Automotive Industries Meet at Collision Expo
by Penny Beverage
The last hurrah. The beginning of unity. Such was the talk at this past year’s 2003 NACE Expo, held in Orlando, Fla., December 5-7, as it rounded out its last jam-packed year as a stand-alone show held at various locations each year.
Sponsored by the Bedford, Texas-based Automotive Service Association, in 2004 the event will join the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show and Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas as part of the Aftermarket Automotive Industry Week.
However, as it should have been, the show’s final year in Orlando, Fla., saw large crowds and an 488-exhibitor-filled show floor, making it a worthwhile event for all. Even the seminars were filled with excesses of 100 people or more, and keynote speaker Bill O’Reilly drew crowds of thousands to his 10 a.m. opening session on December 5.
Focus on Auto Glass
While most of the seminars at the NACE Expo related to matters of interest to auto body shops in particular, one seminar focused on auto glass replacement. Several industry experts offered an update on the auto glass industry and some upcoming trends, including the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS), corrosion issues and how body shops can find quality auto glass shops.
AGRR publisher Deb Levy led a panel discussion of the latest developments in the AGR Industry. Tim Smale, chief executive officer for the Independent Glass Association, and Dale Malcolm, technical services supervisor for Dow Automotive served as panelists.
Levy kicked off the panel seminar with a comparison between the auto body and glass industries.
“I know collision repair is much more used to having standards than we in the auto glass industry are,” she said.
Levy, who also serves as chair of the AGRSS marketing committee, went on to describe exactly how the AGRSS standard was developed with the help of all aspects of the industry. She also provided some grim statistics on unsafe installations and how often they actually do occur.
Smale discussed how auto body shops can deem glass shops safe when choosing one with which to work—for example, in a situation where a collision repair shop contracts its glass work out.
“The windshield is not there to keep the bugs off your teeth,” Smale explained. “If the company you’re using isn’t [AGRSS]-registered, ask them, ‘why not’?”
Malcolm discussed issues of corrosion and rust in a vehicle and how to treat the problem before replacing the windshield—or how to turn down the job when the corrosion isn’t treatable.
Approximately 50 attended the seminar, held at 4:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
In addition to the auto glass-focused seminar, numerous products on the trade show floor could be of interest to those in the auto glass industry.
While Mitchell International of San Diego left its National Auto Glass Specifications (NAGS) experts in California, it had a large booth demonstrating its capabilities on the auto body side of the industry and united with QUALCOMM Inc., a company specializing in wireless networks to demonstrate its products. The two demonstrated Mitchell’s eClaim Manager over a high-speed, third-generation CDMA2000 1xEV-DO network from QUALCOMM (Info www.mitchell.com or call 858/578-6550).
Pittsburgh-based LYNX Services unveiled its own claims management system as well, ClaimLaunch™, which is designed specifically for auto glass shops. According to the company, the software allows auto glass shops to initiate and report claims online and through their business management software systems. In addition, the system is accessible via PPG’s GLAXIS™ enabled point-of-sale software (Info www.lynxservices.com or call 412/434-2347).
CCC Information Services of Chicago also unveiled a new insurance-based product, Version 4.1 of its CCC Pathways® estimating software. The company says the newest version of the software will help increase the speed and efficiency with which estimates are written (Info www.cccis.com or call 800/621-8070).
Dow Automotive of Dayton, Ohio, launched a brand-new high-modulus, non-conductive urethane adhesive, Dashhmnc. According to the company, the advanced cure polyurethane adhesive offers a safe drive-away time of one hour at temperatures of 15° Fahrenheit and warmer, retains torsional stiffness to quiet and stabilize the vehicle’s ride and preserves radio, cell phone and global positioning system reception in antenna-encapsulated windshields and backlites (Info www.dowautomotive.com or call 800/453-3779).
For those who offer add-on products such as headlights, Sabry Lee Inc. of City of Industry, Calif., exhibited the variety of tail lamps and headlights it has available as aftermarket products (Info www.sabrylee.com or call 866/467-2279).
Sprayway Inc. of Addison, Ill., is expanding its adhesive line and now has a moistened towlette line, so both of those were on prominent display at the show (Info www.spraywayinc.com or call 800/332-9000).
Bend, Ore.-based Glas-Weld Systems offered its Fast-Cure windshield repair system and Pro-Cure, which the company says cures in 60 seconds (Info www.glasweld.com or call 800/321-2597).
After three lengthy days in Orlando and more than 24,000 attendees, the show seemed to be a success—and many are already planning for next year’s return.
“This year’s NACE was really good and we’re looking forward to NACE 2004 in Las Vegas,” said attendee Rich Smith, manager of Active Auto Body in Portland, Ore. “With NACE in Vegas, it will be more economical for us to bring all our employees.”
The 2004 event will be held in Las Vegas November 3-6, 2004, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
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