Look too closely and you may not recognize NACE this year. New city (Detroit). New time (July 30-Aug. 2). New organizer (Stone Fort Group). You might say the show has reinvented itself. And how appropriate as the inventor of the automobile, Henry Ford, was born there.
And what about all the other collision events going on the same week? The Collision Industry Conference. The I-CAR Annual Conference. The Collision Repair Education Foundation Golf Fundraiser. The Society of Collision Repair Specialists Open Board Meeting. The National Auto Body Council Open Board Meeting. Just to name a few. This means it’s going to be the biggest week in the collision repair industry in 2014…which means you absolutely have to be there!
The pounding drumbeat in the industry lately has been “training-training-training.” And more training! With new technologies being introduced into vehicles every year, shops can no longer rely on the knowledge and experience they built up for the last 20 years.
There’s no place better to get up-to-speed on today’s vehicles than NACE. Starting Wednesday, July 30, NACE will be offering classes on both technical and management topics. Some of the technical topics include:
- Chief Automotive Technologies, Aluminum 2014
- Automotive Wheel Alignment Theory and Practical Application: Relations with Electronic Stability Control & Dynamic Driver Assist Programs
- Rivet Bonding and Weld Bonding Becoming Mainstream – Are You Ready?
- Steering and Suspension Damage Analysis
- Plastic welding and bumper repair
Some of the management topics include:
- Situational Leadership: Understanding People
- QuickBooks for the Collision Repair Industry, The Right Way
- Creating a Culture Where New Hires Succeed
- Dynamic Marketing Through Social Media
There will also be aluminum-focused training and presentations to collision instructors and industry professionals thanks to a $60,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation. Other manufacturers will also offer presentations at NACE on aluminum repair, including but not limited to Ford Motor Co., Audi, Pro Spot, Car-O-Liner, Chief and 3M. Ford will have a class that will provide 2015 F-150 aluminum repair information and details on its National Body Shop Program. There will be at least nine classes covering aluminum, including sessions on aluminum welding and repair and a class explaining the differences between aluminum and steel.
Collision Repair Executive Forum
The Collision Repair Executive Forum (CRES), formerly known as the MSO Symposium, has been a hit ever since it debuted in 2011. Whereas in previous years it was only open to multi-shop operators, the all-new CRES will cater to a broader group of collision repairers.
This year’s event includes key changes in content, including a focus on management, operations and participation from insurance company executives presenting leading information on industry trends. CRES is designed for collision repair multi-shop operators, as well as operators looking for high-growth strategies, mergers and acquisitions. The symposium is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 1 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Canadian Collision Industry Forum
The Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) will host a special event on Thursday, July 31 that will feature industry speakers, panel discussions and a cocktail reception.
Keynote speaker Vincent Romans of The Romans Group LLC will provide an overview of the state of both the Canadian and U.S. collision and property/casualty industries. He will discuss the acceleration of mergers and acquisitions in the collision repair industry, and address what consolidation means for the industry at large and how it impacts each collision shop’s business. The CCIF conference will take place at the COBO Center from 1-4 p.m. and will be followed by a cocktail reception.
OEM Technology & Innovation Expo
A new addition is the inaugural OEM Technology & Innovation Expo scheduled for Friday, Aug. 1. It will
include panel discussions with OEM experts as well as product and application demonstrations. In addition, connected vehicles are expected to be on-site to provide attendees with a hands-on experience.
“The OEM Technology & Innovation Expo at NACE/CARS will provide attendees with access to advanced technologies currently being deployed by automakers,” said Matthew Godlewski, vice president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. “A host of technologies will be on display, and OEM experts in the field will be on hand, including a panel discussion regarding telematics and future innovation in diagnostics and repair.”
Places to Go
Henry Ford Museum
A Detroit staple established by Henry Ford himself, the museum highlights the finest and most important pieces of American history and innovation. From early airplane models to the first Macintosh computer to the 15 millionth Model T, milestone inventions abound. Be sure to check out the new exhibit titled, “With Liberty & Justice for All,” which examines some of the most profound moments in American history. It includes items like the chair in which President Lincoln was assassinated and the bus in which Rosa Parks stood up for civil rights.
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
Now in its 35th year, the Concours d’Elegance continues its longstanding tradition of showcasing majestic vintage automobiles and bikes. View pre- and post-war classes of classic vehicles, participate in auctions and attend seminars on vehicle restoration.
The Inn at St. John’s
44045 Five Mile Road, Plymouth
Motown Historical Museum
This attraction offers a glimpse into the golden age of soul through historical music exhibits and artifacts. Step foot into Studio A, where legends such as The Supremes and the Temptations recorded hit songs, then learn all about such artists as the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and the Four Tops.
2648 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit
Ford Rouge Factory Tour
This five-part, self-guided experience incorporates informative videos and walking tours to educate visitors on the history and process of Ford manufacturing. Tour the assembly plant for an up-close view of the new F-150 manufacturing process, then hop in one to see what it’s like for yourself!
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
Michael Symon’s Roast
Renowned meat aficionado Michael Symon’s Motown restaurant is a carnivore’s paradise. From wild boar to duck to the “beast of the day,” you’ll have a wide assortment of mouthwatering meats to choose from. If you’re not completely stuffed after dining, stick around for a hefty dessert of porter beer ice cream with chocolate covered pretzels.
11128 Washington Blvd.
American Coney Island/Lafayette Coney Island
Detroit is famous for its coneys, and these two rival shops, located right next to each other, make some mean dogs. Get a coney from both, then make your assessment as to whose is better.
114 and 118 W. Lafayette Blvd.
Motor City Brewing Works
Enjoy flavorful brick oven pizza and a hearty selection of craft beer atop this microbrewery’s rooftop patio or in its cozy taproom. With such names as Old Gear Oil and Ghettoblaster, the beverage menu is a piece of Detroit history in itself.
470 W. Canfield St.
Astoria Pastry Shop
Satiate that sweet tooth with nearly any dessert you can dream up. From posh European treats like éclairs and crème brulee to traditional favorites such as brownies and danishes, this shop is guaranteed to have something for everyone. Bonus: It’s open late to satisfy your late-night cravings.
541 Monroe St.