The OEM Collision Repair Roundtable has continued to work to address the issue of collision repairers feeling powerless against insurance groups in the highly-competitive industry of collision and auto care, reports the latest edition of GM RepairInsights.
The roundtable was founded in 1998 and is made up of 15 OEMs (covering 28 automotive brands). It meets quarterly to work on a number of initiatives aimed at improving the collision repair process for shops and consumers alike.
“Multiple OEMs come together representing the collision business from their companies,” explained John Eck, GM Wholesale dealer channel manager and roundtable president. “We discuss how we can best serve the collision repair industry and try to better understand what’s happening in the market.”
To do that, the roundtable reaches out to shops and repair associations for feedback on the issues facing them. During their most recent meeting in January, the roundtable discussed repairer complaints on the different symbols and keys OEMs use in their repair procedures that can create confusion.
“One OEM might use an X, for example, where another uses a T,” Eck said.
The roundtable is now working on a way to consolidate that information. One area the roundtable carefully avoids is pricing. Eck notes that legal counsel is present at all times to avoid any antitrust issues.
“We’re looking to help where we can,” Eck said. “Our group is unique because this is one area of the automotive industry where we don’t compete with one another. I don’t sell parts for a competitor’s product and they don’t for mine so we can work together.”
The OEM Collision Repair Roundtable will meet again this August in Atlanta.
Another issue the roundtable is examining includes helping shops and customers locate the most reliable sources of repair data. Past initiatives led to the roundtable’s creation of two websites:
www.OEM1Stop.com — A business-to-business site that functions as a single source for shops to link to all OEMs’ information, position statements and other technical documents.
www.crashrepairinfo.com — A business-to-consumer site designed to help motorists better understand the collision process, part types and consumer information for repairs.