The automobile marketplace has seen vehicle manufacturers saved by government loans, the job market shrink and become leaner in production and costs, but the collision industry continues to have to keep up at its own pace without any bailouts.
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Where are we now and have we yet arrived? The answer is no! Those of us who don’t adapt to change might as well pull over and let our competitors pass because without keeping up we can’t compete.
We can start by looking at vehicle design and content. As fuel economy regulations continue to rise by government mandate, changes are needed to reduce the weight of the vehicle. Most reductions have been taken out in the weight of steel. As steels lose weight, they must also add strength. Changes are constant in steel manufacturing and trying to meet the next demand for strength and durability by the vehicle manufacturer comes from millions of dollars of research and testing. Since materials are constantly changing, the process should also change.
Repairs are constantly changing, because research changes, procedures change or are adjusted by the manufacturer as they find new ways to improve procedures. That brings us to training and technology, are they also affected?