Suncorp Becomes First Thatcham Research ‘Global Associate’

Thatcham Research has announced the renewal of its contract with Suncorp, extending the successful collaboration that has seen Suncorp distribute Thatcham Research repair data in Australia and New Zealand since 2013.

Under the renewed agreement, Suncorp will become the first ever Thatcham Research Global Associate, providing Suncorp with access to Thatcham Research’s large vehicle research, data and services.

“We are delighted to welcome Suncorp as our first ever Global Associate member, building on the successful partnership we have enjoyed over the last five years,” said Neale Phillips, Global Product Director, Thatcham Research. “We are committed to supporting its needs and those of its repair network – starting with an upgrade to escribe which will shortly see the inclusion of vehicle manufacturer methods, to further increase vehicle coverage.”

Thatcham’s online portal escribe provides insurance assessors and repairers with instant access to the latest multi-franchised Thatcham Research crash repair methods, times and technical newsletters.

“Thatcham repair data helps to ensure that our customer’s vehicles are repaired in the most safe and efficient manner, so the decision to extend and strengthen our relationship with such a respected industry body was an easy one and aligns 100 per cent with Suncorp’s overarching repair strategy,” said Brett Wallace, EM Assessing & Repair Performance, Suncorp.

Holden Launches Power & The Passion

Holden has announced a new sales promotion titled Power & The Passion, with the company’s key aftersales brands – Holden Genuine Parts, ACDelco, Holden Trade Club and Chevrolet Performance Parts joining forces to create an exclusive prize pool for participants.

The promotion, which commences on 1 January, offers two major prizes: a 556 hp (415 kW) supercharged LSA engine and a race-engineered 476 hp (355 kW) 6.2L LSX V8.

Both Chevrolet Performance Parts engines are ready to drop straight into a project car, including a heavy-duty Holden Genuine remanufactured automatic transmission.

One person, along with three mates, will win a trip to the 2019 Bathurst 1000 as VIP guests of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team.

In addition, each month from January to June in 2019, participants will have the chance to win a ride in the 3500 hp (2611 kW) ACDelco Pro Slammer Monaro, which can accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h in under one second, and run the quarter mile in 5.76 seconds at more than 400 km/h.

The promotion is open to trade and retail customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Members of the automotive trade can enter through the Holden Trade Club’s website (www.holdentradeclub.com.au) by following the prompts to enrol in the Power & the Passion competition.

Every $100 (ex GST) spend on Holden Trade Club parts (including oils, chemicals and batteries) between 1 January and 30 June 2019 will earn an entry into the competition.

Bonus entries are also available to trade customers.

Non-Holden Trade Club members or automotive tradespeople can enter by:

  • Spending $100 (ex GST) on Holden Genuine or ACDelco parts from a Holden dealer or as part of a vehicle service,
  • Spending $100 (ex GST) or more on an ACDelco battery – from either a Holden dealer or from an authorised ACDelco Battery reseller, or
  • Spending $100 (ex GST) on Chevrolet Performance Parts from Australia’s only authorised reseller Eagle Auto Parts.

To enter, visit ACDelco.com.au/offers and submit your receipt. Every $100 spent on Holden Genuine or ACDelco parts gains an entry.

The Power & the Passion promotion will launch at the Street Machine Magazine Summernats Car Festival in Canberra, held 3 to 6 January 2019. Participants can receive a free entry in the competition when they visit the ACDelco stand in the Rare Spares Pavilion.

ACDelco will display both prize engines, as well as the ACDelco Pro Slammer Monaro Racing Team.

The team is also looking to set a new Summernats Dyno record, being the first Pro Slammer ever to be run on the Summernats Dyno, and will unveil its new 2019 race car at the event.

I-CAR Announces Gold Class For Fix Auto Wollongong

I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator Gary Wood has announced that Fix Auto Wollongong in New South Wales has been awarded I-CAR Gold Class Collision status.

“I am delighted to announce that Rodney and the team at Fix Auto Wollongong have achieved I-CAR Gold Class recognition,” said Wood.

“We developed a training plan for them to achieve Gold Class in December 2017 and they have achieved the accreditation well ahead of schedule. Congratulations to everyone involved for their enthusiasm and commitment to training.”

“It is a great privilege to be the first Motor Vehicle Repairer in the Illawarra Region to be awarded the I-CAR Gold Class Accreditation,” said Fix Auto Wollongong’s Managing Director, Rodney Tannous.

“We have strived to provide Gold Class service and quality repairs for all our clients, and this new accreditation makes it official.

“I feel a modern-day facility needs to constantly update their equipment, but it’s even more important for my team to have ongoing training. We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service and expertise possible, and this accreditation is part of that promise.

“Being part of Fix Auto is helping me to future proof my business, and as a team we plan to achieve I-CAR Gold Class across the entire Fix Auto Network.”

Subaru And All Auto Recalls To Recover Takata Airbags

Subaru Australia has partnered with All Auto Recalls to recover Affected Takata Airbag Inflators (ATAIs) from salvage yards and the automotive recycling industry across Australia.

The mandatory recall notice issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) requires all manufacturers to replace all defective ATAIs that were used in their vehicles by 31 December 2020. Subaru Australia says it is committed to doing everything possible to locate every one of them.

“Our partnership with All Auto Recalls is a critical component of this effort and commitment by Subaru Australia,” said Colin Christie, Managing Director of Subaru Australia.

“We are proud to be working closely with the AAR team who have already, in only a few months, helped us account for ATAIs that would otherwise have been difficult to locate.”

All Auto Recalls will manage the retrieval of ATAIs on behalf of Subaru Australia from the salvage and automotive recycling industry.

“We are excited at the opportunity to work with Subaru Australia,” said Chris Daglis, Founder and Managing Director of All Auto Recalls.

“Our knowledge of the industry, networks and technology we have built and continue to develop, [offer in a combined way] so much to the manufacturers both today and in the future. We have made a commitment to working with all industry stakeholders to eliminate recalled components from the marketplace in the interest of public safety by working with manufacturers like Subaru Australia, who are proactive in their pursuit of consumer safety.”

Subaru vehicles affected by the Takata airbag recall notice contain a passenger-side front Takata airbag inflator that is subject to a mandatory safety recall issued by the Australian government. It followed an investigation in which the ACCC concluded that certain Takata airbag inflators are faulty and could kill or seriously injure people in the vehicle.

As the vehicle gets older, a combination of high temperatures and humidity can affect the airbag. In the event of a collision, the airbag can activate with too much explosive force, causing sharp metal fragments to shoot out and kill or seriously injure people in the vehicle.

Any salvage yard or automotive recycler wanting to determine whether any vehicle or parts in their possession are affected by the Takata mandatory safety recall can use the VIN check tool available on the Subaru website and check each VIN one by one. This tool is accessible at www.subaru.com.au/takata-recall.

Alternatively, All Auto Recalls says it offers a bespoke validation tool and process using their systems, which will enable checking of every VIN held on record retrospectively. For more information, contact All Auto Recalls at [email protected], or Chris Daglis at [email protected] or 0411 743 560. Daglis says upon contact, he will discuss next steps and have his team facilitate the collection/return of frontal Takata airbags on behalf of Subaru Australia.

Jonathan Hewett Appointed Chief Executive At Thatcham Research

Thatcham Research has announced the appointment of Jonathan Hewett as its new Chief Executive beginning from early next year. Hewett brings a wealth of senior management, international and strategic leadership skills from across the insurance, automotive, and financial sectors at a significant time for the company as it approaches its 50th anniversary.

Thatcham Research says Hewett’s expertise will lead and evolve its strategy and help guide its insurer members through vehicle safety, repair and security in a period of exponential technological advancements in connectivity, future automated driving capabilities as well as complex vehicle materials and structures.

Hewett joins from Octo Telematics where he was Global Chief Marketing Officer and drove business growth, working closely with insurers, vehicle manufacturers, fleet and rental organisations as well as government bodies, also understanding and providing digital solutions in the age of the Internet of Things.

Prior to this, he has held various senior leadership and international roles across the automotive, insurance and finance sectors, including AIG, Dealflo Ltd, Dixons PLC, Post Office Direct, Sainsbury’s Bank and Barclays Bank.

Graham Gibson, Chairman at Thatcham Research said: “In a period when cars will change out of all recognition as we know them today, I am delighted that Jonathan has been appointed as Chief Executive. He brings considerable knowledge and experience, combined with great leadership skills.”

Hewett said: “We are amid once-in-a-lifetime changes to our relationship with cars and mobility in general. The consequent impact on insurers and the automotive sector presents enormous opportunities to improve consumer experience and efficiency for businesses. Over the last 50 years, Thatcham Research has provided crucial insight and data driven analysis for insurers and the automotive industry as a whole, and I am very much looking forward to working with the team in pursuit of our vision – safer cars and fewer crashes.”

BodyShop News Summernats 2019 Tickets Giveaway

BodyShop News is giving away tickets to visit the 32nd Street Machine Summernats in Canberra.

Proudly supported by Rare Spares, the Summernats  is the largest annual horsepower party in the Southern Hemisphere, taking place from 3 to 6 January 2019 in Canberra.

Join more than 100,000 attendees and more than 2000 of the craziest cars in the country for four days of tyre-frying action, featuring a Guinness World Record attempt for largest simultaneous burnout, the Burnout Masters, the colourful City Cruise through the main street of Canberra, Body Art nationals, plus a huge music line up including Dune Rats, 360, Butterfingers and Brooke Evers and much more!

With so much entertainment, Summernats is a motoring lifestyle festival without equal. To experience the fun, unique and action packed iconic Australian motoring experience that is Summernats, get your tickets at www.summernats.com.au.

BodyShop News has four tickets to give away to the first four emails with the right answer to this question: “How many days does the Street Machine Summernats run for?”

Email your answer to [email protected]

I-CAR Australia Launches The I-CAR Professional Development Program

In 2019, I-CAR will begin the implementation of transforming its delivery, recognition and certification of training in response to the ever-changing needs of the modern collision repair industry. The increasing impact of technology, the importance of OEM procedures and changing business needs has resulted in a need for I-CAR Australia to assist the industry in acquiring relevant skills and knowledge.

Over the past two years I-CAR has engaged with and listened to collision repair industry stakeholders, both locally and internationally to ensure that the future training we provide is relevant, sustainable, responsible and affordable. This has resulted in a better programme that will identify knowledge and recognise skills and competencies for career development and progression.

The changes to take place will not affect current training accreditations, certifications or those actively on the Road to Gold. Over the coming months there will be additional announcements made regarding these changes to the I-CAR programme.

The enhancements will include an emphasis on expanding our training delivery to include Live Classroom, Virtual training and On-line training. In addition, new Hands-On Skills training courses will be released as well as a new Aluminium Welding Certification to complement our current Steel Welding Certification.

The upcoming changes will strengthen the value of the Platinum Individual and the Gold Class Professionals designations by ensuring that individuals and businesses are recognised for having the training required to perform in current as well as new specific roles in the collision repair and claims process. The changes to our Welding Certification programmes will bring them into better alignment with OEM requirements internationally and form part of a planned development pathway for structural technicians.

This change process will take 18 months to complete and will deliver a training and skills recognition programme for the Australian collision repair industry that places our technicians among the most highly skilled technicians internationally.

I-Car’s website will provide all the necessary information as the programme is rolled out and will become the first source of information for all Australian collision repair industry professionals.

Axalta Renews Partnership With WorldSkills Australia

Axalta announced the renewal of its two-year contract as Gold Partner with WorldSkills Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that says it is focused on skills excellence in vocational, technological and service oriented careers in Australia.

Axalta’s commitment to WorldSkills Australia as a Gold Partner will support both the Regional and National Championships through the supply of Standoblue, the company’s latest in waterborne coating technology, and the new generation Sagola spray guns, for which Axalta is sole distributor in Australia.

WorldSkills Australia regional championship will be held around Australia in the first quarter of 2019. Each event will be designed to help improve competitors’ skills, build their confidence, and expose them to the latest technology and techniques. Registrations will open in February 2019 and the candidates could be participating in the 2020 WorldSkills’ national championship, which Axalta will take a prominent role in supporting.

“Our passion for our industry, and our desire to secure its future through promoting sustainable practices and encouraging excellence in young professionals, is what drives us at Axalta,” said Paul Polverino, National Training Manager at Axalta in Australia. “Sharing the common goal with WorldSkills Australia to continuously improve the quality of training and educational outcomes for young people who dream of becoming the ‘best of the best’ at vehicle refinishing, we are committed to supporting events and initiatives that promote the industry’s sustainability and longevity.”

For more than 10 years, Axalta says it has strived to mentor and nurture up talent in collaboration with WorldSkills Australia, offering support and resources such as product training, exposure to the latest work practices and sustainable techniques, problem solving strategies, teamwork development and leadership skills.

“Our trainers across Australia are dedicated to support all training providers who share our philosophy, as we are passionate about helping the youth of today become industry leaders of tomorrow,” explained Polverino. “Axalta is very proud to support these exceptional young Australians and provide them with new opportunities for growth in the field of vehicle refinishing.”

World Skills Australia Logo

Hollander Launches Recycled Parts In Australia And New Zealand

Hollander International Systems has announced the launch of a new dedicated used parts marketplace called Hollanderparts.com.au. This new site will list up to 1.5 million recycled auto parts from over 150 qualified and verified automotive recyclers across Australia and New Zealand. The company says it will be the single largest site dedicated to the online sale of recycled car parts in Australia and New Zealand.

“We are proud to play our role in helping raise awareness and access to quality genuine recycled auto parts across Australia and New Zealand,” said Phil Peace, Managing Director of Hollander International Systems. “We believe this is a huge step in making recycled auto parts available and easily accessible to the mass market whilst offering a one-stop shop for collision and mechanical repair centres who want to offer a high-quality repair, cost-effectively, sustainably and at the best possible margin for their business.”

Hollander says the site is made possible by Pinnacle Professional, the largest automotive recycler yard management system in the southern hemisphere, along with the extensive collaboration of Pinnacle users. Hollander says Pinnacle enables consumers and businesses to have greater choice than ever before, whilst offering a buying experience that’s quick and helps repairers offer viable repair alternatives to vehicle owners and work providers.

All parts available on Hollanderparts.com.au will have a minimum three-month warranty, with buyers able to contact suppliers directly to discuss parts. They can match parts based on vehicle make, model and part type, then pay directly for them using PayPal.

Axalta Opens World’s Largest R&D Centre Dedicated To Coatings and Colour

Axalta has officially opened its Global Innovation Center, the largest coatings research and development centre in the world, with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The company says the 16,260 square metre Global Innovation Center offers unparalleled specialty labs along with office space. Its location in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard enables collaboration amongst Axalta employees, business partners, and customers throughout the Philadelphia area and beyond.

“Axalta’s Global Innovation Center will become the central hub for our global research, product development, and technology initiatives where we develop and deliver the most innovative coatings products in the world,” said Robert Bryant, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Axalta. “Whether in colour technology, polymer and formulation chemistry, or application knowledge, the world-class capabilities and talent at Axalta’s Global Innovation Center will fuel new products and deliver the solutions that our customers want to grow their businesses into the future.”

Axalta says the Navy Yard location offers an attractive workplace for new talent, and the new campus was built with researchers in mind, modelling an academic setting with a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces to foster teamwork and creativity.

“Axalta’s team of scientists and technicians at the Global Innovation Center will develop next generation coatings products and keep pace with emerging application needs,” said Barry Snyder, Axalta’s Chief Technology Officer. “Regulations and customer demands call for newer technologically advanced coatings. The increasing use of light-weight plastic and composite materials in vehicles to save fuel require new coatings formulations. Developing products to suit these and other needs will be the mission of the Global Innovation Center and Axalta’s worldwide research and development network.”

After the public ribbon cutting ceremony, Axalta hosted more than 100 customers for a first look of the Global Innovation Center with tours of the facility.