A growing trend inside the automotive industry, that started a few years and has surfaced again in the news recently, is related to auto companies like Volvo and GM.
Volvo have announced plans to restrict collision panel parts and repair work to an approved network of certified collision repairers. We are seeing reports out of the USA that there are 11 part numbers for frame rails and wheel housings that will be restricted effective from March 2019.
Some car companies have taken similar steps to prevent unqualified panel repair shops from compromising their vehicle structures with incorrect repairs and parts and the current example is General Motors.
They have promised to restrict repairs, parts and measurements on the mixed-materials for the Cadillac CT6 to a newly established approved certified network of repairers.
Volvo USA is another saying that it’s new restrictive measures will ensure that, in the event that one or more of these parts are to be replaced or repaired, it’s done by a highly skilled trained professional with their new part.
It would seem that Volvo want to control every step in the panel repair process so their vehicles continue to perform the same as they did from out of the factory, in other words the implementation of a chain of custody process - from start to finish.
If you are an auto panel repair business without being a certified collision repairer and you attempt to order one or more of these 11 restricted parts the order will not be fulfilled.
Workshops who want to work on Volvos with restricted parts can still join the Volvo Certified Collision Facility network (VCCF), though their window to join might be closing fast.
Volvo sales have bounced back recently with an increase by over 20%. They chalked up 98,263 vehicle sales in the USA last year compared to 81,504 in 2017.
Their research has found that 85% of customers search for a certified panel shop online, so there is a huge opportunity for the collision repairers on this program to be the only ones to repair Volvo’s.