By CRM Staff
Winnipeg, Manitoba — October 18, 2017 — Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has opened a new “state-of-the-art” centre for automotive research and training in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The insurer says the new facility, which opened at the J.W. Zacharias Physical Damage Research Centre, will help its staff keep pace with the rapid changes in the design, construction, technology and repair of motor vehicles.
Announcing its opening, Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen, said: “Changes in how vehicles are manufactured are having a significant impact on the reparability of new vehicles. The opening of this new research and training facility will benefit vehicle owners and Manitoba’s collision repair industry by ensuring that when vehicles are involved in collisions, they will be properly repaired back to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards.”
The centre will also enable qualified technicians to work in collaboration with Manitoba’s repair industry, as it adapts repair methods related to vehicles now being constructed of complex materials, including aluminum, carbon fibre, high-strength and ultra high-strength steels.
Training and research centre technicians will work closely with Manitoba’s repair industry and Red River College to offer access to training on new and emerging vehicle repair techniques and equipment.
MPI said this will result in “significant” savings for local collision repair shops that would otherwise have to spend thousands of dollars to send their autobody technicians to out-of-province training sessions.
“MPI recognizes that the auto manufacturing industry is creating significant change for the collision repair industry and costs of repairs are increasing, which is why we are taking steps to save Manitobans money over the long-term,” said MPI President and CEO Dan Guimond. “This facility and the staff within it will ensure that the autobody technicians in Manitoba remain highly skilled and able to respond to rapidly changing vehicle construction and repair techniques.”
Guimond added that by next year, it is expected that half of the Manitoba fleet will include vehicles with complex materials, many of which require specialized training, tooling, equipment and facilities to ensure they are repaired safely back to manufacturer standards.
“Doing so ensures that if our customers are involved in subsequent collisions, they will never be put at risk to injury or death as a result of their vehicles not being repaired properly back to manufacturer standards,” he said.
The centre will also host technical training courses for the collision repair community, as well as offering tours to Manitoba high school students who may have an interest in becoming professional technicians.
For more information, please visit mpi.mb.ca.