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I-CAR’s Jason Bartanen to Moderate Aluminum Discussion

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ST. PAUL, MINN., May 7, 2015—Jason Bartanen, I-CAR’s director of industry technical relations, will moderate a panel discussion about aluminum repair at the FenderBender Management Conference May 19 in Philadelphia.

Bartanen, who has been with I-CAR for nearly 20 years in various positions, brings a wealth of knowledge about advanced vehicle design and materials, and the tools, equipment and training needed for proper repairs. The aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 has pushed aluminum, in particular, into the spotlight. And with more aluminum-bodied vehicles on the way, collision repair businesses are left to consider making a substantial business investment, or be left behind.

Jason Bartanen, I-CAR’s director of industry technical relations

Bartanen will help conference attendees to better understand and prepare for this new age of vehicle construction during “Profiting from Aluminum,” a discussion with three shop owners from different regions of the county, each with very different yet equally successful transitions to aluminum repair. They will share their stories, strategies and secrets to making structural aluminum repair a profitable business investment.

The panelists include Tommy Suggs, owner of European Collision Repair; Randy Yockey, owner of Friendly Ford/CARSTAR Friendly; and Ron Reichen, owner of Precision Body & Paint. They will cover the following topics:

How to determine whether/when to equip your shop for aluminum

  • Key differences in aluminum vs. steel repairs
  • The essential tools, equipment and training
  • The return on investment and how to make aluminum repair a profitable part of your business  

Reichen, an accomplished collision repair industry veteran, operating two shops in Bend and Beaverton, Oregon, has put his business ahead of the curve for structural aluminum repair, holding multiple high-end automaker certifications and having already worked on the material for nearly two decades.

Suggs is all in on aluminum, having crafted his Georgia-based business around the advanced material. He built his first clean room in 2008, and in 2013, he built a 10,000-square-foot, aluminum-only facility across the street from his shop. Suggs has since opened a second, all-aluminum repair center in Nashville.

Yockey has a different perspective, as both the owner of a Ford dealership and an adjacent collision repair facility operating under the CARSTAR umbrella. His body shop has gone through the process of becoming a Ford-recognized aluminum repair facility, and as part of the CARSTAR network, he has an intimate knowledge of the MSO’s own, unique aluminum consulting-and-certification program.

The FenderBender Management Conference, scheduled from May 18–20 in Philadelphia, will include educational sessions, engaging workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities, all aimed at helping shop owners and managers make money, save money and work smarter.

For more information or to register, go to

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