With the still looming deadlines of the 2025 CAFÉ standard, auto manufacturers will be picking up the pace to try and meet the stringent requirements. This means an increase in high strength metals and alloys, smaller motors, and an overall change in vehicle design. Couple the CAFÉ standards with an increased emphasis on safety and the addition of high-end electronics and you can bet that there will be some changes coming to your shop in 2017. Keeping on top of these changes, means preparing not only your shop but your employees. Here are four things you can expect to see in 2017:
The redesigned body of the 2015 Ford F-150 pushed aluminum mainstream and took away its exclusiveness once reserved for Audis, Jags and Cadillac. As the F-150 is the most popular vehicle in the US, and an estimated 1.3 million aluminum bodied Fords on the road, you can expect to see them on your rack at some point. So preparing your shop for aluminum repairs will definitely put you ahead of the curve.
High Strength Steel Alloy
With safety always a priority for automakers, the use of high strength steel alloys is on the rise. Used mostly around the safety cage surrounding the vehicle’s occupants, you will see many companies utilizing the design in 2017. Since its stronger and lighter than typical steel, it reacts differently and requires different welding methodology, such as MIG brazing. Some alloys are unable to be welded and the use of high strength adhesives and bonding agents may be required, meaning a new skillset for your technicians.
Auto makers are scrambling to make cars more attractive to the consumer, and adding electronics seem to be one of the newest trends. From anti-collision cameras and radar, to tire pressure and engine sensors, vehicles are now rolling computers, and it will be your shop’s responsibility to get it back to working order. Many of the cameras and sensors are installed in collision vulnerable places, meaning a fix will probably be required.
As the demand for technicians is at an all-time high, so is the need for proper training. Having your techs trained to handle the ever changing landscape will become crucial and will get you shop noticed by the quality of their work. Utilizing resources such as I-CAR and Chief University will no longer be a “good idea” but rather a necessity to keep on the cutting edge of repairs.
Knowing what is ahead and how to prepare will serve your shop well in 2017. If you are looking to upgrade your equipment, then look no further than Chief for all your needs. If its training your shop requires, Chief University offers many up to date classes to keep your techs sharp.