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Technology equals opportunity

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 06:00

Think about your first cell phone and all the really cool functions that it had. My first cell phone was a “bag phone” that was about the size of a lunch box. And as far as cool functions that it had, it made phone calls and that was it. There were no apps, Internet access, videos or music. It was just a phone.

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Just like cell phones, cars have added some technology over the last several years. While there have been tremendous advancements in vehicle technology, I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard statements like these:

  • “I’ve been doing this for more than 30 years, and I know how to create a damage report, repair plan, or perform the repairs.”
  • “I’ve been fixing cars since 1960-something and we know how to fix them.”
  • “They are still cars and nothing is really changing on them.”
  • “My technicians are great and they know how to fix cars.”

We have a tremendous number of highly qualified individuals working in the collision industry. However, vehicle manufacturing and construction methods, accessories and safety systems have made it virtually impossible for anyone to remember everything that they need to know about how to repair every vehicle they encounter.

It Is not a ’65 Mustang anymore
Several years ago, I did some research to see just what has changed over the years. Seeing that the 1965 Mustang is a car that is liked by many people, that was the vehicle I decided to look at. I discovered that these were options on the 1965 Mustang:

  • Power steering
  • Power brakes
  • Manual front disc brakes (V-8)
  • Deluxe retractable front seat belts
  • Rear seat belts
  • Padded visors
  • Heavy-duty battery
  • Radio and antenna
  • Vinyl roof
  • Tinted glass with banded windshield
  • Air conditioning

What I didn’t find on the 1965 Mustang were:

  • Advanced high strength steels
  • Aluminum
  • Composite plastics
  • Carbon fiber
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Stability control
  • Multiple airbags
  • Collision avoidance systems
  • Lane departure warning systems
  • Blind spot detection systems
  • Heads-up displays

The list of the technologies we have today could go on, but you get the point by now. Today’s cars aren’t the same as the 1965 Mustang, or even a car made five years ago.

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