VeriFacts Automotive Hosts 11th Symposium

The 11th VeriFacts Symposium was held last month, focusing on the future of the collision repair industry, the coming impact of advanced repair requirements, converging technology, and commitment to providing the safest and most cost-effective collision repair for consumers.

The symposium featured two days of discussion on the changes ahead for the collision repair industry, collaborative solution development, exhibitor clinics and keynote speakers.

“We are sailing in changing seas,” said Farzam Afshar, CEO of VeriFacts Automotive. “The OEMs and insurers are partnering on insurance policies embedded in the car purchase/lease, consolidation is continuing, OEM certification is starting to replace DRPs, and we are shifting from the first notice of loss to the first notice of need, thanks to advanced technology.”

The three key topics that presentations and panellists focused on were:

  • Repair Process and Standards – how the collision repair industry addresses them today and prepares for changing repair processes tomorrow
  • Converging Technology – how all of the advanced technology from artificial intelligence (AI) to augmented reality, robotics, blockchain, quantum computing and more will converge, impacting all areas of the industry
  • Industry Consolidation and Collaboration – how consolidation of insurers, OEMs and collision repair shops will continue to drive change, and how new collaborations, like joint insurance/OEM offerings, will create new opportunities

“The 2020 VeriFacts Symposium was an exclusive gathering of the premier collision repair industry leaders for two days to gain clarity on how we can collectively deliver the highest quality, safest, cost-effective collision repair for consumers throughout the country,” said Afshar. “The VeriFacts Symposium is a safe place for like-minded colleagues to discuss the changes ahead for the collision repair industry. Looking ahead, we are collectively working to chart the course for success and navigate the future of collision repair together.”

PaintExpo Will Take Place At A Later Date In 2020

FairFair GmbH, the organiser of PaintExpo, has decided to hold the industrial coating technology trade fair later in 2020 due to the current situation with the coronavirus.

Organisers say the safety and health of everyone are its top priority and therefore will not hold PaintExpo as planned from 21-24 April. The decision came after re-evaluating the situation together with the exhibitor advisory board and Messe Karlsruhe.

The health measures recommended by the Robert Koch Institute for large-scale events such as trade fairs would have resulted in severe restrictions both for exhibitors and visitors. The organiser will announce the new date for the trade fair as soon as possible.

I-CAR Gold Class Awarded To Mangano Body Repairs

I-CAR Australia has announced that Mangano Body Repairs in Woolloongabba, Queensland, has achieved I-CAR Gold Class status.

“In recent years, Tony and the team have been regular participants in I-CAR training, the accreditation of Gold Class Collision Repairer highlights their commitment to knowledge and skills development, ensuring safety and quality on every repair,” said Gary Wood, I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator. “As vehicle technology grows ever more complex, Mangano Body Repairs are well placed to deal with the challenges ahead. Well done to everyone involved.”

“Myself, and the team at Mangano Body Repairs are very proud to have achieved I-CAR Gold status,” said Tony Savva, Owner of Mangano Body Repairs. “I did my first I-CAR course in the USA 12 years ago, and it was then that I realised how much there was to learn. I would especially like to thank Gavin Armstrong for his non-stop support and help to achieve this goal. I would also like to thank Colleen and the girls in the office for helping us organise our training.

“I am very proud of the boys’ efforts and commitment to the training. It’s great to achieve this accreditation that helps us deliver high quality repairs and service to our customers.”

CIECA Connex 2020 Registration Opens

CIECA has opened registration for its annual conference, Connex 2020, which will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, from 14-16 September.

The event will feature a line-up of business and technical speakers, networking opportunities and a vehicle gifting as part of the National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides programme. Also included will be a tour of Hendrick Motorsports.

The event is open to all industry stakeholders which includes CIECA members, non-members, OEMs, repairers, insurers, information providers, car rental companies, recyclers and new entrants to the collision ecosystem.

“CIECA Connex 2020 is a perfect opportunity to expand your knowledge of the issues challenging our industry,” said Ed Weidmann, CIECA Executive Director. “Standardised communication provides the ability to streamline interaction among companies. Connex is an excellent forum to learn about data standards, new business practices and the technical knowledge needed to streamline business workflows and compete in today’s challenging and ever-changing marketplace.”

For information about early-bird registration and discounted room rates, click here.

2020 Geneva Motor Show Cancelled

The 2020 Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The 90th edition of GIMS was supposed to run from 5-15 March, but an injunction from the Switzerland Federal Council ruled that no events with over 1000 people can take place until 15 March. The decision falls three days before the opening of the exhibition to the media.

“We regret this situation, but the health of all participants is our and our exhibitors’ top priority,” said Maurice Turrettini, Chairman of the Foundation Board. “This is a case of force majeure and a tremendous loss for the manufacturers who have invested massively in their presence in Geneva. However, we are convinced that they will understand this decision. We would like to warmly thank all those involved in the organisation of the 2020 edition of GIMS.”

With only a few days to go before the event would have opened, organisers say the construction of the stands was almost complete and a week ago, during press conferences announcing the 2020 edition, there was nothing to suggest that cancellation was necessary. The situation changed with the appearance of the first confirmed coronavirus-caused diseases in Switzerland, and the cancellation was decided the same day.

The event will begin dismantling and financial consequences for all those involved will be assessed over the coming weeks. Tickets purchased for the event will be refunded and organisers will communicate as soon as possible via their website, which can be found here.

Nouryon Introduces Ingredient To Improve Battery Performance

Nouryon has begun the first deliveries of AkuPure, a carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) polymer designed to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries, which are skyrocketing in demand due to increased consumer interest in electric vehicles.

Nouryon says AkuPure is an ultra-high-purity CMC that improves the electrode coating process, making the battery more efficient by helping it to retain and deliver power more effectively. CMC is a sustainable polymer derived from cellulose sources such as wood or cotton that is used as a thickener, binder and rheology modifier in markets ranging from mining to pharmaceuticals.

“Customers in this market require ultrapure CMC [and] impurities can interfere with the performance of the battery or with production efficiency,” said Geert-Jan Beijering, Nouryon Product Director. “AkuPure has a number of properties key to the battery production process, such as the speed at which it dissolves and its low level of insolubles. The possibility to frequently charge and discharge a battery without losing performance under various temperature conditions is what matters most to our customers in this segment.”

“Our R&D team worked extremely hard to create a top-tier version of AkuPure, and this is the right time to bring this technology to market,” said Larry Ryan, Nouryon Americas Executive Vice President and President of Performance Formulations. “Demand for lithium-ion batteries continues to rise, and as battery manufacturers struggle to find CMC that meet the stringent demands of the industry, we are introducing a more advanced solution.”

Nouryon recently announced plans to acquire CMC business J.M. Huber Corporation, which the company hopes will significantly broaden its portfolio of CMC products.

HD Repair Forum Details Agenda For 2020 Event

The HD Repair Forum has released its agenda for its annual two-day heavy-duty collision repair market event. The company says the event will cover several important topics that impact everyday business and appeal mostly to the collision repair and heavy-duty fleet community.

From 24-25 March, three seminars will be held at the event in Fort Worth, Texas. The events are as follows:

Building a Talent Strategy for Today
Speaker: Dylan Schweitzer, Corporate Talent Acquisition Manager, Enterprise
Educational Session Two: Day One, Tuesday, 24 March, 3:30 PM

The first seminar will inform on the changing workforce landscape and hunt for talent. Schweitzer will talk about the evolving generations and how his company has recruited top candidates for over 60 years.

Achieving Code Compliance & Maximizing ROI in Your Paint Shop
Speaker: Troy Volbrecht, Senior Territory Manager, Global Finishing Solutions
Educational Session Three: Day One, Tuesday, 24 March, 4:30 PM

The second seminar will explain the importance of code compliance for finishing equipment for meeting regulations and ensuring the safety of employees and facilities. Volbrecht will also talk about paint booth features and airflow designs to help employers pick the right paint booth for their facility and tips to increase the return on investment.

Understanding VMRS and What it Means to the Industry
Speaker: Jack Poster, VMRS Services Manager, Technology & Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Association
General Session: Day Two, Wednesday, 25 March, 9:00 AM

The final seminar will cover vehicle maintenance repair standards and its relevance in North America. Poster will give an overview of the various use cases of the system and how it could help the collision repair industry.

To register for the event, click here.

Peter Kittle Collision Awarded I-CAR Gold Class

I-CAR Australia has announced that Peter Kittle Collision Repair Centre in Para Hills, South Australia, has received I-CAR Gold Class status.

The company is South Australia’s only authorised Toyota Body & Paint Repairer and Holden approved repairer and is now the first repairer in the state to achieve Gold Class.

“The entire team’s attitude towards training and development is first class and adds to an amazing culture of continuous learning,” said Gary Wood, I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator. “Chad and the team should be very proud of their achievements; it is extremely well done by all involved.”

“Reaching I-CAR Gold Class Status will help give our customers absolute confidence in knowing that our team is wholly committed to the safe and effective repair of their car,” said Chad Buckley, Peter Kittle Collision Repair Centre Collision Manager. “This will also benefit the Peter Kittle organisation by providing our business associates and insurers a highly qualified, knowledgeable and trustworthy partner to care for their assets.

“It is a fantastic accomplishment for Peter Kittle Collision to become the first repairer in South Australia to be awarded Gold Class accreditation. Our team has thoroughly enjoyed the entire process. We now have an extremely talented line-up of staff and being a part of the programme over the last 12 months had a really positive impact on the business. Our team has been kept motivated by the opportunity to continually learn and improve their already highly polished skills. Peter Kittle Collision thanks I-CAR for their support and I especially thank my fantastic team for their hard work and passion to achieve.”

Axalta Receives Multiple Certifications From CESVI

Axalta has received seven certifications from the Center for Experimentation and Road Safety (CESVI), becoming the coatings company with the highest number of approvals granted by the organisation in Mexico.

The certifications recognise products that meet or exceed rigorous quality standards, specifications and performance metrics.

“We are honoured to receive these certifications from such a prestigious institution,” said Manuel Maestro, Regional Sales and Strategic Accounts Director, Axalta Mexico. “With more than 150 years of experience, we understand the automotive market and the needs of customers in Mexico and will continue to deliver the highest quality products, services and technologies that grow our customer businesses.

“Sustainability and high performance are central to our business. We are committed to introducing innovative products that help to increase throughput in body shops around the world.”

Axalta says it provides regular free training to automotive refinish painters at its body shops through the “Axalta on Tour” programme, which has helped over 20,000 painters in Latin America become better, more productive and more energy efficient.

In addition, Axalta’s loyalty programme in Mexico, “The Painter’s Club,” has over 3000 refinishers enrolled and “recognises the dedication and hard work of refinishers in Mexico”.

Boutique Auto Body Awarded I-CAR Gold Class

I-CAR Australia has announced that Boutique Auto Body in Keilor East, Victoria, has received I-CAR Gold Class status.

“The team at Boutique Auto Body are extremely proud of reaching I-CAR Gold Class accreditation and wish to thank all of the I-CAR team and trainers for offering such a great programme,” said Ross Spataro, Director of Boutique Auto Body. “We also wish to thank Holden for making this part of the programme for becoming a Holden Certified Collision Repairer.

“This achievement adds to our outstanding customer service whilst giving all our clients confidence their vehicles will be repaired to the highest possible safety standards using the latest technologies, equipment and OEM repair and refinishing methods, ensuring their vehicles are repaired within factory tolerances using only genuine parts and often forgotten post collision corrosion protection.”

“Boutique Auto Body entered the Road to Gold programme as part of the Holden Certified Collision Repairer requirements,” said Gary Wood, I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator. “From day one, their attitude and commitment towards the training has been exceptional. Ross and the team are building a fantastic business at Boutique Auto Body and fully deserve the recognition of being a Gold Class repair facility.”