For this month’s OE certification profile, we spoke with George R. Irving Jr., National Manager for Wholesale Parts and Certified Collision Centers for Toyota USA.
ABN: Does your program have a specific name? When was it started?
Toyota: The official name is Toyota Certified Collision Centers, or TCCC for short. The program was started back in 1997, so it is 21 years old now.
ABN: Back in 1997, certified programs were pretty much limited to European high-line or more exotic cars, and not really considered for mass-produced cars like Toyota and Honda. What was the impetus for starting a certified body shop program back then?
Toyota: Back in 1992, the “latest thing” with dealerships was “Certified Used Cars.” It started first with Lexus and then migrated to the Toyota side . Dealers liked the concept because they felt it separated them from all other used car places. Dealers felt using the term “certified” gave them more credibility. Dealers eventually felt that if this idea worked well for used cars, it would work well for those dealers with body shops, and the idea became a program.
ABN: What is the main purpose of the program?
Toyota: First and foremost, the program is about having the car fixed safely and properly and the customer having a good experience. We want the Toyota customer to have a good experience when they buy a new or used car, [and] have that car serviced in the dealer’s service shop or body shop.
ABN: Some in the industry say these programs are all about selling more OE parts. How would you answer them?
Toyota: OE parts sales are a by-product of proper repair and proper customer treatment. But the program was not founded on, nor does it revolve around, OE parts sales.
ABN: What are the program requirements?
(Note: Toyota has some of the most comprehensive program requirements of any of the non-luxury brands. Undoubtedly, this is possible because the program includes only Toyota dealer-owned body shops, thus the closer connection.)
Toyota: The requirements include the following:
Customer Satisfaction: Must have a CSI tracking and monitoring system / Must have defined procedures and processes in place to assure repair quality, customer treatment, and to ensure that the vehicle is ready when promised. CSI standards require both a minimum score achievement and minimum response rate as defined by Toyota.