Vaughan, Ontario — January 26, 2017 — The Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) kicked off its first meeting of 2017 at Universal Event Space in Vaughan, Ontario, with the Cars & Technology Showcase on January 26. The event continues on January 27 with the formal opening of the meeting by Chairman Joe Carvalho of Economical Insurance, followed by numerous speakers and panel discussions.
The Showcase features some of the latest technological advancements in terms of both the cars themselves and the tools needed to repair them.
There is ample evidence many of today’s OEMs are taking the collision repair sector seriously. A considerable amount of floor space in the Cars & Technology Showcase is taken up by manufacturers’ booths. BMW, FCA, Honda, Lexus, Toyota and Volkswagen are all here, and those are just the OEMs who booked space. No doubt there are representatives from other companies in attendance.
Speedy Glass has a major presence as well, with a booth that’s twice the size of even the OEM displays. Collision repair has always been an important sector for the auto glass industry, but it may be that even more attention is being paid this year due to one of its biggest player’s entry into the collision field. Speedy Glass is owned by auto glass giant Belron Canada, which recently purchased the Speedy Collision network. For more on this, please see “Inside View: Belron enters collision sector with Speedy acquisition.”
With over 40 exhibitors, there is plenty to explore at the Cars & Technology Showcase in addition to the OEM booths. Even a quick walkthrough will give you a chance to see some of the latest advances in body and frame repair, hand and power tools, refinishing tools and equipment and new communications and software products.
The major paint companies also have a considerable presence at the Cars & Technology Showcase and at the meeting itself. Patrice Marcil, Axalta’s Learning and Development Director-North America, will present to and moderate a panel about the important connection between the collision industry and education at 10:30 a.m. on January 27 in the main conference hall.
“The Canadian collision industry went through significant changes over the last five years,” said Marcil. “Some of the challenges include the reduction in the number of shops due to industry consolidation, an increase in specialized jobs in a body shop and the introduction of more advanced materials and technology. It is very important we connect with our schools and instructors to help them provide the workforce the industry now requires.”
Watch collisionrepairmag.com for more coverage of CCIF and keep an eye out for a complete report in our next issue!