By Angie Kilbourne, AutoInc. Correspondent
|From left: Dan Stander, ASA Refinish Subcommittee chair; Bob Redding, ASA Washington, D.C., representative; Holly Wilson, U.S. EPA; Denise Caspersen, ASA Collision Division manager; Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive.
LAS VEGAS — Representatives of the Automotive Service Association (ASA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) were on hand Friday during an afternoon press conference to discuss new initiatives, goals and partnerships involving the three organizations.
Bob Redding, ASA’s Washington, D.C., representative, outlined the association’s focus for 2009:
Redding said the ASA Washington, D.C., office has already started working with members of Congress on these initiatives.
U.S. EPA’s Collision Repair Campaign
Holly Wilson, national coordinator for the EPA’s Collision Repair Campaign, Research Triangle Park, N.C., outlined the work her agency is doing with ASA and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to address environmental and health issues within auto body businesses.
The Collision Repair Campaign is designed to assist these businesses in achieving compliance through training and technical assistance. Through the EPA Web site, www.epa.gov/air/toxicair/community/collision.html, 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 commented. 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
- Replacement of crash parts
Caspersen said each of these focus points fall under the federal insurance initiative that ASA is following. She also indicated that the committee was committed to strengthening relationships with other organizations, such as I-CAR, material suppliers, recyclers, information providers and insurers.
Dan Stander, Refinish subcommittee chair, briefly 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 EPS guidelines are available to ASA members for free download in the Members Only section of the ASA Web site, www.ASAshop.org.
- 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, www.ASAshop.org.
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.
Pyle finished his report with thanks to Hanley Wood and the ASA staff for their hard work to launch this inaugural Automotive Service & Repair Week, as well as to Redding for his continuing efforts in Washington on behalf of the association and the industry.
To learn more about the EPA or NHTSA program, visit the ASA booth, N8609, during ASRW or contact us at email@example.com.