Automechanika Body & Paint World Championships: Round 2 In South Africa

The Automechanika Body & Paint World Championships will be held in South Africa for round two, following the debut in Great Britain. The next winner for the final round in Frankfurt in 2020 will be determined at Automechanika Johannesburg, which is taking place from 18 to 21 September 2019.

The second round of the competition will require painters to design the hood of a car using a variety of techniques. Each hood design is meant to be inspired by the country in which the Automechanika event is taking place. In the first round of the competition at Automechanika Birmingham, participants used a wide range of motifs, including Union Jack flags, poppies and Brexit.

The national winners from Great Britain and South Africa will be joined by four other contestants for the final round. One of the remaining participants will be chosen later this year at Automechanika Shanghai, with two more being chosen next year at Automechanika Dubai and Automechanika Mexico City. The German finalist will be determined on the first two days of Automechanika Frankfurt, after which an international grand prize winner will be selected.

Automechanika Johannesburg has been taking place every two years since 2009, with the most recent event welcoming around 600 exhibitors and over 12,000 visitors.

“I am planning to integrate the colours of the South African flag into my entry,” said Etienne DuToit, one of the entrants in the Johannesburg event. “My artwork will show our hero Madiba (Nelson Mandela), as well as our ‘big five’: the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and cape buffalo. I will be spraying the rhino red to raise awareness of the danger the species is in due to poaching. This competition gives me the opportunity to showcase my skills using different techniques and shows how proud I am to be a South African citizen.”

The participants’ car hood creations can be viewed in Hall 6, Stand 6E017 throughout the event, and the national winner will be announced on 21 September. The competition is being supported by various international and regional firms in the field of body and paintwork, including SATA GmbH & Co. KG, Kansai Plascon, Kapatal Brands and Launch Technologies SA.

Competition Name
Date
Automechanika Johannesburg18-21 September 2019
Automechanika Shanghai3-6 December 2019
Automechanika Dubai7-9 June 2020
INA PAACE Automechanika Mexico City22-24 July 2020
Automechanika Frankfurt
(Germany’s national winner along with the finals)
8-12 September 2020

Fix Network And Spanesi In Global Partnership

Fix Network has announced the addition of collision repair equipment leader Spanesi as one of its official global supply partners this month.

Fix Network says it believes that strong supplier partnerships are a critical component to the successful expansion of its network worldwide, and as it grows its operations, working with Spanesi will bring tremendous value through their expertise and advanced collision repair equipment.

Spanesi will supply a mix of its collision repair equipment, custom-made furnishings and accessories all aimed at delivering great performance. Fix Network says Spanesi’s quality and productivity aligns well with its goal of making the best in collision repair equipment technology available to each of its locations.

“The Fix Network team works tirelessly to deliver a consistent, high quality supply chain offering to its network members,” said Steve Leal, President & CEO of Fix Network. “The addition of the Spanesi suite of equipment will support us in our ongoing objective to provide an attractive, clean and efficient environment to our locations which will help to elevate the overall customer experience.”

“We have a 50-year long tradition in delivering tools and experience to help repairers succeed in an increasingly competitive collision repair marketplace,” said Cristina Spanesi, Export and Marketing Manager of Spanesi. “We are pleased to align with the Fix Network family of brands and are looking forward to a fruitful partnership.”

Fix Network’s supply chain portfolio of industry experts now includes 3M, AkzoNobel, Mirka, SATA and Spanesi – each a leader in the global automotive aftermarket space.

Fix Network Announces Global Partnership With SATA

Fix Network World has added SATA as one of its official global supply partners. Fix Network says it hopes to continue expanding its operations worldwide in order to build stronger partnerships with industry-leading suppliers.

SATA says it will supply Fix Network with a mix of its systems aimed at delivering industry-leading performance.

“Fix Network is working hard to deliver a quality supply chain offering to its members,” said Steve Leal, President & CEO of Fix Network World. “This global agreement with SATA is reflective of our ongoing objective to provide best in class, safe solutions to our locations so they can provide an elite experience for their customers.”

“SATA is committed to supporting the fundamentally changing collision industry with state-of-the-art paint application solutions, thus contributing to professional and safe repairs,” said Albrecht Kruse, CEO of SATA. “Our cooperation with the global Fix Network goes hand in hand with our mission to assist the industry in best adapting to the ever-increasing complexities of modern repair processes.”

SATA will become the fourth aftermarket specialist to join Fix Network’s supply chain partnerships, which currently include 3M, AkzoNobel and Mirka.

Tesla Launches Tesla Insurance In California

Tesla Insurance was launched in the USA and is designed to provide Tesla owners with between 20 to 30 per cent lower rates.

Tesla Insurance Services, which offers the product for the car company, says it offers comprehensive coverage and claims management to support its customers in California, and it will expand to additional US states in the future.

“We are creating a Tesla insurance product and we hope to launch that in about a month,” said Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, in April. “It will be much more compelling than anything else out there.”

Tesla says it is able to leverage the advanced technology, safety, and serviceability of its cars to provide insurance at a lower cost, as the company knows its own vehicles best. The insurance pricing reflects the benefits of Tesla’s active safety and advanced driver assistance features that come standard on all new Tesla vehicles.

Tesla owners in California can purchase a policy by visiting www.tesla.com/insurance.

RIP Ferdinand Piëch, Former Volkswagen Group Chairman,1937-2019

The former head of the Volkswagen Group has died suddenly at the age of 82, four years after resigning from the company he led to greatness, according to a statement by his wife, Ursula.

Ferdinand Karl Piëch was born on 17 April 1937, in Vienna. His father, Anton, was a lawyer, and his mother, Louise, was the daughter of Ferdinand Porsche. The third of four children, Ferdinand Piëch had two brothers and a sister.

As a young engineer, he made Porsche a brand in racing through legendary vehicles such as the 917 and the Le Mans victory. Since 1972, he brought Audi up to the next technological level with innovations such as quattro four wheel drive and the TDI turbo diesel engine, shaping Audi into a premium brand.

Heading the Volkswagen Group, Ferdinand Piëch advanced its pedigree by integrating Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti into the Group, while also leading the volume brands to international competitiveness through a consistent platform strategy. He also integrated the trucking businesses of Scania and MAN into the Group, laying the foundation for a globally competitive commercial vehicle supplier.

Technologically, he and his development teams have repeatedly gone beyond the limits of the feasible – from the first one-litre car in the world to the Bugatti Veyron with 1001 horsepower.

His biggest triumph was the acquisition of the Porsche brand in 2012. The takeover came with a personal twist – Piëch was able to turn the tables on his cousin, Wolfgang Porsche, who had pushed the sports-car producer to bid for VW four years earlier. Piëch sided with the state of Lower Saxony, which owns a blocking stake in VW, to rebuff Porsche’s offer just as the suitor’s debt was surging from the takeover effort.

Bob Lutz, former Vice-Chairman of GM and veteran of Chrysler, Ford and BMW, summed up Piëch in this way:

“While his stubborn sense of infallibility led to one or two colossal blunders, such as the beautiful but failed VW Phaeton, a $100,000 luxury car that was doomed by its VW badge, Piëch’s strong direction and insistence on excellence made the VW Group, including Audi, SEAT, Škoda, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley and others, into a global automotive powerhouse.”

Lyon To Host The 47th WorldSkills Competition In 2023

The city of Lyon in the southeast of France will host the 47th WorldSkills Competition in 2023. WorldSkills members voted two to one for the French city at its 2019 General Assembly in Kazan.

Lyon’s bid was backed by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, who appeared in a recorded video to promise his full support for Lyon 2023.

“I want to say I … fully support Lyon for French candidacy for the WorldSkills Competition for 2023,” said President Macron. The president continued to say that the aims of WorldSkills were “fully in line” with France’s policy on vocational training and education.

“Thank you for trusting us,” said Michel Guisembert, Official Delegate and President of WorldSkills France. “I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.”

France will be hosting a WorldSkills Competition for the second time, with Lyon also having been the venue for the 33rd Competition in 1996.

“Congratulations to Lyon on their presentation,” said Simon Bartley, President of WorldSkills. “France is a strong member of WorldSkills. We wish them well with their work over the next few years and I know they will do a great job.”

The city is the second largest metropolitan area in France and is the capital of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It is a major industrial centre and has a global reputation for gastronomy.

The competition, which is proposed for September 2023, will also coincide with the 70th anniversary of France first competing at a WorldSkills Competition in 1953.

IIHS Researchers Find Little Benefit From Knee Airbags

While airbags are essential, lifesaving devices that have prevented tens of thousands of deaths, a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States has found that knee airbags have a negligible effect on injury risk and, in fact, may even increase it in some cases.

Knee airbags usually deploy from the lower dashboard and are intended to distribute impact forces to reduce leg injuries. They may also help reduce forces on an occupant’s chest and abdomen by controlling lower body movement.

To find out if knee airbags improve safety, IIHS researchers examined both crash test data and information from real-world crash reports.

For the first part, they looked at injury measures from more than 400 frontal crash tests conducted as part of the IIHS vehicle ratings programme to see if injuries were less likely when vehicles were equipped with knee airbags.

To look at real-world outcomes, they compiled crash reports from 14 states and compared injury risk in vehicles with knee airbags to risk in vehicles without them.

According to the IIHS, knee airbags had only a small effect on injury measures recorded by dummies in IIHS driver-side small overlap front and moderate overlap front crash tests. In the small overlap test, knee airbags were associated with increased injury risk for lower leg injuries and right femur injuries, though head injury risk was slightly reduced. The airbags had no effect on injury measures in the moderate overlap test.

In the analysis of real-world crashes, knee airbags reduced overall injury risk by half a percentage point, from 7.9 percent to 7.4 percent, but this result wasn’t statistically significant.

“There are many different design strategies for protecting against the kind of leg and foot injuries that knee airbags are meant to address,” said Becky Mueller, an IIHS senior research engineer and co-author of the paper. “Other options may be just as, if not more, effective.”

The IIHS says one reason some manufacturers have been installing knee airbags is to help vehicles pass USA federally mandated tests with unbelted dummies. It’s possible that knee airbags would help unbelted occupants in real-world crashes. The IIHS study didn’t look specifically at crashes in which people weren’t using seat belts, and dummies are always belted in IIHS vehicle ratings tests.

Tesla Model 3 And Audi A6 Achieve High ANCAP Safety Scores

Tesla’s Model 3 has achieved strong results in the areas of occupant protection and active collision avoidance, scoring a five-star ANCAP safety rating. The Audi A6 sedan also performed well, achieving five stars.

A score of 96 per cent was achieved by the Model 3 for adult occupant protection with full points achieved for the driver in three of four destructive crash tests. Full points were also scored by the front passenger in the frontal offset test which simulates a head-on crash. The vehicle scored maximum points for child occupants in the side impact test and 94 per cent in the safety assist category, the highest score achieved against current protocols.

The Model 3 is equipped with a range of driver assistance systems, including an advanced lane support system capable of emergency lane-keeping which actively intervenes to avoid steering into the path of an oncoming or adjacent vehicle.

“This is an impressive result, and great to see electric vehicles continuing to prioritise safety,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, James Goodwin.

“It is encouraging to see Tesla give equal attention to the active safety systems and technologies on board as well as the safety fundamentals through the structure and restraints.”

ANCAP said the Audi A6 is well equipped with a range of safety features and technologies. It performed well across the range of assessments and is equipped with an active bonnet to reduce injury to pedestrians.

“The Audi A6 offers a good mix of safety systems for adults, children and other road users,” said Goodwin.

Five-star ANCAP safety ratings apply to all Australian and New Zealand variants of the Tesla Model 3 and Audi A6 variants.

CIECA Webinar To Examine Artificial Intelligence Black Box Impact On Claims

CIECA has announced its next CIECAst webinar titled Inside the AI Black Box: Understanding How Algorithms Appraise Auto Damage in Seconds.

The webinar will be held on 8 August at 10am CST and will feature two people from UK artificial intelligence (AI) software company, Tractable: Julie Kheyfets, head of North America, and estimating research lead Marcel Horstmann.

During the one-hour live broadcast, Kheyfets and Horstmann will explain how AI generates repair estimates from photos. They will walk through the fundamentals of computer vision, share a live demo, and highlight key considerations for organisations pioneering AI.

Kheyfets leads the North America business for Tractable, where she works closely with collision industry players who are adopting Tractable’s technology. Horstmann leads the Machine Learning and Product Development teams for Tractable’s AI estimating product. Since its start in 2014, Tractable says it has deployed its AI solutions across North America, Europe and Asia, and processed hundreds of thousands of claims.

Following the CIECAst webinar, attendees will have the opportunity to take a short quiz to earn credit toward a professional designation from the Automotive Management Institute (AMi).

To register for the CIECAst, visit this link.

CIECA Connex Conference Agenda Includes Crash Test At IIHS

The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) has announced that its annual symposium this year will include viewing a crash test at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The CIECA’s 11th annual conference – CIECA Connex 2019 – will take place in Charlottesville, Virginia during 16-18 September. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear information about blockchain, cybersecurity, legislation regarding autonomous vehicles, calibration, technical sessions such as Swagger and GraphQL, and other topical industry issues.

Speakers include:

  • Darryl Amberson, LaMettry’s
  • Mark Allen, Audi
  • Greg Brown, NABC first responder programme
  • Jon Delgado, APU Solutions
  • Sheryl Driggers, Universal Collision
  • Dan Gluck, Enterprise Holdings
  • Sean Guthrie, Car Crafters Collision Centers
  • Kim Hazelbaker, IIHS
  • Bob Jacobs, Microsoft
  • Patrick McGuire
  • Michael Ortega & Chris Poulos, IAA
  • Bob Redding
  • John Shoemaker, BASF
  • Eric Shultz, ALLDATA

In addition, there will be a 25th anniversary celebration, a tour of the IIHS, networking opportunities among industry segments and a vehicle gifting by the National Auto Body Council (NABC) as part of its Recycled Rides programme. The full agenda can be found by visiting: https://www.cieca.com/editor_upload/File/2019%20CIECA%20Connex/2019-CIECA-Connex-Agenda-07-18.pdf.

“We encourage all industry stakeholders to attend CIECA Connex 2019,” said Steve Betley, chairman of CIECA. “This year, we are highlighting the technological changes ahead and how to best prepare. By having all stakeholders gather and work together, the goal is to help our industry be as efficient, profitable and successful as possible.”

Discounted room rates at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel will be available until 15 August and early-bird conference registration fees are being offered until 23 August.

All industry stakeholders (members, non-CIECA members, OEMs, shop owners, insurers, information providers, recyclers, property restoration providers, etc.) are invited.

During the event, attendees will:

  • Hear about current and future industry challenges and opportunities
  • Gain timely, relevant business and technical knowledge
  • Network with other members and industry colleagues
  • Take part in learning opportunities for all industry segments.

This year’s event sponsors include AkzoNobel, Allstate, Audatex-Solera, Axalta, Caliber Collision, Car-PartPro.com, CCC, comsearch, Enterprise, Hertz, IAA, LKQ, Mobile Tech RX, NuGen IT, Precision Body & Paint, SafeLite Solutions and URG.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, visit www.CIECAConnex.com.

Register for the IIHS tour and CIECA CONNEX Conference, and book a room by visiting: https://www.cieca.com/info.php?pnum=95bd34b6c447f0