By CRM staff
Toronto, Ontario – April 5, 2019 – What really happened this week? What were some of the big headlines? Don’t worry, Collision Repair has recapped the five biggest car-collision-related headlines of the week.
SGI’s accreditation program hurts small-town shops
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) announced last month at Saskatchewan Association of Automotive Repairers (SAAR) Spring Show, that all 260 shops in the province would have one year to achieve new training and equipment requirements or else they would lose their accreditation with SGI. This would mean facilities must have I-CAR gold class status, purchase the necessary equipment to repair today’s vehicles (resistance spot welder, pulse Mig welder, self-piercing rivet gun, vehicle scan tools, and aluminum repair tools), have welding certification and refinish system product training. For small-town shops, this isn’t feasible. “We don’t think it’s a good thing as one of the tools they’re requiring shops to have is more than $30,000,” an anonymous repairer told Collision Repair. “They’re expecting small town shops to do this and they can’t fork over the money within that time span.”
Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick drivers are all paying more at the pump, thanks to the federal government’s carbon tax which was set on the four provinces for refusing to impose emissions pricing of their own. The Federal government has defended the tax, saying that it is a sensible way to protect the environment, while putting a price on activities that pollute to discourage emissions, and give back most or all of the money through income taxes. Ontario Premier Doug Ford described the carbon tax as a “job-killing” tax that will increase prices on everything.
Fiat Chrysler Plant Closure
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced it will be cutting 1,500 jobs from its Windsor, Ont. plant. According to an email statement, the manufacturer plans to eliminate the third shift at its assembly plant beginning September 30. Slow minivan sales have plagued the factory which produces Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Caravan minivans.
Automotive Market Report
Overall, Canada’s collision industry entered into a period of relative stability in 2018 and early 2019, with profits, labour rates, and costs generally rising marginally faster than inflation. While the consolidation trend that so defined the earlier part of the decade continued, the pace at which major franchises and companies purchased shops slackened. This report gives an overview of the automotive industry in the past year. From the NAFTA agreements to General Motors shutting down its plants to insurance premiums rising for drivers in Canada, a lot has happened over the past year that has shaped the industry it is today.
Excellence Auto Collision is the third shop in Toronto to be Mercedes-Benz certified. Owner of Excellence Auto Collision Peter Woo said they are up another facility in January 2020, which will be a collision repair centre for Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The new facility is 40,000 sq. ft. standing on two acres and will be located at Midland and Finch in Toronto, Ont.