SEMA Day 2 Roundup: News from Repairify, NABC, Rotary/Chief and More
LAS VEGAS (Nov. 3, 2022)—The outside temperatures may have dipped as the second day of the 2022 SEMA Show got underway in Las Vegas, but that didn't cool down the excitement of attendees. Among the biggest news of the day came from Repairify as it formally announced the introduction of the Repairify Institute.
The institute is planned to be a comprehensive technical training program for prospective automotive professionals and designed to assist in the ongoing challenges with finding qualified technicians. Leading the program will be Chris Chesney, an industry veteran who joined Repairify as its vice president of training and organizational development back in 2021. Students in the program will be paired up with mentorship support and the curriculum is designed to be adaptive, constantly evaluating that student and testing their skills.
"As they walk through that journey, that tool is always giving them feedback on more training here, more training here, more training here, and then guiding them in a very visual way, actually through like a bar graph that gets them to the actual objective of I want to be competent in this skill set," said President of Repairify Global Holdings, Inc. Cris Hollingsworth. "So we're very excited because we think that can help accelerate the press training cycle."
In addition to online teachings, Repairify plans Centers of Excellence around the country to be the center learning and as a place for students to put what they've learned into practice. The first center is planned to open in Dallas in 2023. Multiple certification programs will be offered to service a variety of automotive segments.
The institute wasn't the only bit of news Repairify announced at SEMA, as the organization earlier in the day unveiled its Repair OnDemand marketplace. Repair OnDemand is designed to connect sublet repairers companies in need of services, including fleet owners and car dealerships. The network includes more than 16,000 professionals, connecting them faster than ever before.
NABC Honors Members, Awards Recycled Rides
The National Auto Body Council honored some of its key members in a Wednesday morning before handing out nine more refurbished vehicles as part of its Recycled Rides program. The NABC presented the winners of the President's Award and the Changing and Saving Lives Awards while also inducting members into the 2021 and 2022 Hall of Eagles. So inducted were Dan Risley, Petra Schroeder, Doug Webb, Tim Adelmann and Frank Terlep.
Then it was time to hand out some cars to some deserving local recipients. Most of the nine proud new owners of Recycled Rides were Las Vegas-area veterans who no longer have to worry about having reliable transportation: Alex Ramirez, U.S. Navy veteran; John Bush, U.S. Army veteran; Grant Smith, U.S. Army veteran; Porsche Harris, single mother with three children; Victoria Earwin, single mother with two children; Ofelia Valencia Chavez, U.S. Army National Guard active duty; Angelique Corrente, minister and caregiver for her nephew; Tony Carriedo, single father of one and Katherine Hall, single mother of two.
More than 3,000 Recycled Rides have been awarded since 2007 with a total value of approximately $42 million.
Rotary Announces New Calibration System and Partnership
Rotary, part of the Vehicle Services Group, announced a partnership with Italy-based TEXA Group and also a forthcoming new calibration system. The as-yet unnamed system is designed to use less space and also easily updated, eliminating the need for research to ensure shops are using the most up to date repair procedures. The system can move easily from bay to bay and doesn't require a large dedicated space like Rotary's Mosaic product. For shops that maybe don't do that many calibrations or do them regularly, the new system could be the perfect solution. The product is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2023.
“This is the first product to come out of our recently announced partnership,” said Dario Peruch, president and managing director of TEXA USA, via a press release. “It’s exactly what you’d expect to see from Rotary, one of the longest-standing premier automotive service brands and a high-tech automotive diagnostic tool provider—a product that’s advanced enough to handle the demands of new model vehicles yet can easily integrate into any work area within a repair shop.”
Positive Message for Aftermarket Shared at AAPEX
The next couple years may prove to be a crucial window for implementing Right to Repair and related legislation on the federal level, aftermarket representatives said during a media briefing at AAPEX.
The briefing, which kicked off day two of AAPEX, included Ann Wilson, SVP of legislative affairs for the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).
Wilson said that “2023 and 2024 I believe are our years to get this done.” Proposed legislation includes the Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act and the Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act. Bills like this would need to be reintroduced in the new Congress after the 2022 elections.
Wilson added that 27 states are considering some kind of Right to Repair legislation, though many are related to sectors like electronics and farm equipment. But Wilson says the organization is happy about the growing sentiment toward consumer repair choice.
“What we see is a growing awareness of elected officials…that this is an important consumer issue,” she said.
Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), said that the organization will release a report in 2023 that examines the impact and growth of ADAS, which McCarthy called the “revolution that’s happening right now.”
Through a combination of government mandates of ADAS features and improved technology, ADAS prevalence in vehicles is set to grow at a rapid pace.
“ADAS parts will be over a billion-dollar market between repair and collision and mechanical by 2035,” he said.
McCarthy said that the aftermarket will have challenges to meet the tooling and training requirements needed to work on those components. But it also presents a big opportunity for repairers.