The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) hosted its semi-annual general meeting in the New York City metro area on Thursday, March 19, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J.
NASTF Chair Allen Pennebaker, owner of Orinda (Calif.) Motors, convened the three-hour session, welcoming a local and webcast audience of aftermarket and OEM representatives. Videos of the session are available for viewing on the NASTF YouTube channel. Meeting topics included “OEM Validation of Collision Repair” and the “Mercedes Theft-Relevant Parts Policy.”
In the “OEM Validation of Collision Repair” presentation, ASE Director of Collision Repair Test Development Teresa Bolton quizzed and challenged a panel on the increasing practice by OEMs to concern themselves about the repair of their vehicles.
Gary Ledoux, assistant national manager for Collision Parts Marketing for American Honda, revealed the motive for Honda’s interest in collision repairs: “We want to make sure our consumers’ vehicles get repaired correctly. We need to be at [EPA requirement] 54.5 mpg, so in 10 years from now you will see materials [in vehicles] that have not even been invented yet.”
Farzam Afshar, president of Verifacts, John Bosin, director of Segment Development at I-CAR, Gary Wano, owner of G.W. & Son Auto Body, and Aaron Clark, president of Assured Performance also contributed to the panel discussion. Clark predicted that “future equipment and repair processes will be vehicle-specific,” while Wano noted that shops are “not there yet” with the return-on-investment (ROI) in equipment costs. Afshar and Bosin argued that shops signed on to validation, certification or verification programs will count employee retention, profitability and pride as a component of ROI.