. “Bill yet again represents exactly what we are looking for in our network in terms of values, underpinned by integrity and a passion for delighting customers, delivering quality workmanship with a genuine locally focused service.”

Fix Auto Australia said it will have several more shops to be announced in the coming months.

FCAI Clarifies Members Stance On OEM Position

Discussions held with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) in relation to OEM Position Statements has led to the FCAI releasing a statement explaining its members view on it.

To read the official statement, please click here.

PPG To Acquire Industria Chimica Reggiana

PPG has announced that it will acquire Industria Chimica Reggiana (ICR), a manufacturer of paints and coatings for the automotive refinish and light industrial coatings industries. The company expects the deal to be completed in the first quarter of 2020, however it has not revealed financial terms.

Formed in 1961, ICR is based in Italy and manufactures automotive refinish products, including putties, primers, basecoats and clear coats under the SPRINT brand. The company also makes a complete range of coatings, enamels and primers for light commercial vehicles and other light industrial coatings applications. ICR employs approximately 180 people and sells its products in over 70 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the United States and Latin America.

“PPG’s acquisition of ICR will complement our current product offering for the automotive refinish and light industrial coatings industries and add specialised, value-added products that address the needs of distributors and body shops,” said Gary Danowski, PPG Vice President of Global Automotive Refinish. “We look forward to continuing to deliver the trusted products and services upon which ICR customers have come to rely [on], and we are very excited to welcome ICR employees to PPG.”

Axalta Announces 2020 Global Automotive Color Of The Year

Axalta unveiled its 2020 Global Automotive Colour of the Year, “Sea Glass”, a turquoise blue that is inspired by nature’s waterways and oceans, and glitters in sunlight.

Axalta’s 2019 Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report stated that blue vehicles comprise seven per cent of the global automotive market, ranking fifth overall following white, black, grey and silver. The regions with the highest level of blue vehicles are North America and Europe at 10 per cent.

“The trend toward turquoise blues is growing,” said Nancy Lockhart, Axalta Global Product Manager – Colour. “Sea Glass was designed for all vehicle types, from compact and sport vehicles to medium sedans and large SUVs and trucks. Bright and pearlescent, Sea Glass is designed to be transmissible for radio detection and ranging (RADAR), meeting the colour trends of today for the autonomous vehicles of tomorrow. The transmission properties of Axalta’s Sea Glass, as well as many colours in our expansive colour portfolio, allow vehicle-to-vehicle detection to occur.”

PPG Appoints New VP Of Global Automotive Refinish Coatings

PPG has announced that Chancey Hagerty, the current Vice President of Global Industrial Coatings, will become Vice President of Global Automotive Refinish Coatings in March.

Hagerty will report to Tim Knavish, PPG Executive Vice President, and continue to be a member of the Operating Committee. Hagerty will succeed Gary Danowski, who currently holds the position, when he retires in March.

“Gary has been the embodiment of a PPG leader throughout his 38-year career, a true team player who rose to any challenge,” said Michael H. McGarry, PPG Chairman and CEO. “His leadership in five businesses has strengthened the organisation and allowed PPG to serve customers in new ways. We thank Gary for his many years of tremendous service, and congratulate Chancey, Kevin and Andrew on their key leadership positions. We are pleased to have a talented group of leaders with broad, proven experience, which provides continuity in driving our global business strategies and delivering shareholder value.”

Hagerty joined PPG in 1996 at the company’s former chemicals plant in West Virginia and has since held various roles which include plant-engineer and sales for industrial coatings. Hagerty held multiple positions of increasing responsibility within both the industrial and automotive OEM coatings business units and was also the General Manager of Industrial Coatings, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in Switzerland before receiving his current position in January of 2019.

Ford Issues 2020 Global Trend Report

Ford has released its latest Global Trend Report which addresses several important issues in today’s world, focusing most on trust as a dominant global theme that companies are working to earn back from customers.

The report surveys 14 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and suggests that people’s ability to trust peers, communities, elected officials and businesses has a large impact on their day-to-day lives.

“The rate of change globally has been on the rise and without the trust in the institutions, brands and peers to rely on, a majority of people are feeling extremely overwhelmed,” said Sheryl Connelly, Global Consumer Trends and Futuring Manager at Ford. “Consumers want to believe that companies are doing the right thing, but companies also need to give them a clear reason to do so. At Ford, we remain deeply focused on improving the lives of consumers and their communities, so we can continue to have a trusted relationship that moves us forward together.”

Ford’s report outlined other consumer trends which include The Green Paradox, Call to Stand, All Alone, Below the Surface, Great Expectations, Identity Matters and The Second Time Around.

The Green Paradox addresses climate change fears and consumers who aren’t changing behaviours due to belief that their behaviour can’t make a difference, while Call to Stand tackles consumer standpoints on product-based mindsets against value-based mindsets.

All Alone talks about loneliness in the younger generation, Below the Surface touches on trust and transparency between customers and companies and its importance, and Great Expectations focuses on customer expectations for brands over time. Identity Matters opens up about sexual identity and how people understand it, while The Second Time Around discusses how used goods are more acceptable to customers than they were some years ago.

To read Ford’s full Global Trend Report, click here.