Coronavirus Causes Mayhem in the Auto Industry: Update

Corona Virus

Since the publishing of our last article on the novel Coronavirus, COVID 19, we have seen it go from pausing life in China to rapidly halting everyone’s day to day life around the world. We went from pondering the impact of shutting down Chinese factories to Amazon Prime isn’t delivering in a day? Wait, 30 days? Wait, toilet paper is unavailable? WTF 2020.
These days you’d be hard pressed to find an open car dealership, but their service bays are still open. The lack of focus from federal leaders has left everyone around the country wondering what’s next as they attempt to mitigate the waves of a halted economy.Have you filed for your Disaster Loan Assistance Yet?
Submit your application todayAs we try every trick in the book to keep our heads above water, the waves are still unpredictable and without a clear end in sight. As of this writing, we are not quite sure what’s happening as the unseen enemy is just getting started it seems. In the following months , we’re going to talk about how the auto industry is handling this pandemic, and how you can take this time to focus and reset your business. Make no mistake about these recent events, they are tragic; but within this tragedy, there are amazing opportunities for you and your business.
Read about our Pandemic To Do List.
    First and foremost, the issue of closing factories has made its way across the world. Industry giants across the world are accumulating idle factories all across the globe and leaving many people out of work. However, some of the United States’ top brands like GM, Tesla, and Ford are all trying to find ways to repurpose their facilities geared towards fighting the pandemic that is causing them all to lose business. President Trump announced that these brands will help the country by producing ventilators used to help patients who are suffering from critical cases of the Coronavirus. Another giant, Fiat Chrysler Automotive stated that it would be utilizing one of it’s factories located in China (someone ring an irony bell here) to begin to make over 1 million masks per month to protect people from being exposed to this extremely contagious virus. This type of mobilization of the American auto industry is similar to what has been seen during the WW2 era where these big brands worked hard to help the nation during a time of hardship.
  The next thing that is a major concern is the cash flow of the industry that now has come screaming to a halt. The hope is that government bailouts will assist these brands make it through a time of no production and no cars being sold. In South Korea, the auto industry is at the heart and soul of the country, accounting for 12% of the country’s workforce. With Europe and the United States making up 70% of the nations exports, the country is in trouble as it is becoming more apparent by the day that it will be quite some time for supply chains to bounce back. South Korea as a nation has come up with a $39 billion stimulus package that will try to help the country’s economy pumping during this time of uncertainty. The United States recently just reached a $2 Trillion economic bailout with $500 Billion in emergency loans to businesses. We only hope that some of that money is used to keep the service facilities that support local communities, alive and well.
   One the other hand, German auto giant Daimler has actually insisted on not receiving any financial aid during this time of crisis and ensures everyone that they will be just fine without it (shocking coming from a company that had its market value drop over 46% since January 2 of 2020.Here are some links to help you stay up to date on what is going on around the world and in our communities.
General Information:

John Hopkins University Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases Map
World Health Organization Coronavirus COVID 19 Information
Latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What you can do:
CDC Steps to Prevent Illness

Define: Pandemic – Time To Stop Standing Still, While Social Distancing

Team Brainstorming

We are all facing an unprecedented time in history and in our own lives. Mostly confined to our homes or our jobs, everyone is adjusting to a new normal that doesn’t have an end date in sight. 10 days ago I made a post asking what’s on your Pandemic To Do list?? In that post I was literally tackling one of the items on my To Do list, that’s been there for months… Replacing incredibly noisy fans on our desktop computer for the office.
Now is the time to take a hard look at your business and processes and make them work for you. You can learn more about how to evaluate your business against today’s business norms, here .
So today I want to talk about what you can do, to make and tackle your own “To Do” list, preparing yourself for the way out of the situation you are presently in. For starters, I’m going to label out the “Tool” I am using and the FREE “Tool” you can use if you don’t have my tool in your arsenal already.The only and most important tool you will need to get started is…. A NOTEBOOK.
We use Microsoft’s One Note as a subscription to Office 365, if you have Office, I highly recommend you use it. If you don’t have it as a part of a subscription, they offer a free version but I’m not sure how seamless it is. You can learn more here.
The other option is to use a free Gmail address and use their “Docs” platform. We talk about how to take full advantage of a Gmail account to streamline your business in this article.So our first step was to make our list, shown on your right.
We presently have 12 items on our list, among some others that haven’t made the list till we can tackle our biggest hurdle… Inventory Control.
I want to focus on the tasks I’ve been able to complete or mostly complete as of now, and the time they took to resolve:#7 Change the fans on office desktop. Total time ~4hours
Benefit: That awful noise is gone, saved at least $300 from hiring someone to fix it or sending it out to get fixed. Need to order bottom cover pads to complete it to satisfaction.
Total cost: Parts $110This should have been 15 minutes, but the hard drive we ordered…. Was DOA. Some troubleshooting helped us determine the hard drive was bad. Ordered a replacement for the replacement and installed again a few days later.
Benefit: Can store more days of recording. Money saved, at least $100
Total cost: Parts $250 for 8TB Surveillance Hard Drive 
#11 Upgrade the hard drive on our Lorex camera system. Total time ~2 hours.#10 OEM Software Laptop setup. Total time, nearly 30 hours.
Now, this isn’t really a task many of us can Google away. I have almost 2 decades of experience in hardware, software setup and deployment. It took me 30 hours to get this done, but this wasn’t a task for the weak and it was chosen as my first. Why?
Benefit: My technicians can now take out ONE laptop and fire it up to access any software related tool they might need. So we have AUDI ODIS, BMW, Chrysler, GM, FORD, Honda & Toyota legal software subscriptions installed on one machine. With Teamviewer, so I can help them from anywhere in the world. Every machine uses the exact same login, each build has all the same tools you might need to work… in short, it’s designed to reduce downtime and the headaches that come with servicing multi vehicle brands.The beauty of it, if it goes down… I have made a duplicate machine as a complete backup that sits on the shelf waiting for the day it’s needed.
Total cost: TIME, Had all of the hardware and a strong tech foundation to capitalize on.
These are just examples of the amount of time you have now. I did the above in 10 DAYS since starting the list. We wrote an article about how to evaluate your business, and now is the perfect time to do.

March 2020 Newsletter

newspaper stack

Coronavirus Putting The Auto Industry at Risk
Over the past two months the coronavirus has gone from a slight concern to a global epidemic that has seen thousands get affected across numerous countries. As China dashes to contain the rapidly spreading virus, building one hospital in 10 days, it not only affects the people of China but is also having a major impact on the auto industry as well. Some of the biggest car brands in the world have made a major investment into their supply chain in the industrial nation. Meanwhile parts of China have been placed on lockdown, some areas since January, companies and investors alike are becoming unsettled.
As the virus continues to spread and the mass panic builds the auto industry is also beginning to sweat as assembly plants and dealers alike are being greeted with a long list of issues with very few solutions currently. Click the button below to learn which area’s of the industry are being dealt the most damage.
Find Out MoreThe Water Cooler
Apple Doesn’t Allow Bad Guys to Use iPhones in MoviesWhen you are watching a movie do you ever pay attention to the phones that the characters are using. If you do, have you ever wondered why the bad guy never has an iPhone?
There is a very simple answer to this question; Apple forbids it! In an interview with Vanity Fair, Knives Out director Rian Johnson let the cat out of the bag.  “Apple… they let you use iPhones in movies but — and this is very pivotal if you’re ever watching a mystery movie — bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera” stated the director,a very odd tidbit of information but some next level thinking by Apple. If bad guys in movies never use an iPhone then it limits the possible bad light their phones get. A small detail in the film industry that highlights Apple’s next level thinking and competitive nature to be the best. TRIVIA
What was the first production car in the world with laser headlights?
Read to the end to find out the answer. Around the Industry: Robotics Getting a Bigger Role in the Assembly Plant
A polarizing conversation, across all industries, is automatizing the assembly line. For the auto industry specifically, some say the introduction of robots could help streamline the assembly process and eliminates the possibility of human error others believe that this practice is solely killing jobs and harming the ability to get a job in this field. In Canada however, they are finding that thanks to advancements in technology they are able to do far more with these robots now than they could have ever done before. 
 No longer are they just made for big clunky sections of the assembly line, and can actually be used in much more precise areas thanks to their co-bots, or robots that can help assist humans during the process. These new, smaller, more advanced robots can operate 10x faster and handle twice the payload. This, along with technology advancements in general allowing for artificial intelligence to better understand human command, it seems evident that there will be a larger presence of robots in assembly plants along with new jobs created to work around these machines eating up the tedious tasks.Trivia Answer
BMW I8- The high end BMW model gives their customers the option to get laser headlights in their vehicle which effectively doubles the illumination range when compared to modern LED high beams.

February 2020 Newsletter

Reading Newspaper

Hummer’s Electric Return
In one of the biggest turn around’s in auto industry history, in the next year we will see GMC’s brand new fully-electric Hummer Truck on the roads. Announced during a Super Bowl 54 commercial, the famous American brand will make a comeback after a 10 year period. From being one of the biggest gas guzzlers (10 mpg) to fully electric, the new Hummer touts 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 lb-ft of torque and can go from 0-60 in 3 seconds which passes Tesla’s Cybertruck which does it in only 6.5 seconds. While we do not get a full visual of the re-imagined truck until late May, car and tech fanatics alike will be eager to get a glimpse into the future of the auto market.Tesla’s Big Gamble   Tesla has completed it’s modern marvel; their $2 Billion Gigafactory in China is ready to begin rolling out cars over seas. This move was done to get around China’s massive tax on U.S auto brands and also hop on this opportunity as no one has been able to put out an entire electric line of vehicles like Tesla has yet. While this move seems to be the slam dunk the car brand has been desperately searching for to get up onto the global stage, it may not be as simple as it appears. With China’s car sales on a continuous downward slide over the past year and a half Tesla still has an uphill battle on their hands as they try and build momentum in the Asian and European markets. All of this while also trying to stay ahead of their luxury brand competitors who are also beginning to crash into their currently niche electric market.
Click on the button below to read the full article on our website! 
Find Out MoreThe Water Cooler
Starbucks Offers Employees Mediation App to Help Improve Mental Health
Starbucks has been a company known for trying to present it’s employees with a variety of tools to help them with their lives outside of work. Last month, the coffee brand announced that it would be giving it’s employees a free subscription to the app Headspace, which offers it’s users a step by step meditation process to help reduce stress and anxiety during their everyday life and is very easy to use,  in an effort to put a focus on mental health. Obviously, if you have been to a coffee shop in the morning you know they are chaotic and puts a lot of stress on the workers there. According to a spokesperson from Starbucks over 30,000 employees had signed up within days of this announcement. This is just one of many subscriptions Starbucks offers it employees, free of charge, that range from assisting with financial planning to boosting productivity. While not a traditional offering like health insurance or a 401k; giving employees subscriptions to various beneficial programs is a growing trend in the business world today.  TRIVIA
What famous auto maker is responsible for designing the Volkswagen Beetle?
Read to the end to find out the answer. Around the Industry: Reducing Emissions and Jobs in the European Union
One of  the biggest stories in the auto industry within the past few years is the push for electric vehicles to help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being put into the atmosphere. In Europe, one of the biggest culprits of air pollution is the transportation sector, accounting for 27% of the total of the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions. Because of this fact, Europe as a collect has been cracking down on it’s emissions and one of the ways it aims to lower this number is by both investing heavily into the electric vehicle sector and setting regulations to force already existing brands to create cleaner cars.  While obviously this is a victory for the environment and promises for better air quality, this move will greatly disturbed the auto industry.
   This past year, European passenger car sales dropped after six consecutive years of growth and will only get trickier as electric vehicles are much more expensive to build than combustion engine vehicles. Brands are being forced to relocate to cheaper manufacturing locations to consolidate for the expenses that these new vehicles cost to make and in turn is causing many facilities to close and costing people their jobs. It has been covered heavily that Germany’s biggest brands in the auto industry are going to have to eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs to afford this pivot in direction. American electric car brand Tesla are now in a pole-position to dominate EV sales thanks to their new gigafactory in China, with another about to break ground this year in Germany as well. As pressure mounts across the entire industry, it will be a top story to follow throughout 2020 and even beyond.    Trivia Answer
Ferdinand Porsche – While known as the man behind the luxury brand, the Porsche car company, Porsche was tasked in 1934 to design a “people’s car” which turned out being the first ever Volkswagen Beetle.

Subaru EyeSight Research Report

Subaru logo

March 2020
 Research Project: Understanding the failure rate of an uncalibrated windshield (After Replacement)
 Investigator: Ricardo Da Cruz
 Prepared by: Ricardo Da Cruz
Statement of Purpose:
This case study is designed to examine how the Eyesight system(s) available in current Subaru models react to not being calibrated after windshield replacement.
Research Questions:
The study examines three major questions: 
1.     What is the failure rate for object recognition prior to calibration?
2.     What is the failure rate for object recognition after calibration?
3.     What differences exist between OE and Autel?TL;DR:
51.6% Failure rate at night
10.0%-33.3% Failure rate during day (Percentage range is dependent on on data points below)
Uncalibrated runs, day or night, were plagued by inconsistent system crashing while failing.
0% Failure rate at night – 97% Accuracy Calibration
0% Failure rate during day – 98% Accuracy Calibration
Calibrated runs crashed system significantly less than uncalibrated.
OE Manufacturer information is mandatory when performing these services, regardless of tools used.
What does this mean??
If you replace a windshield and don’t have it calibrated, your Eyesight system in your Subaru is likely 50% less effective at night and at least 10% less effective during the day.Study Methodology:
To place a recognizable target in the path of the vehicle. Record and observe how the vehicle would react when presented with different external circumstances. Record findings at night and day.
Testing was carried out in an area awaiting redevelopment with ample room to bring a vehicle to speeds required for the Eyesight system to function as needed.
Testing was conducted with a variety of cruise control and non-cruise control variables. Vehicle would be driven at varying speeds at the target with documentation of each test pass.
All driving was recorded.
Tools Used:
2018 Subaru Impreza – Accident vehicle with windshield replacement. No codes stored; no calibration performed prior to testing.

Service Management Software: CAR
Subaru OE Information Subscription – 3 times.
Autel Scan Tool w/ADAS Subscription
ADAS Hardware w/Calibration Target & Hardware
Battery Tender
Target – was designed/built inhouse. Made of simple materials that could be found at any Target and Home Depot. Designed to limit any potential vehicle damage caused by impact. Made to represent a person approximately 12 years or older in height. Needed to be replicated in less than an hour if broken beyond repair. Materials available upon request.1.     Nighttime testing, No Calibration:
Conditions: Cold, Clear, 9pm

61 test runs
47 center line passes
24 clear passes, all center line
20 clear fails, 18 center line fails, 2 Left Bias (LB) or Right Bias (RB)
 4 center line swerves, late warnings, swerved – High speed
1 Moving target, high speed, good warning time
6 All Systems Down – 2 at night
38 Night Runs: Failure test here was object recognition
23 Day Runs: Failure test here was object recognition
31 night runs at center, 16 fail 51.6% | 15 pass. 48.4% 

2. Day Time testing, No Calibration:
Conditions: Cold, Clear, 9am

16 day runs at center, 6 that are questionable because of much higher speeds
Removing those 6, has 10 remaining, 2 fail, one is questionable based on the results from calibration sample tests, the other is no longer question based on those same results.
10.0% failure rate assumed in this calculation, 90.0% passing rate assumed – I wonder if this has to do with the percentage rates you get on the machine when calibrating?
Leaving the 6 but removing 1 (included in the original 6 count) where the target moved (wind), 15 successful day runs at center. 10 passing, 5 failing for target hits.
33.3% failure rate assumed in this calculation, 66.7% passing rate assumed

3. Nighttime testing, CALIBRATED:
Conditions: Cold, Cloudy with Light Rain, 7pm – It got boring…
11 runs done, object recognition was 100%.
4. Day Time testing, CALIBRATED:
Conditions: Cold, Clear, 11am
21 runs done, object recognition was 100%.
Last 5 runs were done at 30mph+ on cruise control.
5. OE Information & Setup Findings

A little difficult to navigate if you’ve never used, much like all other OE systems.
Instructions were thorough, though difficult to attain a 100% reading.
Lack of information on understanding exactly what is the % reading and what it means.
OE Software is out of reach because of price.

6. Autel Information & Setup Findings

Calibration frame setup is not the best system for efficiency.
Subaru target does not line up with center of calibration frame.
Height leveling is a painful exercise that’s inaccurate and wastes time overall.
Target height is not the same as Subaru spec of 1000mm.

Video & Photo Documentation Available Upon Request.From our research in general the following is clear:
1.     The market still does not understand these systems, how to price their repair, or what’s really at stake or involved.
Calling 4 facilities yielded the following results. 

Subaru Dealer #1 – $465 for Eyesight calibration, blind spot calibration is done at the same time according to this dealer. 
Subaru Dealer #2 – $165 for Eyesight calibration and didn’t know what blind spot was, but came back on the phone and said the same exact price for all the services. $165 each.
Local collision facility – $250, claimed to “do a lot of work for Safelite”. Did not ask about blind spot. 
Safelite – $600

This information may not be used or republished without written consent.

Coronavirus Causes Mayhem in the Auto Industry

Crashing Stock Market

Over the past two months the coronavirus has gone from a slight concern to a global epidemic that has seen thousands get affected across numerous countries. As China dashes to contain the rapidly spreading virus, building one hospital in 10 days, it not only affects the people of China but is also having a major impact on the auto industry as well. Some of the biggest car brands in the world have made a major investment into their supply chain in the industrial nation.  Meanwhile parts of China have been placed on lockdown, some areas since January, companies and investors alike are becoming unsettled.
Auto Industry heavyweights from across the globe have major production in China, as the country makes more cars than any other country around the world. The likes of Volkswagen, Toyota, Daimler, General Motors, Renault, Honda and Hyundai all have planted their flag in the automotive hub and for the most part the relationship has been fruitful with these brands as they are able to cut production costs. Workers in China earn around $10 per day  opposed to the places most of these brands are from like, for example, America where the average minimum wage for an auto worker earns anywhere from $28-38 per hour ; a sizable difference in net profit and bigger earnings they bring to their investors.  One System, Fully Mobile, No More Fuss
Bringing You Into The New Automotive Era Starting @ $69.99
Digital Vehicle Inspection Reports
Included standard with every single account.  No extra fees or subscriptions. Learn More
Digitized Estimates, Authorizations & Invoices
Are you ready to eliminate the paper mistakes of the 20th century?  Go paperless with CAR’s service workflow and never go back. Learn More
Customer Communication
Built directly into our platform, not an afterthought that costs you extra monthly.  Standard with the basic subscription. Learn MoreSince China usually had most of its plants closed during this time of year because of the Lunar New Year holiday anyway, the industry has not yet felt the full effect of these closed factories. However, Hyundai has shut down factories in South Korea solely based on the fact that they cannot operate without the parts from China. A staggering 29% of Hyundai’s parts originate from China. The same thing is happening in Europe as Fiat Chrysler said that it has one of its plants is at risk if China is not back on track within the next couple of weeks. That being said, according to S&P Global Ratings, the outbreak is going to force carmakers in China to cut production by 15% in the first quarter, greatly hindering the global supply chain of many companies. GM CEO Mary Bara described the situation as “fluid” during the company’s capital markets day as she tried to put shareholders’ minds at ease amid the building panic of the overseas market.    Having over 60 million people living in lockdown alongside factories being shut down, is certainly enough to give anyone a moment of pause.  This is going to affect the biggest global brands in some way, but one automotive brand in particular has been put into an especially big predicament is Volkswagen. The German brand has put a lot of its eggs into one basket as 40% of the company’s production comes from 24 of its chinese factories.  Almost like they said, “Hey Hyundai, hold my beer while I show you what it really takes to put yourself at the mercy of others.”

December 2019 Newsletter

stack of newspapers

CAR, A Year In Review
Going into the home stretch of 2019 we look back on a year that has seen Complete Auto Reports make large strides.  We spent our year listening to our customers by adding exciting features and also refining our process as well. 
We also have some exciting news to report with regards to our founder’s facility and its adaptation to CAR.  When the journey first started we were averaging $360 per transaction in 2013, the last three months we have averaged $785 per transaction. 
There have been plenty of things to look back and be proud of but also gives us excitement moving forward into 2020. Click the button below to see what else we have accomplished in 2019! 
Find Out MoreThe Water Cooler
Uber Takes Big Blow Losing It’s License to Operate in London Uber, the company that has been taking punches from every direction as of late, has been dealt a big blow from across the pond. The British Capital has decided to strip Uber of it’s ability to operate in the city due to a growing amount fake drivers that are causing the citizens and lawmakers of London a ton of problems. This problem is not one sided either, the stripping of the companies license to operate will cost 3.5 million users the ability to conveniently acquire transportation and Uber one of it’s biggest global markets, but also the city the piece of mind of offering it’s citizens an alternative means of transportation versus getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after a night of drinking. Obviously, there are countless things that have to be weighed when making a decision as big as this so it will be interesting to see how public transportation in London will adjust to this infrastructure challenging decision.   TRIVIA
What kind of car did Starsky and Hutch drive in the classic television series?
Read to the end to find out the answer. Around the Industry: Tesla’s Cybertruck Still Poses Solid Numbers After Flopped Reveal
One of the hot trends in the auto industry is the prospect of creating cars that can drive themselves. While many people wait, drooling at the prospect of this kind of leap forward in both the auto and tech fields, some people warn us that this milestone isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. 84% of security professionals and auto engineers are actually concerned that automakers aren’t keeping up with the rapidly evolving security threats which can leave people’s high tech vehicles’ WiFi and cellular connections vulnerable to hackers. 
This crisis has made many in the industry cry for a call in action to bring in more people into these automotive giants, who are trying to build these “smart cars” the fastest. They are trying bring in more people with technological backgrounds to keep them on pace with the rest of the cyber world. Though these cars are being made to make your commute easier, and help you manage your life on the go; doing these things without proper preparation and procedures can lead to millions of vehicles getting hacked, costing the auto industry millions upon millions to repave their missteps.Trivia Answer
 1975 Ford Gran Torino- The iconic ride that the detective duo ripped through the streets of Bay City in was the Gran Torino. This famous Ford model was also featured in the films Gran Torino and the original Fast and Furious.

State of ADAS: Dangerous

ADAS Screen

Last month I had an interesting ADAS experience while calibrating a 2018 Toyota Prius. I was attempting to calibrate the cruise control module, after it had been replaced from a front end collision. Before we even start, we’re going to take a frame of reference of some things. The vehicle belongs to an existing customer, the vehicle was repaired at a body shop that we regularly deal with, and this isn’t our first ADAS calibration.

Toyota OEM Service & Repair Information
Toyota Techstream Software
Autel Calibration System
Valid Autel Subscription
CAR – Complete Auto ReportsProblem:
While performing this calibration, we actually had the vehicle fail calibration according to the Techstream software. However, the vehicle saved the calibration and acted as if it had passed. So, a vehicle that actually failed it’s calibration, acted like a vehicle that had passed.Discovery:WE NOW HAVE A READING! GREAT! Ready for the bad news?WE NOW HAVE A READING! GREAT! Ready for the bad news?
The adjustment on the OE Cruise Control Module needed to be adjusted to the point of no return. I had to pull the adjustment screw to the absolute maximum just to meet the absolute maximum threshold of 0.6 allowed. Which begs the question… what happens when a few bumps are hit and the sensor inevitably shifts?
So as if that wasn’t disturbing enough to learn, here’s the real problem. What do I do with this information? Since we document everything we do, we took that documentation and informed our customer. Who is extremely appreciative of the level of care we provide to them. I communicated my findings to the team at Techstream, after being told by their customer support rep that the standard protocol was to email them and “someone would get back to you”.I contacted over 5 employees of Toyota corporate here on LinkedIn. One of them actually got back to me, said he would help me find the right department to report it to. 3 weeks later… no reply.
We have uncovered a massive amount of contradictions and bad practices with a safety flaw that likely affects all 2016-2018 Toyota Prius’s with Cruise Control Modules. What’s it going to take for the industry to wake up to the problems that are happening in real time and start finding ways to address them? We’re talking about safety in transportation in the age where liability is the one variable everyone talks about… but few do anything about.
Without best practices in place and a reporting system for errors that are encountered, we are going to keep lawyers busy as this mess sorts itself out.