Karen Fierst, Taiwan Auto Body Parts Association, Visits ASA

Early in December Karen Fierst, a representative from the Taiwan Auto Body Parts Association (TABPA), visited ASA headquarters in Bedford, Texas. Fierst met with Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive, and Denise Caspersen, ASA Collision Division manager, to discuss aftermarket parts. Following the office visit with ASA staff, she participated on a conference call with the ASA Crash Parts Subcommittee.

ASA Crash Parts Subcommittee

The ASA Crash Parts Subcommittee, led by Ron Nagy, AAM, met with Karen Fierst to discuss the aftermarket parts industry, the need for aftermarket parts in collision repair and ways to improve the communication between repairers and the aftermarket parts manufacturers. In addition, the subcommittee continued its discussions on the use of recycled airbags, current patent legislation and prioritizing subcommittee goals for 2009.

ASA Insurance Subcommittee

Members of the ASA Insurance Subcommittee, led by Mike Schoonover, convened for an ASA webinar to discuss the Allstate PRO script that was requested and provided to the association for repairer comments.

As the repair industry experiences incidents of steering, the ASA Insurance Subcommittee continues to focus on the issue and improving communications with insurers to better the relationship and business conditions on behalf of the ASA membership.

I-CAR/ASA Education Task Force

Following a meeting with I-CAR representatives at NACE 2008, ASA member volunteers and I-CAR staff have created an informal task force. This group's goal is to collect comments and provide feedback to I-CAR as the organization moves into the future of collision training.

The inaugural meeting included an I-CAR-hosted webinar that provided a general overview of the organization and an open platform for sharing suggestions for its future. ASA appreciates the opportunity to provide comments to I-CAR on behalf of the membership.

ASA Auto Manufacturer Subcommittee

Jumping into the world of webinars, members of the ASA Auto Manufacturer subcommittee participated in a webinar Dec. 18 to discuss the presentations provided during ETI Week in June.

Presentations included highlights of the 2009 Ram's changes in rear suspension from leaf to coil; differences between the 2009 Dodge Challenger and its platform model the Charger and the 300; and the requirement of two technicians when working on hybrid vehicles.

ASA Estimating Subcommittee

Wrapping up the month of subcommittee calls and webinars, members of the ASA Estimating Subcommittee joined in a call under the leadership of Mike Anderson to finalize goals for 2009. In addition, the subcommittee discussed the issue of rekeying estimates.

A question for our collision shop members:

For those shops using waterborne paint, what is the process and expense of hazardous waterborne waste removal compared to solvent-based waste removal costs?

To take part in this poll, please send your comments to Denise Caspersen at denisec@asashop.org.

ASA Volunteer Leadership Tackles Database Issues through Task Force Participation

In December, Darrell Amberson, AAM, ASA Collision Division director, and Carroll Proctor, general director, ASA board of directors, participated in multiple conference calls with the members of the CIC Database Task Force to discuss a change in the CCC Information Services estimating system. This change reinstalls the bumper refinish prompt and questions the refinishing procedure as a continuous process on a vehicle versus the recommended two-step refinish process of the vehicle.

Although the task force provided paint manufacturer documentation and conducted meetings and calls with CCC staff to oppose the change, the reversal is expected to be published in next edition of the company's Pathways Estimating Solution product. ASA will keep you updated on the situation.

DEG Searches for New Administrator

As a commitment to the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) project, Carroll Proctor and Darrell Amberson, AAM, participated in a DEG conference call to discuss the success of the DEG project, the hiring of a new administrator and plans to advance the DEG in 2009.

This report is an overview of recent Collision Division Operations Committee activities. Our goal is to keep you better informed of how the Automotive Service Association is serving you and the industry.

As a member-first organization, ASA welcomes your feedback. Contact me via e-mail or by phone at (817) 358-5236.


Denise Caspersen
ASA Collision Division Manager