Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- April 17, 2013 -- Aluminum producer Alcoa has stated that it expects to more than triple its sales of aluminium sheet to automakers by 2015. A drive to reduce vehicle weight is largely responsible for the shift away from steel.
Revenue from auto sheet is expected to surge to $580 million by 2015 from $160 million last year, Randall Scheps, global automotive marketing director, said in a telephone interview with Reuters.
"It is moving from the very expensive, luxury vehicles into the mass market vehicles. That's what so exciting about what's going to happen in the next two or three years," Scheps said.
The OEM is being forced to cut weight to meet upcoming emission standards. Some car companies are instead pursuing high-strength steel instead of aluminum, due to its lower cost.
Aluminum is used extensively in engine blocks, heat exchangers, transmissions and wheels, but its use in body panels has generally been limited to high-end vehicles. Alcoa has reason to believe that is about to change.
A statement from the company says the use of aluminum in car bodies in North America is expected to quadruple by 2015. Alcoa also expects the use of aluminum elsewhere in the vehicle to grow in the same period.
"Out to 2015, those programmes and vehicles are already designed ... those decisions are already made. It's as close to reality as a projection can be," Scheps said.
Part of aluminum’s high cost is due to labour-intensive mechanical fasteners and welds used in parts production. Alcoa has also announced its 951 bonding technology, a pre-treatment that the company says will allow parts manufacturers to use adhesives instead.
Winnipeg, Manitoba -- April 16, 2013 -- The Boyd Group has announced the opening of three new repair centres in North Carolina and one new repair center in Florida. The new centres will operate under the Gerber Collision & Glass name. The Boyd Group is based out of Winnipeg and now operates 185 locations in the U.S.
Two of the new repair centers are located in Wilmington, North Carolina, bringing the total centres in Wilmington to three. The first centre is approximately 10,700 sq. ft. and was previously known as Wilmington Paint & Body Works. The second centre is approximately 10,000 sq. ft. and previously operated as Factory Finish Collision Center. The third newly opened North Carolina location is in Durham. It is the Boyd Group’s second repair centre in Durham and is approximately 18,600 sq. ft. It previously operated as CBS Quality Cars. With these additions, the Boyd Group owns and operates 22 repair centres in North Carolina.
The new repair centre in Florida is located in Lakeland, Florida and is approximately 7,300 sq. ft. This centre was previously known as Express Auto Body, and now also operates under the Gerber Collision & Glass trade name. The Boyd Group now owns and operates 38 repair centres in Florida.
"The opening of these new locations is in line with our stated growth strategy of achieving 6 to 10 per cent of growth in number of centres through single-location additions," said Tim O'Day, President and COO of the Boyd Group's U.S. operations. "These centres allow us to better serve customers and insurance partners in these markets and we plan to continue to focus on expanding our presence in similar attractive U.S. markets."
The Boyd Group is continuously looking to add new collision repair locations to its existing network in Canada and the U.S. Interested collision repair centre owners are asked to contact Kim Allen at 847-410-6003 or via email to
for more information.
Jamie Treschak of Treschak Enterprises shows the latest in panel bonding solutions from 3M.
Grimsby, Ontario -- April 15, 2013 -- Treschak Enterprises held a special evening event recently, dedicated to showcasing new and innovative products from 3M.
Taking place at Performance Collision in Grimsby, Ont., it was a rare opportunity to see the latest 3M products in action, including new adhesives, fillers, flexible abrasives, Trizact abrasives, the 3M Paint Preparation System, belt sanders, and more.
Kelly Pickard is the Collision Centre Manager of Performance Collisions. She was particularly impressed by Hookit, new flexible abrasive hand sheets.
“It works with the different contours of the car, which helps to get into hard to reach areas. You should be able to use a lot less material and a lot quicker,” says Pickard.
Hookit is available in different grades for primer sanding, blending and paint finishing.
One highlight of the evening was the introduction of the 3M File Belt Sander, an air-powered sander featuring an ergonomic design that allows the operator to rotate a full 360-degrees and get into hard to reach areas. Two different categories of belts are offered. The Scotch-Brite Durable Flex belt comes in coarse, medium and fine grades and is designed for general surface prep for both welding and adhesive bonding. The Green Corps belts are designed these to provide an alternative to spot weld drilling and metal grinding applications.
“The belt itself is very long lasting. It grinds off spot welds than drill bits and works on all types of steel,” said Jamie Treschak of Treschak Enterprises.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the evening was the 3M Dynamic Mixing System. Powered by a pneumatic air system, the tool can be used to dispense fillers, glazes, adhesives sealers and plastic repair products. The system eliminates messy hand mixing by placing both components into a single cartridge that attaches to the gun-like applicator. The tech attaches a mixing nozzle that precisel mixes and dispenses the product in a perfect ration.
There’s no air in the cartridge or in the mixing nozzle, preventing over-catalyzation of the material and helps to prevent pinholes.
“You end up with a lot less waste,” says Treschak. “Because it mixes the produce in a short distance, the new system means you only mix what you’re actively using at the time. You also get the product on to the part much faster than you would with a manual applicator.”
For more information on Treschak Enterprises, please visit treschak.biz. More information on 3M products can be found at 3Mcollision.com.
New Hookit Hand Sheets from 3M were just one of many new products on display.
Leesburg,Virginia -- April 15, 2013 -- The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) has announced its scholarship winners for the 2013 WIN Educational Conference to be held May 5 to 7, 2013. In keeping with its mission to support and encourage women who are entering or are already in the collision industry, WIN has offered nine scholarships to attend the event being held at the Ritz Carlton in Phoenix, Ariz.
Receiving student scholarships are: Zoe Gorow, studying at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Kirkland, Washington; and Kaitlyn Lease, attending Lexington Technology Center, Columbia, South Carolina.
The shop employee winners are: Lindsey Hassevoort, Customer Service Representative, Holland Auto Body Xperts Carstar, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Myssee Grysen, Customer Service Representative, Holland Auto Body Xperts Carstar, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Melissa Kaboos, Collision Repair Teaching Assistant, Kent Career Technical Center, Hudsonville, Michigan; and Amanda Bolton, Estimator, Gerber Collision and Glass, Jessup, Maryland.
“Supporting young women that have chosen to enter the collision repair industry is really what WIN is all about. Giving them an opportunity to attend our conference is an educational opportunity and a way to meet other supportive and knowledgeable women in the industry,” said Beverly Rook-Twibell, member of the WIN Scholarship Committee.
Scholarship winners and Conference attendees will hear featured keynote speakers, Susan Fowler and Barb Moses as well as participate in other learning and networking activities included in the Educational Conference program.
For more information on WIN Scholarships, please visit womensindustrynetwork.com/Scholarships.aspx or contact Teresa Bolton at
St. John's, Newfoundland -- April 15, 2013 -- The next meeting of the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) will take place in St. John's, Newfoundland on May 25 at the Sheraton Newfoundland Hotel. The theme for the meeting is "Keep Up With Industry Change and What It Means To You."
The rate of change in the collision repair industry is accelerating. According to a statement from CCIF, one of the best ways to deal with that is to attend CCIF St. John’s and meet industry leaders who are driving change, embracing it and carving out new competitive positions to win in this shrinking market.
There are tough choices to be made in the face of new technology, skilled labour shortages, insurer and OE programs and declining, consolidating industry. At CCIF St. John’s you’ll hear how others are managing change, thinking through their options and mapping out their future.
Also on the slate for CCIF St. John’s is a presentation on how the CCIF is preparing to position itself for driving action on the big issues that still need addressing. You’ll have the opportunity to join in the discussion and to vote anonymously on the proposals being made.
The Automotive Recyclers Association of Atlantic Canada is also holding one of its bi-annual industry meetings on Friday, May 24 at the same hotel as CCIF, and CCIF participants are invited to attend. They are also invited to Auto Parts Network’s Open House on the same day. Glenn Hickey and his team look forward to welcoming CCIF participants to one of Atlantic Canada’s most progressive and best auto recyclers.
Hamilton, Ontario -- April 12, 2013 -- Yesterday’s grand re-opening of CARSTAR St. Catharines included a life changing moment for the MacKenzies, a Niagara region family of eight in need of a boost, when they were surprised with the keys to a fully-restored 2010 Dodge Caravan. Jim and Maureen MacKenzie were one of 40 families that had submitted an application to Community Care, and were thrilled to learn they had been selected by CARSTAR as the winning family. CARSTAR St. Catharines fully restored the vehicle with the help of Miller’s Auto Recycling.
CARSTAR’s Regional Development Manager, Jeff Moriarty, handed over the keys to the ecstatic family, as the MacKenzie children honked the horn of their new ride.
“Giving back to local communities that our franchises serve is at the core of CARSTAR’s values,” Moriarty explained. “CARSTAR St. Catharines, and the commitment that owner Steve Sytchouk has made to support the Niagara community at his grand re-opening
exemplifies CARSTAR’s community-minded spirit.”
In addition to the fully-restored vehicle, the $20,000 prize also included a lifetime warranty on repairs from CARSTAR Collision & Glass, a gift certificate for one-year of insurance from Youngs Insurance Brokers Inc., a $500 service and maintenance gift certificate from Hope & Harder/QMAX NAPA Auto and a $300 Canadian Tire gas card.
This life-changing gift for the MacKenzies was a result of strong community partnerships. When approached by the CARSTAR team, Youngs Insurance Brokers jumped at the opportunity to support a local family.
“We recognize that people in our own community can benefit from businesses coming together to help. Youngs Insurance is committed to helping families in need and we wish the MacKenzie family safe travels in their new vehicle,” said Marie Fucile, VP Personal Lines, Youngs Insurance.
The Mackenzie family welcomed a new baby earlier this week and their new vehicle will create a world of change in their daily routine.
“We’re so thankful to the teams at Community Care and CARSTAR. Winning this vehicle means we are able to take a road trip this summer to visit family on the East Coast whom we haven’t seen in years. We’ve just never had the means to do so until now,” Jim MacKenzie explained.
Community Care assists an average of 1,850 households per month in St. Catharines and Thorold, with over 4,000 pounds of food distributed daily. The not-for-profit organization has been serving local families in need since 1919 and has seen the number of families using their services rise in recent years.
“At Community Care, we encourage our families to become self-sufficient one step at a time,” Betty-Lou Souter, Community Care C.E.O explained. “What CARSTAR and its business partners have done for the Mackenzie family goes way beyond one step; they’ve provided a staircase toward independence.”
A statement from CARSTAR Collision & Glass Centres says the company remains dedicated to supporting local communities through admirable charitable organizations, such as Community Care. Sam Mercanti, President and CEO of CARSTAR, was on-site at Thursday’s celebration to recognize CARSTAR St. Catharines franchise owner, Steve Sytchouk, and Moriarty, for forging partnerships to make a difference in the lives of six young children and two deserving parents. Kim Craitor, Niagara Falls, MPP, was also on site to offer his congratulations, along with local celebrity Garry Robbins and members of the Niagara Fire Service.
Mississauga, Ontario -- April 12, 2013 -- CSN Collision & Glass is pleased to announce its newest location in Airdrie, Alta., Airdrie Autobody ~ CSN. Owners Rich and Theresa Whitty opened Airdrie Autobody in 1995 with the vision of always outshining their competition.
“Whether it is the way we repair vehicles or the way we treat our customers, we are always focused on excelling in quality and expertise. We don’t want to remain the same, so we are always looking for ways to get better,” said Rick Whitty.
Larry French, VP of Sales and Marketing at CSN, is very excited about the new addition.
“Airdrie Autbody ~ CSN is exactly the type of shop that CSN Collision & Glass needs. They have a great reputation amongst their customers, and this is one of the core requirements that all CSN shops must have.”
The team at Airdrie Autobody ~ CSN are just as enthusiastic about the partnership. “I think that our new partnership with CSN will not only help us make a difference in the industry, it will help differentiate our business from our competitors in our community,” said Whitty.
CSN Collision & Glass proudly welcomes Rick and Theresa Whitty and the Airdrie Autobody ~ CSN team. For more information on CSN Collision & Glass, please visit csninc.ca.