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A SUMMER TO REMEMBER

A new start is on our horizons

BY DARRYL SIMMONS

Summer has arrived. Pandemic restrictions are loosening from coast to coast. Brighter days are ahead—and Collision Repair’s 20th Anniversary edition is right around the corner.

The question on everyone’s mind is what exactly has changed in the last 16 months—and where do we go from here? It’s not just the pandemic, but also this whole concept of a “global reset.”

Conspiracy theories aside, what are the repercussions? There’s too much talk about the “new normal” and how things will “never be the same.” Utter poppycock, I say. Those aren’t my words of choice, but this is a family publication.

The coronavirus is becoming the accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations of our lifetime. How we work, exercise, shop, learn, communicate, and of course, where we work, will be changed forever. While the past 16 months have been mentally and emotionally taxing, we have now started to adapt the way we work to suit the new restrictions.

Change is painful, but it is evident. It’s the only thing you can count on being consistent. Let’s look at the core value proposition and mission statement of the collision repair industry, no matter if your shop is small or large, network or independent, urban or rural. What unites everyone is a common goal of putting the lives back together of those who have had things disrupted by an automobile collision. This is an industry of fixers, problem solvers and healers. It’s right there in the name—repair.

Yes, life will pivot—yet another word I never want to hear again—but your core values and dedication to customers will never change. So, I say “Bring it on!” Not that I’d like another pandemic or a lockdown or a line-up for vaccines—not at all. But this is an industry that is adaptable and formidable and capable not just of survival, but of everlasting success. One that can pride itself on the ability to thrive amidst disruption.

On another positive note, Canadian drivers are set to hit the road in droves once COVIDrelated travel restrictions are lifted, according to a new Leger survey for the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC). The survey finds that 61 per cent of drivers are planning a summer road trip or a drive to a vacation destination. Among younger drivers aged 18 to 34 and 35 to 44, that number climbs to 70 per cent and 72 per cent respectively.

Not surprisingly, COVID-19 has had a major impact on summer driving intentions with 60 per cent of drivers saying the restrictions imposed by the pandemic had a big influence on their decision to take a vacation involving driving this summer. In other words, get ready for a busy summer!

Plus, what could be a better time to put in a plug to be part of our Special 20th Anniversary Edition! For the last 20 years, this publication and our dedicated staff, has prided itself on sharing the inspiring stories of Canada’s hardworking collision repair business owners, technicians, suppliers, distributors, consultants and the like, spreading the gospel and glory of this incredible sector. Our journey is far from over but join me in looking back on just a few of the memories we look to highlight as we look back on the success of our industry.

Join Collision Repair mag in celebrating the stellar achievements of this industry—and pat yourself on the back as you do so. We would not be where we are today without your support and resilience.

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