What will you be doing August 9th-13th? We hope your answer is “attending NACE | CARS 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center." But if not, there’s still plenty of time to register for one of the premier events in the collision repair industry.
Topics: Industry and Company News
There is nothing easy about auto body repair. The equipment needed is sophisticated, the tools are specialized and the technicians, very skilled. However, some aspects of a repair are easier than others. For example, identifying the damage of a crashed vehicle; noticing a large dent in the side panel, or a severe twist in the frame doesn’t take a highly trained eye. A trunk that won’t close properly or a door that doesn’t latch can been seen by even the most inexperienced of technicians.
Since Congress put them in place in 1975, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards have aimed to cut fuel usage. And while the car industry has been working steadily to keep up ever since, the most recent requirements are anything but business as usual. From 1990 to 2010, the standard was 27.5 mpg, but efforts to reduce fuel usage have ramped up in recent years. The current goal for 2025 is 54.5 mpg. The regulations could change with political tides, but manufacturers aren’t holding their breath and continue to make advances toward that number, trimming down the weight of their cars, using smaller engines and more.
Topics: Industry and Company News
One of the biggest issues facing the auto body industry is the lack of experienced technicians. Many shop owners cite the reason they cannot expand their business, is not because of lack of new clients, but due to the shortage of techs that possess a high end skill set. Smaller independent shops feel the sting more as they cannot offer skilled technicians the wages that larger shops or MSOs are able to pay.
Do your customers trust you? A recent survey shows that the answer might be a resounding “Nope.” When asked to rank five professions (teacher, doctor, law enforcement, auto collision repair and lawyer) from most to least trustworthy, 64 percent of respondents rated auto collision repair second to last. There are several factors that play into that lack of trust. Here are the most common problems, plus some ideas to address them.
Today’s vehicles are very different than those produced even a few years ago. As car manufacturers work feverishly to meet the needs and standards of both consumers and the government, they are looking at every opportunity to reduce vehicle weight without compromising safety. With lofty goals ahead, like the CAFÉ standards for 2025, the vehicles your shop will service are changing almost daily.
From computerized measuring systems to aluminum welders, our lineup of body shop equipment helps you perform the best repairs for your customers, and as vehicle designs continue to change, we’re always looking for more ways to help you stay ahead of the curve. Our new partnership with Globaljig does just that.
Chief and Globaljig both have a long history of serving the collision market with quality products, so it makes a lot of sense to partner with them. The new alliance helps round out the product options for North American customers with simple, fast and easy-to-use bench and fixture system that have a long list of OEM approvals.
Today, everyone wants something yesterday and the word “express” has become a staple in many industries. Great ideas are made better by making them faster. The ability to send a letter to your cousin in the Wild West was a great idea. But it took three months and your cousin may or may not still be alive when the letter arrived. Then came the Pony Express; strap a rider to the back of a thoroughbred, and boom, the letter about your ox having babies got there in a fraction of the time. Speeding up the process to benefit the customer is a priority for businesses, and the auto body repair business is no exception.
Today’s cars and trucks are very different than those produced 40 or 50 years ago, and with some ambitious mile-per-gallon mandates on the horizon, we’re bound to see more changes in the coming years. Specifically, by 2025, vehicles will be expected to average 52 mpg. In order to meet that standard, manufacturers are looking for every opportunity to cut down on weight without compromising safety. Aluminum is a big part of the answer, and combining this lighter material with stronger steel is a big hurdle. Here’s a look at the techniques used to join these important metals today and those in development for the future.
Happy New Year! And happy resolution season. May all your eat-better-exercise-more goals come true. But, while you’re signing up for that gym membership and generally improving yourself, don’t forget about the business side of things. Even the most successful shops could benefit from a good hard look at what needs to be improved over the next year. Exploring what’s going wrong and working on that can make a huge difference in the overall health of your shop.