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Monday, 12 November 2018 21:39

Automakers at OEM Summit Offer Updates on Certified Collision Repair Center Programs

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Ken Park (left) of Volvo and Ben Cid of Mercedes-Benz responded to questions about their companies’ certified shop programs at the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit in Las Vegas during SEMA. Ken Park (left) of Volvo and Ben Cid of Mercedes-Benz responded to questions about their companies’ certified shop programs at the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit in Las Vegas during SEMA.

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The Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ (SCRS) day-long OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit held in Las Vegas during SEMA included updates from a number of automakers on their collision shop certification programs.

 

Nicole Riedel of Subaru of America, for example, said that independent shops will soon be added to her company’s shop certification program that was launched with dealership shops this past June.

 

“We have a little over 600 retailers across the U.S., and of that, at most one-third have collision centers,” Riedel said. “That’s not nearly enough to cover the [Subaru] units-in-operation in this country, so we will have to depend quite heavily on independent collision centers.”

 

She said the requirements for the program---including KPIs that Subaru will be monitoring---are “relatively stringent” but do not include being sponsored by a dealership.

 

“That was a very intentional decision,” she said. “As long as there are enough units-in-operation to go around, to make it worth being a certified collision center, we want anyone qualified who wants to raise their hand to be able to join. We want the best people on this initiative.”

 

She said Subaru is working to ensure its “Starlink” vehicle telematics system will be integrated with the certified shop program to “make sure our customers feel the ‘Subaru love’ when they’ve been in a crash [and] have the help and guidance they need to get their car fixed to the way it was when they bought it.”

 

Dealership shops, she said, will not be given priority over independents in the program when customers are told about certified shops.

 

“There’s nothing in any kind of contract that says that dealers get first dibs,” Riedel said. “We’re doing it by proximity. And in the event that you [and the dealer are] both exactly 4.125 miles from [the customer], we’ll have to figure out what that secondary plan is to break that tie. But I imagine that will be more about your KPIs rather than whether you’re a Subaru retailer or not.”

 

To request information on the program, send an email to info@subarucertifiedcollision.com.


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