Publisher's Statement - July 2017

Publisher’s Note: The most recent “Message from ETI Executive Manager Greg Potter” encapsulates some of the challenges facing the aftermarket collision repair industry as vehicles advance in technology and Advanced Driver Assist Systems evolve and enter the mainstream in today’s cars. As there are challenges, there are opportunities for the industry as a whole, from the aftermarket and OEMs, to develop tools, equipment and procedures to repair those vehicles. Please find an abbreviated version of Greg Potter’s letter to see the path toward industry collaboration to meet today’s — and tomorrow’s — collision repair needs.

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OEM, service, and tool/equipment provider partnership more important than ever

“Our challenges seem to grow with our success as vehicles get more complex and more difficult to service. But this is nothing new, we have been talking about this every year since I have been in the industry.

“Our collision industry is facing even greater pressure as these vehicles in for service can be very new, and the service procedures are increasingly complex.

“The partnership between OEM’s and the independent service and tool/equipment providers is more important now than ever. We are both working toward the same goal to give our customers a great service experience and keep them loyal to our brand.

“We are entering a new era. The days of ‘business as usual’ for scan tool makers is changing fast. Due to security concerns, the ability to reverse engineer will become much more difficult if not impossible using current methods.

“Diagnosing electrical/computer systems on today’s vehicles is essential for nearly any repair.

“Allowing aftermarket companies the ability to create their own diagnostic software is an important part of the current repair industry. The aftermarket creates some of the best diagnostic software in the industry. They have collected vast amounts of data from previous repairs and use this information to help guide technicians to root causes with highly intelligent algorithms. In many instances, they do a better job than the manufacturers software for vehicles a few years old.

“Therefore, the importance of receiving complete and accurate data and diagnostic routines from the OEMs in order to create this software is a benefit to both the OEM and the aftermarket.

“Electronics for driver assist to near full autonomous vehicles have pressured the collision repair industry into new repair process and tools. One issue of note is the plethora of tools and procedures for calibrating the driver aid devices.

“Every manufacturer has unique tools and procedures for calibrating and testing these systems.

“The tools alone are causing major issues and barriers for multi-brand repair facilities including most collision repair shops. We encourage work on a multi-brand solution for this issue.

“Last year the pre-post scan debate entered the collision segment, for which ETI plays a very important role. To ensure that shops have the ability to properly and fully repair today’s vehicles, it is even more essential that the aftermarket scan tool companies have access to complete and up-to-date data from the manufacturers so their tools can perform the needed functions to fully scan and diagnose issues with newer models than is normal in the mechanical repair segment.”

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.