In the article below Mary Barra, the Chairman and CEO of General Motors talks about the changes that GM and other manufacturers are now fully involved in. If, as she says, there will be more changes in the next 5 years than there were in the past 50 how is a repair facility expected to keep up?
It won’t be by relying on practices and training from somewhere in the past 50 years. Those facilities that choose to keep up will do so with a new business model that includes significant investment in new knowledge and procedures to augment the experience they have gained over the years.
The Next Revolution in the Auto Industry
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We are truly in a period of rapid change in vehicle technology. A 2016 or 2017 vehicle may look to the owner like a newer version of a 2010 but below the surface there have been many changes in very important areas.
The physical structure of today’s vehicles and the electronics supporting the safety features are both vastly more complicated than they were 5 years ago. These changes are dramatic and not just an evolution in vehicle design
This 2016 Fit is a very safe car but it has to be repaired with 2016 knowledge and equipment to be Next Accident Ready
Correct repair of these dramatically more complex vehicles requires very different methods from what the both the repair and insurance side of the collision repair industry have been using for the past several decades. The move to these new methods has started, but at the start of 2017 the industry is still dominated by repair methods that have been in use for 20 years.
A vehicle that has been repaired with outdated methods and equipment will meet the current measures of success; on time delivery of a clean and shiny car at as low cost as possible. Safety is talked about but it is not yet measured or regulated.
If this clean and shiny vehicle has been structurally compromised with incorrect repairs it will in most cases drive as well as before the accident but it will not be Ready for its Next Accident.