As automotive technologies continue to evolve, two body repair industry experts shared at the SEMA show in November how they think body repair shops will be impacted in the years to come.
Jake Rodenroth, director of operations for Lucid Motors’ North American collision repair program, focused on how electric vehicles will “disrupt” repair shops and what customers will prefer and expect based on behaviors current. Auto Techcelerators Founder and CEO Frank Terlep discussed what he sees coming to the industry in the near term – next year to five to 10 years, as well as 2035 and how stores should prepare for these changes. Terlep noted that General Motors and Ford have pledged to phase out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles — GM by 2035 and Ford by 2030 — and that some states will also ban gasoline-powered vehicles by 2030. 2035.
The sessions are two of more than 20 featured in the 2021 SEMA Show Repairer Driven Education Series, all of which are now available online at rde.scrs.com.
Rodenroth said that due to the added weight of electric drivetrains, weight needs to be reduced elsewhere.
“As repairers, we’re going to see a lot of new assembly methods, sectioning locations…and even some repair technologies when we get into dent repair and the like,” he said.
Rodenroth predicts that factories and OEM suppliers will change dramatically and new manufacturers will emerge. He also believes dealership service volume will decline by 35%, while tire replacement, glass and visibility services, and length of ownership will all increase with electric vehicles. Joint ventures between equipment manufacturers will also continue, such as those between BMW and Toyota on the Supra and Subaru and Toyota on an SUV. Presumably, the reference was to the OEMs’ 2019 announcement of their joint development of a battery-electric drivetrain platform for a C-Class SUV.
OEMs including Lucid will offer 2WD and 4WD versions of the EV models using the same platform and widening its track and width.
Distance anxiety is an issue being worked on, but still in its infancy. “Hopefully with a higher voltage like what we put in Lucid, it will reduce the charging time to something reasonable – 25-30 minutes to get nearly 80% battery life,” Rodenroth said.
He also predicts alternative and clean fuel projects by oil companies, like Exxon’s work with Porsche, that won’t diminish horsepower, and the ability of shops to eventually 3D print certain parts, including fender brackets. -shocks and mountings they require with OEM licensed technology. .
Both Rodenroth and Terlep said the OEMs are targeting Millennials and Gen Z consumers who expect online connectivity and apps. And stores need to have an online presence to reach them, as both generations search for everything online, including where to take their cars for repairs.
Technician certification and continuing education are also essential. Terlep said learning and research will happen daily with every repair because of calibrations. Repairers will need to be proficient with Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) and calibrations because by 2035 there will be 250 million vehicles equipped with Level 2.5 to Level 4 ADAS filled with sensors and cameras.
“You’re still going to fix external things because people are going to crash their cars…but you’re going to be a lot more into e-commerce than ever or you’re going to partner up with somebody or you’re going to own an e-repair business that serves your collision repair business,” said Terlep.
Rodenroth noted that new cars come out every six months. “If you apply the old methodology to new cars, you put yourself in a very bad position.”
Terlep predicts three new roles in repair shops – research manager, EV technician and ADAS/calibration technician, which he noted to attract employees to fill these positions that the industry needs to “coordinate in terms of messaging” .
“We are no longer a body shop,” Terlep said. “We repair computers. If you go to the right school with the right message, I think you’re going to have different people, but you better have a role for them. … I think the industry needs to create its own school.
As an example of how the automotive space is becoming software-driven, Reuters reported in January that Toyota plans to launch its own operating system that could handle advanced operations, like autonomous driving, for its vehicles. by 2025.
Reporting by Shivansh Tiwary in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel
Rodenroth and Terlep also said in their sessions that photo estimation and automated insurance claims aren’t going away. According to Rodenroth, the photographic estimate can be used to control the number of WIPs and to substantiate damages. Terlep said estimating by photo can make employees more productive.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in vehicles – although still in its infancy for collision repair, according to Terlep – will suddenly increase in activity, he said.
Rodenroth said AI is here to stay, and in stores it can be used to search for user manuals and repair procedures by voice. “I think as repairers we need to have a voice on how this can help us fix a more complex vehicle using technology? And so things like using AI to navigate the service manuals will be really cool stuff.
Terlep went a step further and said he believes the repair industry needs augmented reality, that companies will eventually “jump” to offer it and it will be used more and more, for example, with repair procedures visualized on repairers. ‘ AR glasses and scanning vehicles done with the glasses.
By 2035, vehicles will communicate to repairers “much more clearly” about what’s wrong with them and a tool will no longer be needed to get DTCs, Terlep said. Collision centers that are part of OEM-certified repair networks will become more important.
Terlep noted that repair costs will double in five to 10 years and in five years. His prediction: The average repair order will be $6,000-7,000 as the cost of parts will increase and technicians will have to earn more money as the repair work will be more complex. OEM-certified repair networks will also become more important.
Telematics will eventually be global to connect everything to the car and more manufacturers will offer user-based insurance. ADAS will also become increasingly connected, including to the infrastructure of its environment, such as traffic lights, and to drivers’ homes.
Rodenroth and Terlep said stores need to invest in electric vehicle charging stations if they want to work on electric vehicles. Terlep also recommended a dedicated space in the store, or for those with more than one location, a dedicated facility, for EV repairs. Terlep predicts a shift in the repair industry towards specializations due to the long list of OEM ADAS that already exist and will continue to grow.
When it comes to autonomous vehicles (AVs), Terlep doesn’t see them being widely owned by consumers by 2035, but there will be plenty of fleets of AV vehicles, robo-taxis, delivery and commercial trucks, and trains. , especially in and near major cities. . Terlep also predicts that there will be AV ships in service by then.
Featured image credit: sefa ozel/iStock
“ICE vs. EV” and “3D printing” (Screenshot from Jake Rodenroth’s SEMA Show presentation)
“Artificial Intelligence 2035” and “ADAS Today” (Screenshots from Frank Terlep’s SEMA Show presentation)
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