I-CAR Awards Gold Class To Gold Coast Collision Centre

I-CAR Australia has announced that Gold Coast Collision Centre in Queensland has been awarded I-CAR Gold Class status.

“It is a credit to Gold Coast Collision Centre that they have completed the training required to achieve the I-CAR Gold Class accreditation in such a short period of time,” said Gary Wood, Gold Class Coordinator. “Participating in virtual classroom training, I-CAR steel welding certification and ITA training with their refinish company has displayed their commitment to training, ensuring that all staff members are equipped with the most up to date knowledge required to safely repair today’s vehicles.”

“We are immensely proud to have reached Gold Class status,” said Daniel Leishman, Gold Coast Collision Centre owner. “Our staff have embraced a learning culture with an enthusiasm towards future training. By developing a strong relationship with I-CAR and other industry training alliances, we are ensuring we are up to date with the latest in technological advancements and safety developments to ensure a complete and safe repair for each and every vehicle.

“All roles throughout the business have greatly benefited from the range of training made available by I-CAR from accurate estimating [to] structural training, including welding certification, and refinish. The ability to train online and through other training alliances such as PPG, Car-O-Liner and 3M [has] assisted us to reach our goal of Gold Class Accreditation. We look forward to a continued partnership with I-CAR.”

Carsten Knobel To Become New Henkel CEO

Henkel has announced that CEO Hans Van Bylen will step down at the end of his term, handing over the position to current CFO Carsten Knobel from the start of 2020.

Van Bylen has been with the company for around 35 years, 15 of which were on its Management Board and four years as CEO.

“After about 35 years with Henkel, I have decided that with the expiration of my contract next year, it is now the right time to make an orderly change at the top of the company,” said Van Bylen. “For personal reasons, I will not seek a further term as Chairman of the Management Board. I would like to thank all employees and my colleagues in the Management Board for their dedication and commitment over the past years, as well as all members of our supervisory committees for their support and advice.

“I am also glad that we were able to appoint Carsten Knobel from within our Management Board as successor and CEO. I am convinced that Henkel will continue to develop successfully under his leadership.”

“Hans Van Bylen has made a significant contribution to the successful development of our company over the years and has actively developed numerous senior leaders,” said Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board and Shareholders’ Committee. “Under the leadership of Hans Van Bylen, all business units were further strengthened through acquisitions and partnerships.

“The acquisition of Sun Products significantly expanded the market position of our Laundry & Home Care business in the USA, our largest market worldwide. Acquisitions were also made in Adhesive Technologies and Beauty Care. He put particular emphasis on the digitalisation of the company in all areas, which he drove forward with great determination. We would like to sincerely thank him for the important course settings during his time as CEO and for his commitment to our company for more than 35 years.”

Knobel studied business administration and technical chemistry at the Technical University of Berlin, starting his career at Henkel in 1995 as assistant to the Management Board member responsible for research and development. He then moved to the Beauty Care business unit, where he held various positions of increasing responsibility in controlling, mergers and acquisitions and the operating businesses. Following his roles as Head of Corporate Strategy & Controlling and Financial Director of the Beauty Care unit, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2012.

“With Carsten Knobel, we have appointed an excellent successor from within the company,” said Dr. Bagel-Trah. “He knows Henkel very well and has many years of international management and leadership experience. He is highly regarded by his colleagues on the Management Board as well as by our employees and has also an excellent reputation in the capital markets. We are convinced that, together with the entire Management Board, he will continue to drive vigorously the development of our company. On behalf of all Henkel committees and employees, I wish him all the best and success for the future.”

Knobel is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Bundesliga Soccer Club Fortuna Düsseldorf in Germany.

“I am grateful for the trust which is expressed through this appointment,” said Knobel. “I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Management Board and our global team to shape the future of Henkel. We have excellent employees, leading brands and technologies, exciting innovations and great opportunities for further sustainable profitable growth with our businesses in a dynamic market environment.”

The Official SEMA Ignited Video (2019)

SEMA Ignited, the SEMA Show after-party, is said to host more than 18,000 industry trade and general public guests who will see hundreds of the world’s best custom cars from the trade-only SEMA Show, Formula Drift demonstrations, high-flying stunts from the Nitro Circus, celebrities, food trucks and live music performances.

Fix Auto Australia Expands In WA

Fix Auto said that Cockburn Toyota in Western Australia is the newest partner to join its collision repair network. The new Fix Auto Cockburn location will be the company’s first point of representation south of Perth.

“We represent undoubtedly the world’s strongest brand in our sales and service business and we know how important that is when you need support, scale and opportunity,” said Cockburn Toyota’s Mark Mcdonnell. “We see the Fix Auto brand as being able to give us and other independent repairers that same strength and scale in the collision space. We look forward to leveraging their systems, process and operational support to grow a very important part of our business.”

“Cockburn Toyota is an outstanding business that holds itself to the very highest standards; they are meticulous in everything they do and are completely focused on delivering excellence to customers,” said Stuart Faid, Regional Vice President Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Fix Network. “They represent all of our own values perfectly and are a great cultural fit for us. We are delighted to welcome them to the Fix Family. This strategic location also delivers on a commitment to our customers centred around being where they need us to be.”

US Army, GM Collaborate To Improve Automotive Cybersecurity

The US Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) and General Motors have announced a new Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA). The objective of the CRADA is bolstering the US Army’s and GM’s vehicle cybersecurity expertise over the next two years.

Cybersecurity experts from both parties will share best practices, methodologies, tools and approaches focused on conducting penetration testing and cybersecurity risk analysis. Both organisations hope to share key learnings with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for the development of common standards in addition to improving cybersecurity methods.

Two US Army engineers will embed with their counterparts at GM, while a GM expert is scheduled to co-locate with the US Army’s Ground Vehicle Cybersecurity Team.

“Cybersecurity is an area of growing concern to the auto industry and one GM takes very seriously, which is why a partnership with the US Army is crucially important,” said Kevin Tierney, GM Chief Product Cybersecurity Officer.

Fix Auto Australia Expands Into QLD

Fix Auto said it has appointed Claydon Panel Works as its first strategic partner in Queensland. Having operated in Mackay for over 25 years, Fix Auto said that the panel shop has established a strong reputation for delivering the highest levels of quality and service to its insurer and private customers alike.

“Joining Fix Auto was a critical part of our desire to implement change in our business to ensure we can continue to thrive in a rapidly changing industry,” said Marty Wheeler, Director at Claydon Panel Works. “We wanted to join a group of like-minded business owners to promote high quality repairs and drive standards in excellence such as I-CAR training. Added value from maximising the group buying potentials on offer with leading global suppliers provides even greater value to the model.

“I was extremely excited about the rebranding of the business and a whole new visual presence of our facility. It is going to look great and provide an outstanding environment for our staff and customers alike.”

“Claydon Panel Works, who will now trade as Fix Auto Mackay, are the perfect fit for our business,” said Scott Holden, Fix Auto Head of Sales for QLD & NSW. “They have the passion and enthusiasm to deliver at the highest level and they embrace the changes needed to thrive in a consolidating industry that is under increasing pressure from all sides. Andrew, Marty and the whole team in Mackay represent the very best of our industry and we are delighted to have them as our latest partner.”

CIECA Announces New November 2019 Webinar

CIECA has announced its next CIECAst webinar: “This Changes Everything: The Impact of New Technologies on the Auto Physical Damage & Claims Ecosystem – What Repairers and Other Collision Industry Stakeholders Need to Know”.

The webinar will run for one hour on Tuesday 12 November at 11 am CST and will feature Stephen Applebaum, Managing Partner of Insurance Solutions Group.

Applebaum will share his subject matter expertise and insights into the business disruption being experienced by participants across the entire vehicle insurance ecosystem. It will include insurance carriers, collision repairers and all the supply chain partners and customers.

“Today, like never before in the history of our industry, change is constant and accelerating and trying to understand and keep up with the changes is challenging,” said Applebaum. “Harder still is predicting the future and how to plan for it and continue to succeed and grow.”

CIECA says Applebaum is a frequent chairman, guest speaker and panellist at Insurance Nexus North America and other industry conferences, while contributing to major insurance industry publications. The company says he has a passion for coaching, mentoring, business process innovation and constructive transformation, applying disruptive technology, and managing organisational change in the North American property/casualty insurance industry and trading partner communities.

To register for the CIECAst, click here.

Following the CIECAst webinar, attendees will be able to take a short quiz to earn credit toward a professional designation from the Automotive Management Institute (AMi).

Novus Glass Rebranding Australian Locations

Novus Glass, an independent automotive glass repair and replacement business, is underway with rebranding its Australian locations in line with its recently-introduced Global Brands Standards programme.

Novus Glass says its flagship store in Malaga, WA, is the latest to have undergone a transformation for its branding and is now noticing a difference in the look and feel.

“This new look is such a contrast to our previous branding,” said Phil Bailey, Head of Sales and Marketing, Novus WA. “In the past we relied on a bold colour scheme to attract the eye, which it did very well for many years, but now we achieve even greater and more striking results through these clean lines and strong identity which are much more modern and in keeping with retail branding today. Customers love it and even the staff comment how great it looks every day when they arrive at work.”

The company said the rebranding exercise is just a component of its brand resurgence in Australia, with new locations and an expanding footprint to help Novus provide improved coverage and customer service.

“Novus has always had a strong reputation for service and quality,” said Stuart Faid, Regional Vice President Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Fix Network. “As the inventors of windscreen repair in 1972, we have always focused on delivering the highest levels of service and convenience to our customers. By giving the brand a more modern context, it better represents our focus on innovation, technology, tools and equipment and helps us better convey that focus to our customers. Lloyd, Phil and the whole team in Malaga have done an outstanding job of the rebranding and they deliver the customer experience to match it too.”

Fix Network is the parent company of Novus and collision repair network Fix Auto.

SEMA Sues US Department of Transportation

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has filed a petition in the US federal court system to require the government to allow replica car manufacturers to immediately begin production.

Under a 2015 law, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), low-volume car manufacturers may sell up to 325 replica cars each year that resemble production vehicles manufactured at least 25 years ago. The FAST Act set a deadline of 4 December 2016 for the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue any necessary regulations to implement the law. According to SEMA, the agency has yet to take any action.

Prior to enactment of the FAST Act, the United States had just one system for regulating automobiles, which was established in the 1960s and designed for companies that mass-produce millions of vehicles. SEMA said the lack of regulatory flexibility prevented small businesses from manufacturing turn-key vehicles, with many companies making capital investments and taking customer orders on the assumption that sales could begin in late 2016, as they were eager to produce replica vehicles under the new law. However, SEMA claims that the NHTSA has failed to issue regulations or undertake any other action allowing the small car manufacturers to produce and sell vehicles as permitted by law.

“SEMA warned NHTSA in 2018 that it would file suit if companies could not begin production of turnkey cars as authorised by the FAST Act,” said Christopher J. Kersting, SEMA President and CEO. “SEMA has made every effort to work collaboratively with NHTSA for over three and a half years, although the agency has taken no action to implement the replica car law. Consequently, companies have not hired workers, businesses have lost money, and consumers have been denied their rights to purchase replica cars.”

SEMA said vehicles produced under the FAST Act will be current model-year clean cars – the US Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board have developed guidelines and regulations to confirm that the engine packages to be installed will meet current emissions standards.

The association added that the replica car provision was designed to be easy for NHTSA to implement, as it is an extension of the common-sense approach to overseeing kit car production that the agency has employed for decades. While the FAST Act requires NHTSA to “issue such regulations as may be necessary” to implement the law, SEMA said the agency also has other options such as issuing a guidance document that will allow production to begin immediately. SEMA has asked the court to compel the NHTSA to take action.

Kia Launches Seltos Compact SUV

Kia has confirmed that the Seltos will be available in Australia with high levels of technology, safety and an eye-catching design. Australia is the third major market where the Seltos will be available, coming after Korea and India.

“There has been a space in our product line-up for this car for longer than we would have ideally liked,” said Damien Meredith, Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer. “However, despite being a little late to the party we are confident that the Seltos is the right car for the market and has the potential to be the belle of the ball.

“The Seltos is not only stylish but brings practical, useable size along with great technology, safety and value in a segment-leading package which also benefits from Kia’s industry-best 7-Year Warranty, 7-Year Capped Price Service and 7-Year Roadside assistance program.”

“The Seltos is an important car for Kia as it will play a central role in our international growth,” said Han-Woo Park, Kia Motors President and CEO. “Global sales of compact (small) SUVs are forecast to expand from 6.5 million vehicles in 2018 to more than 8.2 million by the end of 2022, and the Seltos brings Kia strengths in design, quality and technology to this popular segment. In the Seltos, we have created a car that can fulfil the diverse needs of customers in markets all around the world.

“Aimed at youthful, tech-savvy buyers, with a striking design inside and out, the car is also packed full of our most cutting-edge technology and safety equipment.”

For Australia, the Seltos will be available in four specification levels: S, Sport, Sport+ and GT Line. S, Sport and Sport+ front-wheel drive will be powered by a four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 110kW and 180Nm and coupled with a continuously variable transmission. Sport+ and GT Line all-wheel drive will feature a 1.6T-GDI turbo petrol engine producing 130kW and 265Nm, mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.

An optional $1000 safety pack will be available for the S and Sport models. The optional safety pack includes autonomous emergency braking, “advanced smart cruise control”, “driver attention alert+”, electric parking brake, electric folding mirrors, auto up and down driver’s window and 15-inch rear disc brakes.

The Seltos will be available in Starbright Yellow, which is its standard colour, and premium colours Neptune Blue, Gravity Grey, Mars Orange, Snow White Pearl, Steel Grey and Cherry Black, which are all available for $520.

The Seltos will be available drive away from $25,990 and will be on sale from 25 October.