October 2018 INDUSTRY BRIEFS
Polyvance Supports I-CAR’s Sustaining Partner Program
Polyvance has announced its support of I-CAR’s new Sustaining Partner™ program. The purpose of the Sustaining Partner program is to bring the collision repair interindustry together to support training with the goal of ensuring complete, safe and quality repairs.
Polyvance—which offers the only recognized hands-on nitrogen plastic welding training in the industry—has been part of I-CAR’s Industry Training Alliance® program since 2015. The Industry Training Alliance recognizes training provided by industry partners like Polyvance by allowing students to redeem such training for I-CAR continuing education credit hours.
Until now, however, technicians had to pay I-CAR for the credit hours for training provided under the Industry Training Alliance program. With the advent of the Sustaining Partner program, I-CAR will no longer require the technician to pay for credit hours—I-CAR credits will come at no additional cost when training is provided by Sustaining Partners, such as Polyvance. This should serve to encourage shops and technicians to do more training, thus supporting I-CAR’s goal of ensuring complete, safe and quality repairs.
Polyvance currently offers five different courses on plastic repair: three hands-on and two online, self-paced courses. The online courses include the new EPR-01 Estimating Plastic Repair course developed in partnership with Accountable Estimating for $129 and the PR-03 Headlight Repair Course for $49. For more information on Polyvance’s plastic repair training, go to www.polyvance.com/Plastic-Repair-Training. For inquiries, contact Kurt Lammon, 800-633-3047.
GM Launches Collision Repair Network
General Motors’ Customer Care and Aftersales division recently announced the launch of the GM Collision Repair Network at NACE Automechanika Atlanta. The network is designed to help drive customer safety, customer satisfaction and strong results for dealers and independent collision repair facilities.
According to the announcement, after a collision, GM’s Collision Repair Network, combined with OnStar, helps educate GM vehicle owners by helping them locate repair facilities where qualified technicians follow proper repair procedures using original equipment replacement parts. For dealerships and independent repair facilities, the new GM network will build on the company’s current training and tools-focused programs, while adding standards for pre- and post-repair scanning, repair procedures, calibration and overall repair.
For dealers and independent collision repair facilities interested in the GM Collision Repair Network, visit www.GenuineGMParts.com and click on the “For Professionals” tab to enroll and learn more about the network requirements and fees.
Dahl Automotive Museum Combines Family History with Automotive Heritage
Take a stroll down memory lane at the Dahl Automotive Museum in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The collection of 30-plus pristine vintage and classic vehicles, compiled by the Dahl family—which began selling the Ford Model T at its small dealership in Westby, Wisconsin, in 1911—covers the gamut, from early-days Fords to modern high-performance Mustangs and other historic vehicles.
Dahl Automotive Group is the fourth oldest Ford dealership and among the oldest family-owned Ford dealerships in continuous operation in the U.S. At one time, the company operated dealerships throughout the Midwest, California and Colorado, and began selling other brands—Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, De Soto, Packard, Plymouth, Pontiac, Studebaker, among others.
Nowadays, Dahl Automotive Group operates dealerships in Minnesota and Wisconsin, where it sells Ford, Lincoln, Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai, Subaru, Chevrolet, GMC and Buick, and maintains used-car and detailing centers. The museum represents the rich history of both Ford Motor Company and the five-generation Dahl family involvement in and passion for the automotive industry and its heritage. www.dahlautomuseum.com.
Family patriarch Andrew Dahl was operating a small general store in Westby, Wisconsin, when his sons, Harry and Chet, began selling the Ford Model T in 1911, the start of a five-generation family enterprise steeped in automotive history.
The 1922 Model T-3 Speedster, shown here, was the third generation of the Ford Model T. The Model T-3 comprised roughly half of all Model Ts ever built in varying body styles.
This 1928 Chrysler 2-door Deluxe Coupe, Series 52 featured bullet-shaped headlights, a center-mounted tracking headlamp and a new style visor for closed cars. It’s parked next to a 1955 two-tone Buick Special.
The 1969 Mustang Cobra JET, pictured here, is an early, very rare Mach 1 high-performance “Drag Pick” version of the Ford Mustang. The Mach 1 was offered in at least seven different engine options, including a 428 big-block Super Cobra Jet Ram Air engine.
Abra Auto Body Acquires Indianapolis Collision Repair Facilities
Abra Auto Body of America recently announced its expansion into the Indianapolis market with the acquisition of all Church Brothers Collision Repair locations. The six new Abra locations will be known as Church Brothers, an Abra Company, for the foreseeable future. Church Brothers Collision Repair was founded in 1929 and has been family owned for three generations.
Founded in 1984 in Findley, Minnesota, Abra operates facilities in 22 states located throughout the Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions as well as in Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Oregon and Washington State. The company specializes in auto body repair services, including collision repair, PDR and glass repair. www.abraauto.com.
2019 Ram Rebel 1500, Packed with Bells and Whistles, Creates Aftermarket Opportunities
For both wannabe and serious off-road enthusiasts, the 2019 Ram Rebel® 1500 offers a bevy of styling and performance enhancements, along with a hefty price tag. Originally debuted as the bold-looking Ram Rebel 1500 TRX concept truck, the production version not only incorporates some features found on the concept, albeit somewhat modified for street and off-road use, but also integrates styling and performance cues taken straight from the aftermarket.
For instance, there are powder-coated steel bumpers, LED headlamps, fog lamps and tail lamps, front tow hooks, a cargo-management system and integrated skid plates. Toss in increased ground clearance (think lift kits), oversized 33-inch Goodyear Duratrac tires, and an off-road rear differential, and this truck is trail-ready. The interior is also loaded with upgrades through a 12-inch UConnect® touchscreen, including navigation, a premium audio system with 19 high-quality speakers, Apple CarPlay®20 and Android Auto™ integration, along with two-tone black and dark ruby red leather seating, yet another popular aftermarket styling concept.
With a starting price north of $50,000, the Ram Rebel isn’t for everyone and doesn’t leave much room for aftermarket upgrades. But, on the bright side, there are less expensive Ram 1500 models with far fewer options and standard equipment, opening the door for creative and savvy aftermarket pros to upfit these vehicles with customer-pleasing accessories that will turn any entry-level truck into a lower cost Rebel look-alike.
The aggressive-looking Ram Rebel TRX concept truck served as the inspiration for the new 2019 Ram Rebel 1500.
The all-new Ram Rebel 1500 is the packed with performance and styling enhancements certain to appeal to serious off-roaders, provided they can ante up $50,000-plus to go adventuring.
The black and dark ruby red leather upholstery adds a dash of color to the Rebel interior. Custom leather in an endless array of designs is a hot aftermarket option, and can instantly transform the interior of trucks and SUVs equipped with cloth or vinyl seating.
Keystone Automotive Expands California Footprint
Keystone Automotive Operations, headquartered in Exeter, Pennsylvania, has relocated its Corona, California, distribution center to a massive new location. The new 450,000 sq. ft. facility in Eastvale, near Ontario, California, is nearly two-and-half times as large as its Corona distribution center. In addition to more-than-ample warehouse space, the Eastvale facility is equipped with 80 dock doors for ease of off-loading deliveries and speeding outbound shipments.
Keystone, an LKQ company, was founded in 1971 by the legendary drag racing Amato family. Known as the largest distributor and marketer of specialty automotive equipment, Keystone operates 48 locations in the U.S. and Canada, including Kansas City, Kansas, Dallas, Texas, and Spokane, Washington, as well as Ponoka, Alberta, and Saint Bruno, Quebec. www.keystonautomotive.com.