OEM Roundtable on crusade to help repairers and vehicle owner
In a highly-competitive industry with powerful insurance groups influencing labor rates and repair policies, shops can find themselves asking that question. Repairers perform all the work and assume all
the liabilities and yet can feel powerless and isolated when it comes to addressing industry issues. The OEM Collision Repair Roundtable is hoping to provide a solution.
Founded in 1998 and comprised of 15 OEMs (covering 28 automotive brands) the Roundtable meets quarterly to work on a number of initiatives aimed at improving the collision repair process for shops and consumers alike.
“Multiple OEMs come together representing the collision business from their companies,” explains GM Wholesale Dealer Channel Manager and Roundtable President John Eck. “We discuss how we can best serve the collision repair industry and try to better understand what’s happening in the market.”
To do that, the Roundtable reaches out to shops and repair associations for feedback on the issues facing them. During their most recent meeting in January, the Roundtable discussed repairer complaints on the different symbols and keys OEMs use in their repair procedures that can create confusion.
“One OEM might use an X, for example, where another uses a T,” says Eck. The Roundtable is now working on a way to consolidate that information. The group is looking at improving both sites this year. One area the Roundtable carefully avoids is pricing. Eck notes that legal counsel is present at all times to avoid any antitrust issues.
“We’re looking to help where we can,” says Eck. “Our group is unique because this is one area of the automotive industry where we don’t compete with one another. I don’t sell parts for a competitor’s product and they don’t for mine so we can work together.”
The OEM Collision Repair Roundtable will meet again this year in April In Denver to coincide with the Spring meeting of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and in August during the NACE Automechanika expo in Atlanta.
Other issues the Roundtable is examining include helping shops and customers locate the most reliable sources of repair data. Past initiatives led to the Roundtable’s creation of two Websites:
www.OEM1Stop.com — A Business-to-Business site that functions as a single source for shops to link to all OEMs information, position statements and other tech documents.
www.Crashrepairinfo.com — A Business to Consumer site designed to help motorists better understand the collision process, part types and consumer information for repairs.
Want your voice heard by the Roundtable? Reach out to a member OEM like GM at CIC or other industry conferences or events. Look out for them since they want to look out for you.
What drives the OEM Collision Repair Roundtable?
For a glimpse inside the workings of the group, consider their guiding principles:
- The interests of all parties involved in the collision repair process are best protected when vehicle owners are allowed to make informed decisions regarding collision repairs to their vehicles.
- Active participation by all parties involved in the collision repair process is necessary if the quality of collision repair available to vehicle owners is to continuously improve.
- Open discussion among those involved in the collision repair process and reliable sources of collision repair data are paramount if the quality of collision repair is to continuously improve.
- Representatives of participating companies understand and will abide by the limits placed on their joint activities by the antitrust laws.
- Discussions involving competitive market actions and parts pricing are prohibited. These exclusions extend to presentations by invited guests.
- While sharing views and information on noncompetitive collision repair issues is acceptable, participating companies will individually review and individually decide on respective actions that result.
Category: GM Parts News