The rapid technological developments in present day motor vehicles are providing major challenges to the collision repair industry. These challenges and the solutions made up a significant portion of the content at the Collision Repairers’ Association’s (CRA) conference at Automechanika Johannesburg on May 7.
Andrew Marsh, from Auto Industry Insider in the UK, was the keynote speaker and not only did he discuss the current situation but also gave his expected scenario for the industry 10 years hence.
His presentation was backed up by Ian Groat, Publisher of the South African trade magazine, Automotive Refinisher, and a local body repair guru. Groat said that there are now 1 500 types of metal used in manufacturing vehicles with 500 of them not having been invented five years ago. There are five torsional strengths ranging from 200 – 1 500kPa while many modern cars have 1 400 metres of laser welding and cannot be repaired with conventional welding equipment.
Another overseas speaker was Cees Klaasen, of the Netherlands, whose topic was “Insurance Claims Technology.” In addition Peter Todd, the president of the Insurance Institute of SA, gave a presentation on “Insurance Trends and Technology.”
Another topic which was covered at the conference was the vital human resource development programme of apprentice training as a solution to the skills shortage in the body repair industry. The speaker on the topic of “The Apprenticeship Programme and Partner Feedback,” was Busi Maile, co-founder and Programme Director of NF Apprentice
“The audience was made up of a good cross section of the repair industry who appreciated the objective and factual, real world situation of vehicle repair in the 21st century,” said Steve Kessell, the National Director of CRA South Africa.

Aleeshen Kisten
Aleeshen Kisten
The Mentor and Founder of the CRA
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