I-CAR announced the formal launch of the organization’s new Sustaining Partner program.
The program is designed to more fully engage insurers, OEMs, service providers and suppliers in support of I-CAR’s vision and mission in recognition of the value I-CAR creates for the industry and their respective organizations, and in return offer Sustaining Partners a portfolio of products, services and benefits relevant to their businesses, according to I-CAR.
As a Sustaining Partner, participating organizations are able to access the robust portfolio of I-CAR standard products and services that are relevant to their organizations including:
- The full spectrum of I-CAR’s educational course offerings
- All Repairability Technical Support (RTS) information and related services, such as access to I-CAR and OEM technical bulletins and “ASK I-CAR” real-time technical support
- Collaborative co-marketing opportunities, including event sponsorship, website promotion and inclusion in marketing materials
- Inclusion in the consumer-focused I-CAR Shop Locator for Sustaining Partners who manage certified or otherwise industry credentialed repair networks, subject to related I-CAR policies; the Locator delivers consumer education and awareness, and offers related network visibility to consumers
- Special discounted partner pricing on customer-unique offerings such as custom course development and/or delivery programs, licensing of I-CAR intellectual property, and other customer-unique services
- Recurring annual “membership-type” model that streamlines the business relationship between I-CAR and partner organizations, making it easier to do business
The Sustaining Partner program is expected to provide meaningful new levels of funding to support the important work of I-CAR. Over time, as more industry participants become active in the program, it is expected that Sustaining Partner funding will help I-CAR reduce the increasing education cost demands on the collision repair and education segments.
Additionally, Training Alliance class credit fees will be eliminated for courses from Alliance members who become Sustaining Partners, an immediate benefit to shops.
The time is right for this program, I-CAR said, which coined the term “technical tsunami” to describe the increasing complexity of vehicle technology – and its impact on the collision repair process.
“As one industry, we must all adopt new approaches to closing the knowledge and skills gap,” I-CAR CEO and President John Van Alstyne said. “It falls on us right now to do the right thing for all involved in the collision repair industry: to ensure every person has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer. The Sustaining Partner program is a new approach that will yield benefits for each participating organization and for our industry.”
I-CAR began piloting the new program in the second half of 2017. Companies that have already joined the I-CAR Sustaining Partner Program include Chief Automotive Technologies and Car-O-Liner, with others in the wings.
“Training in the collision repair industry has taken off in the last few years with the need to understand new vehicle designs. Chief sees the importance of that training and wanted to continue to invest in working with I-CAR, but now at a higher level,” said Richard Perry, OEM and strategic sales manager at Chief Automotive Technologies. “Chief’s long-time participation in I-CAR’s Training Alliance program made the Sustaining Partner opportunity more appealing by the additional benefit of reducing the cost of training to shops and companies already aligned with I-CAR that take Chief University training classes.”
More information on the Sustaining Partner Program can be accessed at www.I-CAR.com/SustainingPartners.