Industry disruptors: How technology will change the collision repair sector

Andrew Shepherd

Ottawa, Ontario — November 6, 2017 — AIA Canada has released a report on industry disruptors, focusing on new mobility and how technology might change the automotive aftermarket.

People need to be more informed about the potential threats and opportunities that might arise from the new technologies that are on the horizon, according to the report.

The report claims that due to growing interest in new mobility from various companies, governments and a change in people’s attitudes, this technology will become a reality, the question is when. “In 20 to 30 years the industry will be completely and totally different,” comments Andrew Shepherd, Senior Director of Industry Programs for AIA Canada.

More resources and education are needed so that businesses can prepare for the new mobility environment, according to the report’s executive summary. With a better understanding of the potential threats, businesses can adjust accordingly. The report reveals that most businesses today are unsure of where the opportunities and threats lie.

The CASE platform (connected, autonomous, shared, electric), as the report refers to it, has the potential to be revolutionary for the automotive industry, but it could also cause major disruption.

Shepherd told Collision Repair magazine that an example of this is “the effect of crash avoidance technologies on accident rates.”

These technologies are expected to force current industries and businesses related to automotive and car ownership to adjust if they want to stick around. There are already changes that have caused businesses in the aftermarket to go through consolidation to improve cost structures and gain efficiencies.

The report predicts that one aspect likely to remain strong is the advantages the aftermarket possesses in terms of cost and agility. According to the report, the OEMs likely won’t be able to adjust to this as quickly, which gives the aftermarket time to analyze and decide on the best course of action. Because of this, there may be an opportunity to increase overall vehicle service and the maintenance business.

There will be many opportunities for growth in the automotive aftermarket due to these technologies, according to Shepherd. “Collision repair will be mixed in with other services and will introduce an entirely new technical field,” says Shepherd.

As well, fleets in an autonomous vehicle environment will provide opportunities for retrofitting, electronics installation and mechanical work, as well as traditional body and paint. There may be even more opportunities to be discovered as the technologies approach saturation.

According to the AIA Canada report, the automotive aftermarket in Canada is relatively well equipped now to deal with the potential challenges that are ahead, however it is important to do more to ensure success.

Potential impacts of disruption, opportunities and threats are all important points that need to be covered through training and education. While there are challenges and potential disruptions looming, with a proper understanding, the report claims, the automotive aftermarket will be able to thrive in the Canadian economy.

The report is available for purchase on AIA Canada’s website at https://www.aiacanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Disruptors_Report_Executive-Summary_EN.pdf


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