I-CAR recently marked the official opening of its new Chicago Technical Center (CTC), the most recent symbol of I-CAR’s neutral, mission-centric work and purpose and commitment to technical leadership on behalf of the industry, explained I-CAR CEO and President John Van Alstyne.
“I-CAR’s mission is to deliver increasingly accessible, on-demand and relevant education, knowledge, services and solutions for the collision repair inter-industry, and our new technical center in metro Chicago serves as another beacon of progress and promise that will benefit all industry segments amid one of the most transformative eras of automotive innovation,” said Van Alstyne.
The new 48,000-square-foot facility expands on the expert foundational technical resources and programming footprint at I-CAR’s Appleton, Wis., Technical Center, which is currently undergoing renovations and updates to position that facility for the future as well.
The event included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours for about 80 members of the inter-industry.
“This investment in our industry’s technical infrastructure couldn’t have come at a more critical time, with accelerating repair complexity in areas not previously native to our industry, and we thank the countless individuals from throughout the industry who have provided untold hours of input to help guide us forward to this milestone,” Van Alstyne said.
Van Alstyne further noted that 18 organizations have donated much of the tooling and equipment within the CTC, and “we are very appreciative of their support.”
Jeff Peevy, I-CAR vice president, Technical Products, Programs and Services described the CTC as a “a purpose-built research and development facility” offering an intentional work-lab approach.
“This enables I-CAR’s technical experts to vet and test collision repair methods, best practices and educational programming for emerging technologies as these continue to accelerate and become increasingly complex,” said Peevy.
“The technical tsunami our industry is facing drives the need for relevant and timely solutions to support new competencies collision repair professionals must possess, and that is why, with the inter-industry’s support, I-CAR is doubling down on its commitment to expand our technical capabilities and capacities.”
With its expanded capabilities, I-CAR, working closely with the OEMs, will be able to address new technologies with greater speed and proficiency, Peevy explained.
“As technical advances show up on the horizon, we do not have the luxury of waiting to determine if it is going to become mainstream or not. We must go to it, learn it and be able to educate the industry in a timely manner if needed.”
Added I-CAR Board of Directors Chair Kyle Thompson, “The CTC represents a massive collaboration with inter-industry partners to reimagine the future of training solutions. This is an investment by I-CAR in the industry’s future to drive us all forward. and I could not be prouder of this effort.”