At the opening of NACE Automechanika in Chicago, the major theme, both on the exhibition floor and during the conferences, was the pace of change in the collision repair sector.
At a press briefing in the show’s media room, Michael Macaluso, President of CARSTAR North America, accompanied by leaders Dan Fisher and Arlo Johnson, set the tone by explaining to attending journalists how CARSTAR is adapting to market changes.
“A culture of change must be instilled throughout our network. This is true for our organization, the group of which we are part, but also the workshops of our franchise,” said Macaluso.
The challenges of compliance, strengthening the quality of the network—notably through a dynamic training program—and also adjusting to changing consumer expectations were also key topics on the table.
Millennials are not only the next generation of customers in collision centres, but also the new labour pool and require a different approach to training.
Macaluso also explained that the Driven Brands Group—which in addition to CARSTAR holds several franchises in the field of vehicle maintenance—will also promote the development of integrated vehicle servicing businesses. “Our other brands are less known in Canada, but we clearly want to push in that direction,” he said.
Previously, Dan Fisher, CARSTAR’s Director of Operations, made it clear that the industry’s trend is to offer integrated services across different segments.
On the first day at NACE, managers of multiple workshops were entitled to a forum specifically targeted to them.
Technological evolution of the sector, consolidation, acquisitions strategies and development of relations with insurers and with car manufacturers were also part of the program.
Besides workshops and training sessions, NACE Automechanika is also an opportunity for managers and technicians to discover the latest tools and techniques by meeting the many exhibitors.