By CRM staff
Toronto, Ontario -- September 25, 2018--This week, Collision Repair caught up with Scott Wideman, manager at Volkswagen Group Canada. Wideman has over 20 years of experience in aftersales dealership operations and has managed one of the largest volume parts departments in Canada.
Collision Repair: Could you tell us a bit about your industry experience?
Scott Wideman: I've had a varied background of automotive dealer after sales experience. For quite a few years I was also managing a collision centre for one of the dealers I was at, so I had a duel role. From then on I was involved at a wholesaler manufacturer level and applied it to the Volkswagon group. They requested that I research and develop a certification program for collision centres.
Collision Repair: Where do you see the industry going in the next ten years?
Scott Wideman: Personally from what I'm seeing I believe that there is going to be a high degree of specialization. I think we’re moving away from a generalist type of repair, an all make all model approach. I believe that technology is driving that considerably. The materials being used in the cars, the repair procedures that are involved by each manufacturer and what equipment that manufacturer specifies, that often leads to many facilities choosing which brands they may want to align with for certification programs. I think that's where the industry is heading right now.
Collision Repair: What do you think shops should do in order to put themselves in the position where they are providing the best repairs for their customers?
Scott Wideman: I think that starts with the recognition of what the proper repair entails and that would be following the manufacturer’s guidelines. I think there should only be one market standard as far as what the proper collision repair process should look like.
Collision Repair: What would you tell a young person trying to break into the collision repair industry?
Scott Wideman: I would suggest looking into automotive technical colleges like Georgian and Centennial. There’s great material content there for them to develop especially on the business side but also getting an understanding of the actual collision repairer side, because you have to walk the walk.
Collision Repair: What is the crowning achievement in your career?
Scott Wideman: I would say getting to the point, after all the research and development and fact finding, of launching the collision program. Having all the stakeholders involved in our corporate office, the brands and getting that to the point where it's almost like birth, you've been through that stage of development and now here it is, the programs been launched and you can see it making a difference. That's what I can truly appreciate.
Collision Repair: What is your favourite car?
Scott Wideman: I was a Canada Auto Show nut, for years since I was a little kid. I was there at every autoshow and I was always at the Porsche stand asking for a poster. So with that being said it would be the Porsche 911.