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  Guest Editorial

Posted 12/11/2008

< return to ASRW Wrap-up

ASA Provides Legislative, Division Updates at ASRW '08

Bob Redding, ASA's Washington, D.C., representative
Bob Redding, ASA's Washington, D.C., representative, speaks to the media during a press conference during Automotive Service & Repair Week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

From the national headquarters office in Bedford, Texas, to ASA's legislative office in Washington, D.C., there were some noteworthy accomplishments and happenings in the mechanical and collision sectors in the past year. They were recapped at last month's ASA press conference held during ASA's NACE and CARS events - co-located as part of the inaugural Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW) - at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Nov. 5-8, 2008.

Bob Redding, ASA's Washington, D.C., representative, outlined the association's focus for 2009, including insurance legislation at a federal level that includes property and casualty insurance regulation, and airbag fraud, as recently illustrated in the National Public Radio news story, "Air Bag Fraud: Underreported 'Life and Death Scam.'" Redding said ASA's D.C. office has already started working with members of Congress on these initiatives.

Holly Wilson, national coordinator for the EPA's Collision Repair Campaign, outlined the work her agency is doing with ASA and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to address environmental and health issues within collision shops. The Collision Repair Campaign is designed to assist these businesses in achieving compliance through training and technical assistance. Through the EPA Web site, community/collision.htm, shops will be able to obtain free training, notification of rule revisions, free technical assistance and self-audit checklists, among other tools.

The ability to work hand-in-hand with groups such as ASA and NADA are "critical" to the success of the EPA's program, Wilson emphasized, by "getting out the message" to as many shop owners as possible.

"Environmental benefit doesn't stop at the rule," Wilson said. Through these partnerships, she added, the EPA was gaining the insight and expertise of industry professionals who, in turn, are helping the agency write technical materials. All these efforts help businesses and the EPA reach the goal of cleaner, safer communities.

Denise Caspersen, ASA Collision Division manager, provided the audience with an overview of the Collision Division Operations Committee's focus points for 2009, which will include estimating systems, labor rate surveys, shop licensing, paint caps and replacement of crash parts.

Caspersen said each of these focus points fall under the federal insurance initiative ASA is following. She also indicated that the committee was committed to strengthening relationships with other organizations such as I-CAR, suppliers, recyclers, information providers and insurers.

Dan Stander, chairman of ASA's Refinish Subcommittee and co-owner of Jerry Stander's Collision Works in Littleton, Colo., also took the stage to highlight his group's work for the past year, including the creation of a new refinish flier, new position statements on blending, work on zone refinish fliers and successful meetings with Audatex and Progressive Insurance.

Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive, reviewed the Mechanical Division Operations Committee's accomplishments in 2008, including the completion of guidelines for shops working with extended service plans (ESPs) that assist shop owners with tips for verifying coverage, writing repair orders and working with customers. The ESP guidelines are available to ASA members for free download in the Members Only section of the ASA Web site,

Pyle also discussed the completion of a report that examines the issue of telematics and its potential effects on the industry. This paper is free for any interested individuals in the News Section of the ASA Web site. For 2009 and beyond, Pyle told the audience that the committee will be focusing on the "What's in the Box" issue - parts quality. He said initial research on this subject has provided more questions than answers, and that the committee will be continuing its work through 2009.

Discussions with the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) will also continue. Both groups are coordinating education communication efforts to repairers and consumers. In addition, Pyle said, ASA may participate in creating focus groups to look at specific issues affecting the two industry sectors.

ASRW 2009 will be held Nov. 4-7, 2009, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and will again include ASA's CARS and NACE.


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