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John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).


He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Tuesday, 05 October 2021 20:52

Changes Ahead for Collision Repair Shops Based on AI, New Automotive Finishes

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Paint company representatives say auto body shops will increasingly need to take potential refinish issues into account early in the repair planning process. Paint company representatives say auto body shops will increasingly need to take potential refinish issues into account early in the repair planning process.

Index

...no, we’re not. There’s just so many variables.”

 

Jeff Wildman, the North American manager of OEM and industry relations for BASF Automotive Refinish Coatings, agreed, noting even just spray technique, let alone paint formula, can influence color match.

 

“I can give three people the same exact paint, and the same exact gun, and they’ll spray and we’ll get three different colors, because of that human variable,” Wildman said.

 

Colors are not going to get easier for shops to match, Wildman predicted. Some new vehicle manufacturers, for example, seem less concerned about addressing refinish issues upfront.

 

“I can tell you they are looking at colors…that are not easy to spray at the OEM level or at the refinish level,” Wildman said. “But their designers want these colors. As they’re now starting to paint some of these at the factory, they’re learning: ‘You aren’t kidding, these are difficult to paint.’ So they’re struggling at the factory, and we’re going to struggle in refinish with them. But they want these colors because color sells cars.”

 

Even some “legacy” auto manufacturers, “trying to differentiate themselves using color,” sometimes haven’t shared enough information ahead of a vehicle’s launch to allow all the refinish systems to be prepared.

 

Mazda beat us all up pretty badly a couple years ago with some really tough colors, a red and a gray,” based on innovations in pigments and application, Benton said. “With U.S. and Western European auto manufacturers, there’s typically dialogue going on as colors are being developed so that everyone can formulate refinish match. In this case, it was Nippon working with Mazda, and the rest of us weren’t aware of it right away. That caught us by surprise. That doesn’t happen very often.

 

"But Mazda was able to move the needle. They actually had great success with those colors, and it really drove some market share growth. So good for them. That’s how it should be. That’s what we should be doing as manufacturers: innovating in areas of color and that type of thing.”

 

It’s another indication, however, Benton said, color match issues for shops won’t be ending any time soon. He said auto body shops also should be aware of...


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