Fix Network And Spanesi In Global Partnership

Fix Network has announced the addition of collision repair equipment leader Spanesi as one of its official global supply partners this month.

Fix Network says it believes that strong supplier partnerships are a critical component to the successful expansion of its network worldwide, and as it grows its operations, working with Spanesi will bring tremendous value through their expertise and advanced collision repair equipment.

Spanesi will supply a mix of its collision repair equipment, custom-made furnishings and accessories all aimed at delivering great performance. Fix Network says Spanesi’s quality and productivity aligns well with its goal of making the best in collision repair equipment technology available to each of its locations.

“The Fix Network team works tirelessly to deliver a consistent, high quality supply chain offering to its network members,” said Steve Leal, President & CEO of Fix Network. “The addition of the Spanesi suite of equipment will support us in our ongoing objective to provide an attractive, clean and efficient environment to our locations which will help to elevate the overall customer experience.”

“We have a 50-year long tradition in delivering tools and experience to help repairers succeed in an increasingly competitive collision repair marketplace,” said Cristina Spanesi, Export and Marketing Manager of Spanesi. “We are pleased to align with the Fix Network family of brands and are looking forward to a fruitful partnership.”

Fix Network’s supply chain portfolio of industry experts now includes 3M, AkzoNobel, Mirka, SATA and Spanesi – each a leader in the global automotive aftermarket space.

I-CAR Announces Gold Class For Spencer Panels

I-CAR Australia has announced that Spencer Panels in South Melbourne, Victoria has been awarded I-CAR Gold Class Collision status.

“As a Certified Holden Repairer, Spencer Panels entered into the Road to Gold programme 12 months ago with I-CAR,” said Gary Wood, I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator. “They have been regular participants in live and virtual training sessions to meet the Gold Class training requirements. It is credit to all involved that they have achieved the Gold Class accreditation in the timeframe set out by Holden.

“Along with their values of quality and safety, Gold Class will complement the OEM-specific training Spencer Panels are committed to with the multiple badges they hold.”

“Initially the task of becoming an I-CAR Gold Class repairer seemed too difficult and a lot of extra work on top of day-to-day activities,” said David Truccolo, owner of Spencer Panels. “Having now achieved Gold Class Status, I can say that the process was rewarding.

“Not only have we increased the knowledge base of our workforce, but our workers have learnt extra things in the fields they have been working in for years, welding in particular.”

Axalta Introduces New Products To Audurra

Axalta has continued to design and develop user-friendly products for the professional body shop through its refinish non-paint consumable brand, Audurra. The recently expanded range of products now includes masking foil, mixing cups/lids, stirrers and wipes. In addition, there is a new premium abrasives range which includes discs, strips and soft rolls.

The company says these premium discs, strips and soft rolls are specifically developed to work effectively with Axalta paint systems and are designed for high efficiency sanding. They form part of a new sanding system that focuses on choosing the product that is right for the application, as opposed to choosing a grit size. Products are classified as A-B-C-D-E to make sanding easier, with only eight items to cover 90 per cent of applications. The system aids in avoiding application errors and results in re-coatability without scratch or swirl marks, while the multi-hole pattern makes them flexible for use on pads and blocks.

The product features four grits for paint preparation (A to D). The coarse grits focus on removal rate and time savings, while the fine grits have low scratch depths for perfect finish. In addition, there is one grit (E) for use in blending.

To find out more about the Audurra range, contact an Axalta distributor or go to www.axalta.com.au/audurra.

CAPA Reaffirms Its Ongoing Commitment To The Collision Repair Industry

In response to NSF International’s withdrawal from certification in the collision repair industry, the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) is reassuring the industry it will continue its mission to ensure that high-quality, certified aftermarket parts remain an option for insurers, repairers, and consumers.

“CAPA’s commitment to the aftermarket industry spans more than 30 years,” said Clark Plucinski, Chairman, CAPA Board of Directors. “We understand that the recent developments in the aftermarket parts certification industry have caused concern amongst stakeholders, but CAPA is fully committed to servicing the industry with the same diligence and passion we have since our founding.

“Over the past several years CAPA has maintained double digit growth year over year, in certified part applications available to the industry. CAPA intends to accelerate this trend over the coming years through the development of additional standards across a wider variety of replacement parts.”

To date, CAPA has certified over 105 million parts.

“CAPA will work individually with various stakeholders to minimise the impact of recent changes in the automotive parts certification business,” said Plucinski. “We will reach out to determine areas CAPA can develop solutions or programmes to support the industry, and we look forward to industry feedback.”

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.

I-CAR Australia Awards Gold Class To More Shops

I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator Gary Wood announced that Sommerville Smash Repairs in Nerang, Queensland and Wayne Phipps Smash Repairs in Midland, Western Australia have been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status.

“Chris first approached us just over 12 months ago with an interest in becoming Gold Class accredited,” said Wood. “Following the training plan created for his shop, the staff have been regular participants in virtual training sessions and have been a pleasure to deal with. I look forward to continuing the relationship with Chris and the team at Sommerville Smash.”

“On behalf of the Sommerville Smash Repairs team, we are mighty proud of our latest achievement of I-CAR Gold status, we thank all the I-CAR team for their assistance throughout the journey, and a special thanks to Axalta,” said Chris Agnew.

“It has been a great month for everyone involved at Wayne Phipps Smash Repairs,” added Wood. “Along with achieving I-CAR Gold Class status they have also become part of the Holden Certified Repairer Network. Wayne Phipps Smash Repairs join an exclusive group of repairers who continue to set high standards in the industry.”

“Wayne Phipps is extremely proud to have achieved I-CAR Gold status,” said Wayne Phipps. “It has taken some time and energy but has been worth the ride. Staff at Wayne Phipps Smash Repairs have been enthusiastic and competitive during the journey.

“All of us at Wayne Phipps Smash Repairs look forward to working with I-CAR on our journey of continuous improvement.”

Wayne Phipps Smash Repair
Wayne Phipps Smash Repairs.

Caliber And Abra Merge To Create The Largest Collision Repair Network

Caliber Collision and Abra Auto Body Repair of America have announced a definitive merger agreement, with the combined collision repair facility operator to have more than 1000 locations.

“This combination will allow us to offer even greater satisfaction for our valued customers and insurance clients while creating new opportunities for the talented teammates of both companies,” said Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Chief Executive Officer. “With more than 1000 stores in 37 states and the District of Columbia, we look forward to providing customers and insurance clients with the flexibility and convenience that come with the broadest geographic coverage in the United States and a full suite of services. We’re confident the technological and operational investments will create unparalleled customer service, enhanced repair quality and industry-leading metrics, all of which advance our purpose of restoring the rhythm of our customers’ lives.

“We plan to maintain all existing centres from both companies as we develop and execute a plan to work smarter, generate growth, offer expanded services, drive operational excellence and reward talent across the organisation. Recognising the critical importance of top talent to our success, we will be retaining all teammates in the field at both Caliber and Abra centres, and we look forward to creating a culture that supports our teammates as they expand their careers across a larger organisation, accelerated by industry-leading development programmes,” said Grimshaw.

“Our industry becomes more complex every year,” said Abra CEO Ann Fandozzi. “The combined company will invest in the equipment, training and technologies that will allow our teammates to build their careers while continuing to meet and exceed our customers’ needs for years to come. Abra’s leadership team is excited by the opportunities this combination with Caliber creates for customers, insurance clients and teammates. We look forward to seeing our traditions of stellar customer service, unparalleled operational excellence and team development taken to the next level across the United States.”

The transaction is expected to close in early 2019 with Caliber CEO Steve Grimshaw to lead the combined company.

Ann-Fandozzi-ABRA
Abra CEO Ann Fandozzi.
Caliber CEO Steve Grimshaw.

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.

Collision Hub News Network CHNN – News For July 2018

Collision Hub News Network episodes provide in-depth coverage from leading industry experts on the news and information needed to stay current in claims and repairs. This episode of CHNN delves into issues currently facing the Collision Repair industry:
  • GM and Audi Say No To Bumper Repairs
  • New Law In Rhode Island Supports OE Procedures
  • Bodyshop Owner May Become Governor

Collision Hub News Network CHNN – News For June

Collision Hub News Network episodes provide in-depth coverage from leading industry experts on the news and information needed to stay current in claims and repairs. This episode of CHNN delves into issues currently facing the Collision Repair industry:
  • Tesla Opens Collision Repair Centers
  • AutoNation Sells Aftermarket Parts
  • Kia Issues Position Statement On Scanning
  • GM Says Use IRSA In Place Of Panel Adhesive