Yearly Archives: 2000

Two in a Row – Orlando:

CAPA Parts a Winner in CIC Parts Test

Orlando: After the Certified Auto Parts Association (CAPA) parts received their highest marks ever in a Collision Industry Conference (CIC) test in Nashville, TN, another CIC test at the recent National Auto Body Congress Exposition (NACE) shows that the quality of CAPA-certified parts remains solid. “Our goal is to receive good results in every test,” said CAPA president Butch Viccellio. “And, our results are starting to move in that direction.”

The CIC Parts & Airbag Committee recently conducted its latest test comparing car manufacturer service parts to aftermarket parts, and the CAPA-certified parts received higher ratings than the car-company brand service parts in all categories-fit, finish and overall acceptability. In the blind test, participants judged two car-company parts and two aftermarket parts. The CAPA parts were rated higher than their car-company counterparts in all aspects. Other non-CAPA aftermarket parts also fared well in testing.

The test was conducted in a carefully orchestrated sequence. Prior to changing parts on the test vehicle, the fit of the manufacturer’s parts was rated. Original parts were then replaced on a “blind” basis with either car-company or aftermarket replacement parts. Evaluators were unaware of the source of the parts they were rating. Fit and finish were rated 1 to 5, with 5 being best.

Percent of CIC Industry Experts Who Judged the Parts as Acceptable
Ford F-150 Part Ford Service Part CAPA Certified Part
Left Fender 56% 61%
Right Fender 31% 70%

 

Overall CIC Test Results
Ford F-150
Left Fender
Ford Service Part CAPA Certified Part
Fit 2.94 3.40
Finish 3.36 3.81
Overall Acceptability 56% 61%
Ford F-150
Right Fender
Ford Service Part CAPA Certified Part
Fit 2.89 3.16
Finish 3.22 3.56
Overall Acceptability 31% 70%

“I’m glad to see CAPA’s continued success in blind testing,” said Viccellio. “An effort is now underway to ensure continued success through the new vehicle test fit standard.”

CAPA’s Vehicle Test Fit

In addition to its rigorous metallurgy and corrosion tests, CAPA recently adopted an extensive vehicle test-fit component, which measures how well parts fit on the car. All CAPA-certified parts must now pass the vehicle test fit before receiving certification. “Our quality is good, and we will make it even better,” said Viccellio. “The vehicle test fit is a safeguard to guarantee consistent quality.”

While CAPA’s parts have performed well in recent tests, Viccellio said CAPA isn’t satisfied and recently started working with manufacturers to begin applying CAPA’s successful vehicle test-fit program to CAPA-certified parts already in the program.

“We plan to evaluate these parts via the vehicle test fit and will take all corrective action that is necessary,” said Viccellio. “This will bring our quality and consistency to a level that is exclusive to the CAPA organization.”

For details on recent CIC parts tests, see the CIC Web site: www.ciclink.com. For more information on the Certified Automotive Parts Association, seewww.capacertified.org.

Contact: Jack Gillis
(202) 737-2212
12/11/2000

The Certified Automotive Parts Association is the nation’s only independent, non-profit, third party crash parts quality certification organization.


CAPA Certification Improves – Nashville

CIC Parts Test is Proof

Washington DC: On March 1999, the Certified Auto Parts Association (CAPA) began requiring all parts entering its certification program to pass a vehicle test-fit before certification. A year later, a Collision Industry Conference (CIC) test shows that the quality of CAPA parts continues to improve. “The vehicle test-fit program was developed by CAPA’s validator, Entela, in partnership with members of the collision repair industry and aftermarket parts manufacturers to ensure that CAPA parts fit properly,” said Butch Viccellio, President of the Board of Directors of CAPA.

The CAPA vehicle test-fit requirement is designed to accomplish two goals: to overcome inconsistency in the quality and fit of car company service parts, and to ensure that CAPA parts pass one ultimate test for repairers-the fit. The vehicle test-fit is conducted in addition to CAPA’s standard intense battery of material, corrosion and appearance tests.

The CIC Parts & Airbag Committee recently conducted its latest test comparing car manufacturer service parts to aftermarket parts. In this test, the CAPA-certified parts received higher ratings than the car company brand parts in all categories-fit, finish and overall acceptability. “I am proud of how well CAPA-certified parts performed in blind testing,” said Viccellio. “This clearly demonstrates the impact that successful teamwork between auto repairers, part manufacturers and CAPA can have on the quality of aftermarket parts.”

In the blind test, participants judged four car company parts and four aftermarket parts on fit, finish and overall acceptability. The CAPA parts were rated higher than their car company counterparts in all aspects. Other non-CAPA aftermarket parts were also compared to their car company counterparts with mixed results.

The test was conducted in a carefully orchestrated sequence: Prior to changing parts on the test vehicle, the fit of the manufacturer’s parts was rated. Original parts were then replaced on a “blind” basis with either car company or aftermarket replacement parts. Evaluators were unaware of the source of the parts they were rating. The parts were rated for fit, finish and overall acceptability. The fit and finish were rated 1 to 5, with 5 being best.

CIC Test Results
Fit Finish Overall Acceptability
CAPA Hood 4.22 4.50 91%
Car Company Service Hood 3.39 3.63 69%
CAPA Right Fender 4.00 4.81 92%
Car Company Service Fender 3.65 4.21 90%

CAPA’s Vehicle Test Fit

“The CIC results confirm the significant contribution that our vehicle test-fit requirement has made in improving the quality of parts certified by CAPA,” said Viccellio. “And we’re hearing the same story from folks who use our parts in repairs around the country.”

Here’s how CAPA’s vehicle test-fit works: once the part passes CAPA’s extensive material and appearance requirements, the manufacturer selects 3 parts from the first production run and ships them to CAPA. CAPA uses an undamaged vehicle to conduct a detailed measurement and examination of the comparable original equipment part, which is used as a basis for approving the part for certification. The process includes a complete comparison of the gap, flush, holes, bodylines, ease of installation and other factors.

As of September 15, 2000, 319 parts have undergone a vehicle test fit; 224 parts have received CAPA certification, while 95 parts were not certified and returned to the manufacturer for further improvement.

Contact: Jack Gillis
(202) 737-2212
10/26/2000

Note: For more information on the CIC test results, see the CIC Web site: www.ciclink.com.


CAPA Board Expands

Collision Repairers, Consumer Advocates and Distributors

Added to Board

Washington, DC: After a unanimous decision by CAPA’s Board of Directors to significantly increase membership of non-insurance representatives to the Board, CAPA members have added five new positions to the Board and elected four new members.

“The recent decision of the CAPA Board to increase the membership is part of an ongoing strategy to ensure that CAPA reflects the industry-wide desire for quality and competition in the crash parts marketplace, ” said Henry Viccellio, Jr., current Board Chairman and President USAA, Property and Casualty Insurance Group. “I am particularly excited about the increased participation at the board level by collision repairers. Meeting their needs is key to any success CAPA may achieve.”

Early this year, the Board agreed to equalize the number of insurers and non-insurers serving on the Board by authorizing an expansion of the Board to seven non-insurers and seven insurers. This is a change from the previous composition of six insurers and three non-insurers. “This is an exciting change for CAPA and will go a long way to helping ensure that the solid foundation of the past will keep pace with the new demands being placed on the organization, ” said Jack Gillis, Executive Director of CAPA.

To begin filling the new Board seats, CAPA members elected the following Board Members:

Bob Anderson – Anderson’s Automotive Services – Collision Repairer
Robert Anderson owns Anderson’s Automotive Service Center in Sheffield, OH and has been in the automotive repair business since 1968. He operates a mechanical and collision repair facility with ASE Certified and I-Car trained technicians and has achieved I-Car Gold Class and N.I.A.S.E. “Blue Seal of Excellence” status. He has held ASA association leadership positions at the state and local levels and is past ASA Board Chairman, has served on the ASA Executive Committee and as chairman of the ASA Collision Division Operations Committee. He chaired the 1993 and 1994 National Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) and received the Body Shop Business Executive of the Year Award, the ASA Collision Division Phoenix Award and the annual Chairman’s Award. He now serves on the ASE Board of Directors and is an ASE Certified Master Technician and ASE Master certified in body and paint refinishing and estimating.

Jackie Gillan – Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety – Consumer Representative
Jacqueline Gillan is Vice President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a coalition of national consumer, health and safety organizations and the major property and casualty insurance companies and trade associations. She was a founding board member of the organization before joining the staff in the fall of 1990. Her 25-year professional career has been in the transportation field including eight years as the Assistant Director of the Ohio Governor’s Washington office, specializing in transit, rail and aviation issues and for three state transportation agencies (New Jersey, California and Ohio) in senior policy positions. In 1993, Ms. Gillan was a presidential appointee to the National Commission on Intermodal Transportation, which spent a year studying and issuing recommendations on national transportation issues. She was the Transportation Search Manager for the Clinton/Gore transition and the White House personnel office where she assisted the Secretary of Transportation in filling senior political appointments in the U.S. Department of Transportation. She also worked in the U.S. DOT during the Carter administration as a congressional relations officer and Director of Consumer Affairs for the Research and Special Programs Administration.

Bill Smeal – Smeal Enterprises, Inc. – Distributor
William (Bill) Smeal is President of Smeal’s Enterprises, Inc. Smeal’s Enterprises, Inc. is headquartered in Phillipsburg, PA with additional locations in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, PA servicing Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. Bill is actively involved in his community and the automotive parts industry. The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry has honored Mr. Smeal with the Entrepreneur Excellence Award and the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership named him Entrepreneur of the Year. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) and has been an active member in the association for over 10 years.

Don Keenan – Keenan Auto Body – Collision Repairer
Don Keenan is President and General Manager of Keenan Auto Body. He started his career in 1979 joining his father in the family business created in 1952. Don became president in 1980 and transformed Keenan Auto Body into a six location, 95-employee body shop chain. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Folcroft Vocational Technical School and serves on the Board of Directors of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists. He is a Gold Pin Member of Collision Industry Conference, President of the Coyote Vision Group 3.1, Chairman of the Universal Underwriters Group Customer Council and a member of the National Auto Body Council.

Following is a list of the current members of CAPA’s Board. Recently Tim Clark of Safeco and Jack Billington of Nationwide resigned from their respective companies and thus their seats on the CAPA Board. The CAPA Board Nominating Committee is in the process of replacing them.

Industry Name Company Term Expires
Consumer Gillan, Jackie Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety 2001
Consumer Kido, Mike Center for Auto Safety 2002
Distributor Smeal, Bill Smeal’s Enterprises, Inc. 2002
Distributor Wood, Kim North Star/NECO 2001
Insurer L’Hote, Tom State Farm Insurance Co. 2001
Insurer Notte, Nick Allstate Insurance Co. 2002
Insurer Viccello, Henry USAA 2001
Insurer Wilson, Tom Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. 2002
Insurer Open
Insurer Open
Insurer Open
Repairer Anderson, Bob Anderson’s Automotive Services 2000
Repairer Keenan, Don Keenan Auto Body 2002
Repairer Plucinski, Clark True2Form Collision Repair Center 2000
Advisor Hansen, Kirk Alliance of American Insurers
Advisor Hurns, Robert NAII

The Certified Automotive Parts Association is the nation’s only independent, non-profit, third-part crash parts quality certification organization.


Report on Crash Parts Misses the Mark

Close Vote Belies Interests of Committee Members Rather Than Facts At Hand; Car Company Part Monopolies Protected, Consumer Choice Denied

Boston, MA: The Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA), the nation’s only independent, non-profit crash parts certifying organization, today voiced concern about a report released by the Massachusetts Automobile Damage Appraisers Licensing Board, an organization whose sole purpose is to review practices of insurance damage appraisers. While the issue of competitive replacement parts is well outside the jurisdictional oversight and expertise of the ADALB, Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Ruthardt, asked the Board to consider whether or not there are any safety implications with the use of these cosmetic parts. Although the slim majority acknowledged they had no scientific evidence to support their views, the board implied in its “majority” report that there may be safety implications regarding these parts. The slim, 3 to 2, margin indicated the clear disagreement among Board members. A minority report reflecting the dissenting views addresses the concerns of the “majority” report and essentially concludes that there is NO evidence that these cosmetic replacement parts compromise the safety or value of a vehicle.

“In fact, the very existence of competitive parts has been the main factor in the overall improvement in the quality of both car company and non-car company parts,” said long time consumer advocate and Executive Director of the non-profit CAPA, Jack Gillis. The writers of the “majority” report ignored the results of crash test preformed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS); the nation’s most recognized and turned to auto safety testing organization. The IIHS testing clearly illustrated that neither car company brand or non-car company cosmetic repair parts have any affect on the safety of the vehicle. In fact, they presented the committee with results of crash tests in which a 1997 Toyota Camry performed equally well both with the car company brand parts in place and with no parts on the vehicle, thus replicating previous tests which show that the “outer skin” of a car does not have a bearing on safety.

What is particularly telling, and calls into question the conclusion of the “majority,” is that the report actually states that “reliable physical evidence with respect to the safety of aftermarket structural parts is hard to come by.” Despite their own admission of a lack of evidence, the slim majority concluded, on the basis of anecdotal information supplied by their colleagues in the collision repair shop industry, that competitive cosmetic replacement parts have safety ramifications.

“The Board is simply incorrect in stating that the use of cosmetic aftermarket parts ‘may jeopardize the safety and value of the vehicle,’ said Gillis. “There is absolutely no evidence that just because the part was not made by Ford or GM that there is an inherent problem with the part.” “Clearly, Massachusetts consumers, who have come to rely on such common non-car company brands such as DieHard, Midas and Fram, know that car companies are not the only ones who produce good parts. In fact, roughly one-quarter of the cars on Massachusetts’s roads have non-car company crash parts put on them by Massachusetts collision repairers. A simple check with the Consumer Affairs or Attorney General’s complaint files will show that there is no evidence of problems. Clearly, because this issue is so far outside the responsibilities and expertise of the Massachusetts ADALB, they have drawn totally inaccurate conclusions and made some terrible errors of judgment. The three people constituting the “majority” have simply chosen to ignore the fact that the responsible federal agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has determined that cosmetic aftermarket parts do not affect safety. However, if there were safety issues, NHTSA could and would step in, as we’ve seen them do with such non-car company parts as Firestone tires and child seats.

Furthermore, contrary to the Board’s assertions that “there is no agency … that monitors or evaluates the suitability of an aftermarket part as it leaves the plant,” the Certified Automotive Parts Association has for over 12 years had an aftermarket part certification program in place that maintains strict standards for the manufacture of such parts and includes regular inspections of both the parts and the plants where they are made.

Likewise, the Board’s statement that “there is no recall system for aftermarket parts in existence” overlooks the CAPA system that requires individual numbering and labeling of each part when it leaves the factory, enabling it to be tracked and returned if there is any problem with it. It also overlooks the fact that the U.S. Department of Transportation has complete authority to issue a safety recall regardless of who makes the part.

Ironically, the Board’s belief that “the very few number of CAPA-certified structural parts is indirect proof … that they are not of like/kind/quality to the original parts” simply confirms the fact that CAPA certified parts are an excellent option for Massachusetts consumers.

This Board’s “majority” conclusion does nothing more than serve as a thinly veiled protection of the car company monopoly on crash parts—a monopoly that costs Massachusetts consumers millions of dollars each year in over-priced parts. For example, to replace a simple hood on a 1994 Taurus will costs a Massachusetts resident about $400, and that doesn’t include the cost of properly installing and painting the hood. On the other hand, that same Bay State resident can go to any number of stores and buy a complex TV/VCR for about $150. Why do Bay Staters have to pay so much for a simple piece of stamped sheet metal? Because it’s only available from Ford, yet there are ten companies competing for our TV/VCR business. That competition means lower prices and better quality.

The ADALB “majority” view is wrong and only serves to protect the car company monopolies. Massachusetts consumers are not afraid of competition and the ADALB should be encouraging, even demanding, more competition, not protecting the pocketbooks of the car companies.

Contact: Jack Gillis
(202) 737-2212
10/20/2000


CAPA Applauds California Autobody Association’s Effort to Review Part Quality

Washington DC: The California Autobody Association recently announced the beginning of its effort to develop an “Inter-Industry Parts Transaction Best Practices Guidelines.” This effort is modeled after documents created by the Collision Industry Conference.

“We applaud the recent effort by the California Autobody Association to critically evaluate the overall parts transaction process experienced by collision repairers”, says Jack Gillis, Executive Director of the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA). “This positive, proactive effort will help identify issues in the parts transaction that create problems for collision repairers. Clearly, the easier it is for repairers to do their job, the better repairs consumers will experience. With even simple ‘fender benders’ costing consumers hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars to fix, the California Autobody Association effort should improve the quality of the process.”

While the California Autobody Association project covers a number of elements in the parts transaction, CAPA believes that documenting specific part quality issues will help efforts to improve part quality and the CAPA certification process. Hopefully, the California Autobody Association effort will identify specific quality problems, provide a standard to monitor improvements, and open channels of communication regarding legitimate quality concerns. “We are pleased the California Autobody Association is using CAPA parts in its study, and we are especially excited about receiving the results pertaining to part quality,” says Gillis. “This information will help CAPA identify additional issues our standards need to address.”

CAPA believes fully in the vehicle test fit process that California Autobody Association is using as a means of evaluating the fit of parts used by collision repairers. Since March 1999, all parts entering the CAPA program must pass a vehicle test fit. To date, CAPA has conducted more than 240 vehicle test fits at the test fit facility established by Entela, Inc., CAPA’s validator. We have also enlisted the cooperation of collision repair shops to conduct these tests. It is our hope that the California Autobody Association study will not only provide information that manufacturers, distributors and collision repairers can use to improve the process, but serve as a model for a greatly expanded program that can be implemented on a nationwide basis. CAPA stands ready to assist the California Autobody Association in that effort.

Contact: Jack Gillis
(202) 737-2212
10/6/2000


CAPA News 2000

Issue #2: Table of Contents
Functionally Equivalent? LKQ? Similar? Equal?
Collision Repairers: The Cornerstone of CAPA’s Quality Program
CAPA: Who We Are … What We Do
Vehicle Test Fit Program
Some More Good News From CAPA
What CAPA is Not!

 

Functionally Equivalent? LKQ? Similar? Equal?

At CAPA, we’re often asked to describe how certified parts compare to car company parts. The term we use is “functionally equivalent.” We chose this term because we think it best describes how CAPA certified parts relate to the car company parts they replace. Simply put, CAPA certified parts should perform the same as car company brand parts in every significant aspect. This includes fit, finish, strength, material content, corrosion protection and more. We believe that the difference between a CAPA certified part and a car company brand part should be invisible to both the repairer and consumer.

Read More


CAPA Communication Initiatives: Good Standards Begin With Good Communication Between Part Users and Part Makers

A Report on the History of Communication Between Part Manufacturers and Leaders in the Collision Repair Industry

Washington, DC – Recently, a delegation of six California Auto body Association (CAA) Technical Review Committee members and the executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), returned from a successful visit to Taiwan where they met with manufacturers of crash parts. The goal of this trip was to further communicate collision repairers’ need for quality, competitive replacement parts.

The Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) applauds this endeavor, which is only the most recent in a long list of productive efforts by many in the collision repair industry to communicate quality concerns to part manufacturers. It is these previous efforts that have helped to build the foundation that contributed to the success of this recent CAA/SCRS trip.

On behalf of the many collision repairers we’ve worked with and who have substantially contributed to the improvement of part quality, CAPA would like to set the record straight on our long-standing effort to directly involve collision repairers in communicating their needs to part manufacturers in a positive and proactive manner. While this report covers CAPA’s initiatives, there have been other similar efforts involving other collision repairers.

CAPA’s History of Establishing Collision Repairer/Manufacturer Communication

1989: CAPA’s efforts to initiate productive communication between collision repairers and manufacturers began in 1989. At that time, CAPA’s newly appointed Executive Director Jack Gillis and the first collision repair representative on the board Dick Cossette of Lehman’s Garage in Minneapolis visited the manufacturers. CAPA chose to introduce the manufacturers to Dick Cossette for three reasons: his reputation as a respected leader in the collision repair industry, his keen understanding of collision repairer needs, and his excellent communication skills. Dick Cossette was able to clearly and directly communicate the needs of collision repairers to manufacturers. The manufacturers appreciated learning about these needs from someone of the caliber of Mr. Cossette.

1990: In 1990, one of CAPA’s stalwart supporters and most trusted and turned-to advisor, Jerry Dalton, led a special task force of CAPA Technical Committee members to conduct an important evaluation of the validator. During that process, Jerry worked closely with many of the manufacturers and gained both their trust and respect. This should be no surprise to anyone in the industry who knew Jerry. From a historical perspective, this was one of the most profound of CAPA’s repairer visits as it resulted in substantial changes in the program as well as the selection of a new program validator. Mr. Dalton’s visit a full ten years ago clearly established a productive channel of communication between collision repairers and CAPA participants.

1991: In 1991 Jerry Dalton, again, visited the manufacturers in Taiwan. This time he served as an intermediary in the efforts to fully introduce the key staff of our new validator to the manufacturers. Jerry made it clear to the manufacturers that quality was the key to their success and that adherence to the CAPA standards was key to making their parts acceptable to collision repairers. While Mr. Dalton’s knowledge of the collision repair environment was key to his success in communicating with the manufacturers, the most important element in his effectiveness was the respect he showed for them.

1992: In 1992, primarily at the suggestion of Jerry Dalton, CAPA took an unprecedented risk and invited some of the most critical and concerned leaders in the collision repair industry to Taiwan for the sole purpose of continuing the efforts of Cossette and Dalton. The group included CAA’s Mark Ferrari and a future ASA leader, Jerry Kottschade who each made a considerable investment of their time to make this trip. Our goal was two-fold: to further expose the manufacturers to the needs of collision repairers and to show those most critical of part quality the progress being made by CAPA manufacturers. From the candid reports of all members of the group, both goals were achieved. These representatives, as have all representatives on CAPA trips, and the manufacturers interacted openly and with mutual respect. In fact, Mr. Ferrari and Mr. Kottshade, who took considerable professional risks by accepting CAPA’s invitation, further opened many channels of communication.

1993: The noteworthy Ferrari/Kottshade delegation set the stage for formally re-establishing the channels of communication between all segments of the industry that began when people like Chuck Sulkula started meeting with representatives of the insurance industry and others in 1984, prior to the formation of CAPA. In June 1993, CAPA again brought key collision repairers together with manufacturers in the first Inter-Industry Communications Forum (IICF). At this Chicago meeting, over 40 representatives of the collision repair, insurance, distributor and estimating industry came together with nine manufacturers in what the nay-sayers predicted would be a disaster but, instead, resulted in an incredibly effective communication effort. It was so successful that all parties decided to continue the IICF and since 1993, the group has met 11 times. Collision repair leaders who met with the nine manufacturers at the first IICF meeting included Bob Anderson, Joe Sanders, Clark Plucinski, Mark Ferrari, Ed Kizenberger and Nikki McDonald. Primarily because of the efforts of many collision repairers, all of whom made sacrifices to attend IICF meetings, the manufacturers continued to develop a better understanding of the shop’s need for quality. Without these early efforts by a significant group of collision repair leaders, the manufactures would have little understanding of collision repairer needs. What is particularly remarkable about these early collision repairer efforts is that as each meeting improved communication, the market saw continued improvements in quality. This is because these meetings increased manufacturer understanding about the needs of the collision repairers.

1994: In addition to bringing key leaders to manufacturing facilities, CAPA exposed the manufacturers to the real world challenges in collision repair shops. In 1994 shop owner Nikki McDonald opened her shop to manufacturers attending the IICF in Denver, Colorado. Later that year, two Las Vegas shops opened their doors to a diverse group of visiting manufacturers.

1995: In 1995, Jerry Dalton, Jerry Kottschade and Clark Plucinski traveled to Taiwan for meetings with the manufacturers. In addition to working sessions with the manufacturers, these collision repairers visited numerous factories. These repairers were able to explain how changes in the program were imperative to their industry. As always, the result was continued communication.

1996: In 1996, Clark Plucinski asked Bob Anderson of Anderson’s Auto Repair in Sheffield Lake, OH, to participate in a factory tour and series of information sessions with the manufactures. Again, the efforts of Mr. Plucinski and Mr. Anderson greatly enhanced the understanding of the manufacturers to the needs of collision repairers. In addition, because of Mr. Anderson and Mr. Plucinski’s interest in the process, the manufactures successfully communicated the progress they were making to meet those needs. At the November IICF Beryl Carlew, Kelly Roe, Nick Gojmeric, Kevin Cook, Jerry Dalton, Al Estorga, Jerry Kottschade, John Mock and David Lee Spinoso met with the three largest part manufacturers. Again, these repairers clearly articulated their quality concerns as well as acknowledging the progress needed by the manufacturers.

1997: In Bethesda, Maryland, Clark Plucinski, Rick Paukstitus and many on the staff of True2Form invested thousands of dollars in facility and staff time to meet personally with visiting manufacturers in an all day session with key collision repair leaders. Included in this unique effort was a detailed examination of the shop environment by the manufacturers who were guests of BCP. Because Mr. Paukstitus and staff took the time to detail key aspects of a quality part, the manufacturers gained a better understanding of part quality in the shop. Many times, the 7 key manufacturers who participated expressed appreciation for the efforts of the entire group of collision repairers who also included Tim Adelman, Jim Heger, Al Estorga, and Joe Sanders.

1998: Clark Plucinski participated in another effort to continue what he and his collision repairer colleagues began in 1989. During this, as in prior visits, Mr. Plucinski continued the tradition of open, effective and respectful communication that continues to lead to better quality parts.

While it is easy to criticize, thankfully, for the consumer and quality competitive parts, there have been many in various segments of the industry who have done much more than criticize—they have taken specific action to improve quality. CAPA appreciates the efforts of many collision repair representatives listed above, and the many other industry representatives, have contributed greatly to manufacturer’s understanding of the quality needs in today’s collision repair industry. Their efforts have had a profoundly positive effect on part quality. While it is well known that CAPA receives a great deal of it’s funding from the insurance industry, it has been the collision repair industry which has had the greatest impact on the standards.

Endnote — The efforts of others: In 1999, the Auto Body Parts Association (ABPA), whose efforts established CAPA, continued the communication efforts by inviting Lou DiLisio, Chuck Sulkala and members of the media to visit manufacturers. This grueling, 20-site visit resulted in a detailed report from Lou on his observations as well as the attitude and efforts of the manufacturers. We understand that his visit was extraordinarily well received by the manufacturers. In his report he both acknowledged the quality improvements made to date by the manufacturers and made recommendations on what could be done to continue to improve quality. Mr. Dilisio, and the many collision repairers who have invested considerable time and effort at successfully opening the channels of communication, can take part of the responsibility for the continued improvement in CAPA certified parts.

Contact: Jack Gillis
(202) 737-2212
6/6/2000