Eastern Excitement: IBIS China 2019

Shanghai, China — Automechanika Shanghai is still in full swing⁠—but on Dec. 4, the International Bodyshop Symposium China took place inside the exhibition, offering a packed agenda and plenty of networking opportunities to industry attendees from all over the globe.

From 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 4, attendees took to Shanghai’s National Convention Centre, Seminar Area A, for IBIS China 2019. The event⁠—part of the Automechanika Shanghai show⁠—saw auto insurers, manufacturers, OEMs and repairers gather for a full day of presentations and interactive with all sessions available in English and Mandarin.

Event organizers Fiona Chiew, deputy general manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK), and Jason Moseley, CEO of IBIS, welcomed crowds to the annual event with an opening address, delivering an analysis of the global collision market based on recent findings from IBIS.

Sticking true to recent repair industry themes, IBIS China’s presentations largely focused on issues of rapidly advancing technology and access to vehicle data.

Sean Carey, president of SCG Management Consultants and IBIS board member, then took to the stage to discuss telematics, the connected car and the potential impacts it has on the claims and collision market. He emphasized the importance of the automotive aftermarket, saying that cars are “one of the biggest economic drivers on the planet.”

“The car is the gift that keeps on giving,” said Carey. “From new car sales to finance and insurance, to servicing, parts and repairs.”

Chen Sheng, director for Solera’s data development centre, delivered a presentation entitled ‘Optimizing data processing in collision repair claims’. He discussed how vehicle data and access can be used to make more accurate decisions across the collision repair chain, and, according to Shang, how new, high-tech products are bringing repairers closer to the vision of touchless claims.

Following a coffee break, Nikos Peratis from Road China Assistance spoke about the current mobility climate in China. According to IBIS, China is the largest automotive market in the East, with more than 23.7 million passenger cars sold in 2018. Peratis discussed the nation’s current challenges, opportunities and the future of the increasing road travel and mobility in China.

Feng Jun, president of Jingyou Group, then told IBIS China delegates how AI technology and vehicle data are transforming insurance claims⁠—not only in China but on a global scale.

After a brief lunch break, Sawyer Gong, director for GiPA China, and Eric Devos, GiPA president, led a discussion on the challenge of keeping pace with ever-evolving vehicle technology. The pair examined how the conundrum in playing out in Chinese bodyshops versus the rest of the world, taking a beat to outline the tactics used by markets across the globe.

Peter Chen, refinish product manager for Axalta China, then discussed current and upcoming challenges for the paint and refinishing industry. He covered topics such as sustainability, regulatory pressures and upcoming waterborne product trends as they affect the Chinese market.

Vigin Wang, marketing manager at TTS Tooltechnic Systems’ Shanghai branch, helped define the heart of the collision repair process with his talk on ‘Innovation in collision repair processes’. As the world enters 2020, Wang helped define the sector’s new approaches to procedures, parts, training and equipment. He praised the high-tech products hitting the market, saying that “technical innovation is the perfect combination of science, technology and economy.”

For the grand finale, IBIS CEO Jason Moseley returned to the stage⁠—this time to conduct an interview with Aomen Xu, gold medallist in autobody repair at WorldSkills Kazan 2019.

Joined by Moseley, Xu discussed the widespread skills gap facing the collision repair sector. He discussed its poor reputation, lack of inward investment and how the factors affect the number of incoming technicians.

In the interview, entitled ‘Turning a negative into a positive’, Xu discussed how he trained for WorldSkills⁠— “like an Olympic athlete,” according to Moseley⁠—as well as how winning gold in Russia changed his life in Shanghai.

Xu also spoke to his industry experiences, sharing the issues and challenges he has faced as a repairer, as well as how he believes incoming technicians can turn the seemingly negative situation of a tech shortage into a positive one.

Automechanika Shanghai will continue from Dec. 3 through Dec. 6 at Shanghai’s National Convention Centre.

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