ST. JOHNS, Fla. –The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) hosted its semi-annual General Meeting on March 19 at the Meadowland Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J.
NASTF Chair, Allen Pennebaker, owner of Orinda (Calif) Motors, convened the three-hour session, welcoming a local and webcast audience of aftermarket and OEM representatives. Videos of the session are available to view on the NASTF YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/nastfdotorg.
Meeting topics included the following two featured sessions, plus committee segment updates:
OEM validation of collision repair was the lead topic, where ASE Director of Collision Repair Test Development Teresa Bolton quizzed and challenged a panel on the increasing practice by OEMs of concerning themselves in the repair of their vehicles. Gary Ledoux, assistant national manager, Collision Parts Marketing for American Honda, revealed the motive for Honda’s interest in collision repairs: “We want to make sure our consumer’s vehicle gets repaired correctly. We need to be at (EPA requirement) 54.5 mpg, so 10 years from now you will see materials (in vehicles) that have not even been invented yet.” Farzam Afshar, president of Verifacts; John Bosin, director of segment development at I-CAR; Gary Wano, owner of G.W. & Sons Auto Body; and Aaron Clark, president of Assured Performance, also contributed to the panel discussion. Clark predicted that “future equipment and repair processes will be vehicle-specific” while Wano noted that shops are “not there yet” with the return-on-investment in equipment costs. Afshar and Bosin argue that shops signed on to validation, certification or verification programs will count employee retention, profitability and pride as a component of ROI.
The Mercedes theft-relevant parts (TRP) policy was updated for 2015, and in a featured presentation, Dan Selke, safety supervisor for Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), reported that “now every theft-relevant part is [available] to be ordered.” The MBUSA TRP program was introduced in 2008 and, until now, only five of the 9 to 14 items were available to technicians outside of the Mercedes franchise dealerships. A critical element of Mercedes’ trust and control of these vehicle security components is their requirement that all purchasers are cleared and active subscribers to the NASTF Vehicle Security Professional (VSP) Registry.
NASTF says the remainder of the general meeting was devoted to the work of NASTF’s six committees. Claude Hensley, co-chair for the Vehicle Security Committee, reported the doubling of NASTF’s VSP Registry subscriptions in 2014 as indication of the increasing relevance of NASTF’s VSP program. Kurt Immekus, co-chair for the Equipment & Tool Committee (ETC), revealed the ETC project to campaign for adoption of J2534 version 5.0 when it is published by SAE later this year. Tim Morgan, co-chair for the Collision Repair Committee (CRC), touted the CRC’s comprehensive view of the collision industry, able to look broadly at issues as all interests are represented. Jason Kozak, co-chair for education, announced his committee’s priorities for 2015 will include development for OEMs of best practice guidelines and a sample license agreement for training information OEMs can use with third-party trainers.