BASIC ESTIMATING COURSES OFFERED
12 th year of offering popular training
Commencing April 21 st
The popular basic estimating collision repair training course is back to help shop or office employees, new estimators and insurance company staff who may need assistance in estimating collision damage on cars and light trucks in Ontario.
Taught by experienced apprenticeship instructor, Jim Miles, this six-night course includes, introduction to estimating, understanding vehicle construction, fundamentals of estimate writing, understanding collision manuals, additional charges and collision damage analysis.
The first evening course commences April 21 st , two classes per week over a three-week period.
Time & Locations:
Motive Power Training Centre
606 Rennie Street
6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Monday and Wednesday evenings, commencing Monday,
April 21st , 2008.
Eugene Collision Ltd. - Conference/Boardroom
8 Eugene Street
6:30 pm to 9:30pm
Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, commencing Tuesday,
April 22nd , 2008.
Association Members - $350.00 plus GST, per person
Non-Members - $450.00 plus GST, per person
Students can register by contacting the Association and www.ciia.com office at 1-866-309-4272 or e-mailing email@example.com .
Prepayment is Mandatory
Reversing Camera Calibration
SITUATION With the introduction of the E70 version of the X5, BMW offers for the first time an optional reversing camera . This reversing camera contains several assistance functions that are displayed in the form of electronically corrected video images on the Central Information Display (CID). These images are overlaid with various digitized assistance graphics and it is necessary for these graphics to comply with the outside world. The installation tolerances on the vehicle make calibration of the reversing camera with the chassis, suspension and rear lid essential. In order to meet the demanding requirements of the calibration procedure (maximum target deviation ±0.5 cm in all directions), the reversing camera must be calibrated only via the BMW retailer diagnostic and service system (SGBD-Job) and must be performed in an adjustment station or on a comparable even surface. Mechanical adjustment is not possible.
Calibration of the reversing camera must be carried out after the following work:
. Body work to the rear of the vehicle
. Replacement or adjustment of rear lid
. Removal and installation of the camera
. Chassis tuning
For information only.
AUTOBODY SHOPS RESPOND TO TORONTO PROPOSED BY-LAW
The Public Health Department for the City Toronto, is proposing a Environment Reporting ad Disclosure Program for businesses(including auto refinishing) in the City of Toronto.
The City of Toronto's proposed bylaw would:
-require that specified facilities report to the city every year if they use or release chemical substances that are of greatest concern to health
-help facilities to focus attention on use and release of these chemicals and facilitate pollution prevention measures
-enable the public to access and understand the information that is collected
Details of the program are found at: www.toronto.ca/health/hphe/enviro_info.htm
Prior to a comment deadline of February 6, 2008, the collision repair industry association, in a report to the City of Toronto, advised that in consideration that auto refinish facilities already report emissions to the Government of Ontario under a Certificate of Approval program (known as Section 9 Air of the Ontario Environmental Protection Act , R.S.O. 1990). Any further reporting would be expensive for shops and duplicative.
The association urges the City of Toronto to work with the data on emission reporting and release information that is contained on every shop's provincial Certificate of Approval.
New Certificate of Approvals are planned for all Ontario shops as they switch to a waterbase product for painting, so an even clearer description of emissions will be reported. All shops that newly apply for a Certificate of Approval are highlighted with their emission data on the Province of Ontario's web site, called the EBR or Environmental Bill of Rights Registry.
Copies of the nine page report are available free to association members by calling 1 866 309 4272 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
I-CAR® REEVALUATES OPERATING NEEDS, ANNOUNCES
LIMITED WORKFORCE REDUCTION
HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILLINOIS – March 25 2008 – I-CAR, the Inter-industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, today announced a limited reduction in force. The staffing reductions involve the I-CAR Tech Centre in Appleton, Wisconsin, and the I-CAR Training Support Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and I-CAR’s field operations.
“As with many businesses during these difficult economic times, I-CAR has had to re-evaluate its operating performance and its strategic position in meeting the training needs of the industry,” said I-CAR Board Chairman John Edelen. “Through this work, I-CAR has identified changes that must take place to ensure that I-CAR remains a viable organization and is positioned to be successful in the future.”
“Through the most recent review of the needs of the organization and its staffing levels we have found it necessary to consolidate some roles and activities, reduce resource levels in some areas, and to eliminate some roles. This has resulted in the reduction of the overall staffing needs of the organization, and the release of the employees affected by these decisions. We want to acknowledge the years of service and contributions of these employees.”
Mr. Edelen went on to say, “I-CAR continues to have very respectable levels of revenue; however, I-CAR’s revenue growth has been outpaced by the rate of escalation in our operating expenses. By restoring a balance between revenue development and our operating expenses, we will ensure that there are sufficient reserves, should these adverse economic conditions persist.”
“I-CAR’s employees are its greatest asset, and employee salaries and benefits are its most significantexpense. We owe it to the inter-industry to ensure that we have the right level of staffing to meet the needs of our customers – not more, and not less. We must assure that we can continue to work effectively and efficiently while maintaining our position as a leader in providing training to the auto collision inter-industry,”
said Mr. Edelen.
Further inquiries should be directed to Joyce Kasmer, Director of Marketing, at 800-422-7872 ext. 246 or email@example.com.
I-CAR, founded in 1979, is an international not-for-profit training organization dedicated to improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of auto collision repair for the ultimate benefit of consumers.
I-CAR ® Education Foundation Announces Student Scholarships
HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL - March 7, 2008- In support of its new mission, the I-CAR Education Foundation is proud to announce $30,000 in collision repair training and education scholarships to assist deserving students pursuing a career in the collision industry. This scholarship is in part funded by the Collision Repair Education Campaign , formerly the $100 per Collision Repair Facility per Year Campaign .
I-CAR Education Foundation Trustee Geralynn Kottschade stated, "The future of the collision industry is in the young men and women enrolled in our career and technical schools and colleges. We take great pride in being part of the development and training of our future technicians and look forward to offering continued support."
Applicants for the scholarships that are attending secondary schools must be a senior in a collision repair training class with plans to continue their education in the collision industry after graduation. Applicants from post-secondary schools must be enrolled in training programs relevant to collision repair. The scholarships will pay for post-secondary education, to apply for I-CAR points through the Industry Training Alliance, or to attend training programs offered by I-CAR.
There will be two $5,000 scholarships: one winner from a secondary school and one winner from a post-secondary school. Additionally, there will be five $2,000 runner-up scholarships in each category. All entries must be received by the I-CAR Education Foundation prior to April 1, 2008 to be eligible. Winners will be chosen in April 2008 and notified by mail and phone.
Students should visit www.ed-foundation.org to apply. The applicant will be required to submit an essay, and the instructor will be required to submit an online recommendation. For more information, please contact the I-CAR Education Foundation at 888.722.3787, Ext. 282.
The I-CAR Education Foundation, founded in 1991, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to securing donations that support philanthropic and collision repair education activities that promote and enhance career opportunities in the industry.
RIFCO Reports Record Loan Originations in Q3
Red Deer , Alberta , February 22, 2007: RIFCO Inc. (TSX.V-RFC) today announced that it has filed its unaudited financial statements for the third quarter ended December 31, 2007 , and related management's discussion and analysis with the regulatory authorities. Copies can be obtained from SEDAR at www.sedar.com or on the Company's website at www.rifco.net .
RIFCO experienced an increase in loan originations in the quarter to $6.10M up from $5.15M in the prior quarter, an 18.4% increase. In December, which is typically a slower origination month, the company generated record loan originations of $2.34M. The Canadian automotive industry sales have been reported as being "painfully slow" during the quarter with December sales reaching a 5.0% reduction year over year.
In the third quarter ending on December 31, 2007 , the Company reported net income of $176K, a 210% increase over the net income of $57K in the prior quarter. Revenue in the quarter was $1.76M, an increase of 7.3% over $1.64M recorded in the prior quarter. Managed loans grew to $26.3M, an increase from $24.3M in the prior quarter and 30.7% over Q3 in the prior year. EPS of $0.01 was achieved in the quarter. RIFCO has now reported quarterly net income in seven out of the last eight quarters.
Much of the growth has come from the enrollment and relationship building with additional automobile retailers. This task has been made easier by RIFCO's proprietary loan origination interface. On Nov 1, 2007 , RIFCO launched its online loan application solution for RIFCO enrolled new & used auto dealers. The interactive technology is intended to maintain personal interaction while efficiently communicating our innovative deal structuring. When combined with our competitive dealer incentives, the Company receives positive responses. By Dec 31, 2007 , we had converted and trained 107 dealers on the new online system of which 56 were existing RIFCO dealers and 51 were new dealers to RIFCO. We are currently enrolling & training up to 20 new dealers per month which will continue to positively fuel our loan origination growth.
RIFCO previously reported that certain competitors had reduced underwriting and documentation requirements and were offering, what was believed to be, unsustainable risk pricing. In this quarter, we have seen signs of a dichotomy of underwriting and pricing. Certain national non-prime auto lenders have tightened underwriting requirements and increased lending rates. Other national competitors seem to be maintaining relatively low credit requirements and pricing, or even lowering relative underwriting standards. It is RIFCO's intention to maintain consistent and sustainable underwriting with adequate pricing to compensate for the underwriting risk. RIFCO will continue to leverage its nimbleness to meet the needs of today's dynamic auto finance marketplace in order to foster stable dealer relationships. In the short term, RIFCO's growth opportunities may be affected by aggressive market pricing by competitors in select markets. The Company believes that in the current capital markets environment, such pricing by our competitors will ultimately prove to be unsustainable and unrewarding.
RIFCO has continued to invest in technology and human resources in order to improve capacity and efficiency. Increasing loan originations and assets under management will allow these investments to be leveraged toward increased revenues and improved earnings. The gains made in efficiencies continue to be evidenced in the Company's improving operating expense ratio. In Q3, this ratio improved to an all time quarterly low of 8.02%. Annual operating expense ratios for 2007, 2006, and 2005 were 12.12%, 18.13% and 22.25% respectively.
The Company is pleased to report that the average loss rate of 5.33% remains in our target range of 5 to 6%. Delinquency levels have increased from last years record lows but at 4.48% still compare favorably to the industry. Management is confident that credit quality remains within our targets levels but increased delinquency normally will result in increased losses. Diligence in this key priority remains.
RIFCO's liquidity position remains good. RIFCO has experienced no interruptions to its financing solutions since the ABCP issues became significant in August 2007. RIFCO's funding solutions remain as a $7.5M senior debt facility from BMO Bank of Montreal , $30M in a securitization facility from Securcor Trust and $30M in a securitization facility from Community Credit Union. On December 17, the Company disclosed the renewal of our BMO credit facility with no changes to terms, rates, limits and security from the prior year's facility.
- Managed Loans up 30.7% to $26.33M (YOY)
- Loan Originations year to date up 7.9% to $16.89M (YOY)
- Operating Expense Ratio reduced by 2.25% to 8.02% (YOY)
- Average Cost of Borrowing stable at 8.18% from 8.16% (YOY)
- On-book Loans up 33.9% to $10.0M (YOY)
- Net Income in Q3 increased to $176K from $57K in the prior quarter, a 210% increase
- Revenue in Q3 increased 7.9% to $1.76M from $1.64M in the prior quarter
- Loan Originations up 18.4% over the prior quarter
- EPS of $0.01 up from $0.00 in the prior quarter
- On-book loans increased by $1.4M over the prior quarter a 16.5% increase
- Average Loan Loss Rate increased to 5.33% from 5.20% in the prior quarter
- Alberta Venture magazine ranked RIFCO with a 71% revenue growth rate, 21st on their 2008 Fast 50 list for Companies with revenue under $20M. This is the second time the Company has made this list.
Ultimately, changes to the global and Canadian credit environment will affect the credit underwriting of all lenders. We remain optimistic that those lenders that have remained true to their underwriting standards will ultimately be rewarded as risk adjusted pricing returns to more profitable levels.
About RIFCO Inc
RIFCO Inc. operates through its wholly owned subsidiary Repair Industry Finance Corporation. RIFCO is a specialty consumer finance corporation currently providing motorists with non-prime Auto Purchase Financing and mid-market Automotive & Commercial Repair Financing. RIFCO has a growing network of new & used vehicle dealers and licensed repair facilities operating in all provinces except Saskatchewan and Quebec.
The common shares of RIFCO INC. are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "RFC". RIFCO Inc. has 19.23 million shares outstanding.
The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release
I-CAR REFOCUSES ITSELF WITH VOLUNTEERS AND PROGRAM INSTRUCTORS
HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL - February 18, 2008 - I-CAR volunteer committee members and program instructors from around the country were given an open forum to provide feedback during the recently completed 2008 I-CAR Zone Conferences. The feedback offered to attending I-CAR staff and board increases communication between the groups and also allows I-CAR to further reach out to those who receive training and provide a high-quality, relevant product, as volunteers and program instructors serve as the 'frontline of I-CAR' to the industry.
"I appreciate the sincerity of everyone and the individual commitment to change course to ensure that a quality product is achieved. In today's environment change is constant and requires continuous renewal of how we interact and function within the business environment," explained Dan Shymanski, St. Louis MO I-CAR Volunteer District chairperson. "To recognize and make those adjustments is never easy and requires strong leadership. This is a great organization and I am thankful for the leadership and their resolve to make those changes."
"I think I-CAR has been going through some growing pains," admitted Tim Harriman, ME State I-CAR Volunteer chairperson. "What I-CAR can do for us right now is keep the enthusiasm up. That level of enthusiasm pumped up attendees at the zone conference I recently attended."
"Lately my experience with I-CAR has been a positive one," explained Rob Saunders, San Luis Obispo CA I-CAR Volunteer Committee chairperson. "Processes have been streamlined. It's much easier to get classes scheduled than in the past. The restructuring and change taking place was reemphasized at this conference and I see it as a change for the better."
"This has been the most open, candid, and encouraging set of I-CAR meetings I have attended in a long time," stressed Doug Middleton, International Advisory Committee member and former I-CAR staff member.
"It's been extremely gratifying to participate in the zone conferences," emphasized Jeff Silver, past I-CAR CEO. "I want to do anything I can to help I-CAR succeed."
"It is critical for the success of I-CAR that we support our volunteers, program instructors, and customers by clearly understanding their needs and ultimately delivering a quality product to them," stressed I-CAR Director of Marketing Joyce Kasmer. "This is a top priority for the staff."
"The 2008 zone conferences proved to be a success with high participation from I-CAR volunteers and program instructors from around the country," stated Jeff Peevy, I-CAR Director of Field Operations. "Held in three different parts of the United States from January through February, the zone conferences gave I-CAR senior staff the opportunity to meet with I-CAR volunteers and program instructors and share information as well as and get receive valuable feedback from those who also serve as the 'Frontline of I-CAR.'