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American Honda launches shop recognition program

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Oct. 17, 2012—American Honda Motor Co. Inc. on Wednesday launched its ProFirst body shop recognition program, which the company said is open to both dealer-owned and independent collision repair shops.

Honda said the program is meant to promote complete and safe repairs of Honda and Acura vehicles, and to provide support to shops that have demonstrated a commitment to high levels of customer satisfaction.

There are a few requirements that shops must fulfill in order to qualify for the ProFirst program. First, Honda said shops must conduct a certain minimum number of transactions using OEConnection’s CollisionLink software.

“CollisionLink is a component of the ProFirst program because of the numerous benefits it provides to both shops and dealers,” said Bill Lopez, director of OEM program development for OEConnection. “Through CollisionLink, shops can take advantage of Honda’s Collision Select parts program, which enables them to use more genuine Honda and Acura parts while managing their overall repair costs. CollisionLink also helps to increase efficiencies and parts ordering accuracy, which means fewer returns, faster cycle times and, ultimately, more satisfied customers.”

In addition, Honda said participating shops must be designated as I-CAR Gold Class Professionals businesses and have at least one technician who has completed I-CAR’s Collision Repair for Honda and Acura Vehicles course (HON01).

“The ProFirst body shop recognition program, in conjunction with the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals designation, will align participating shops with a training program that is meant to elevate the customer experience and enable shop employees to work up to their full potential,” said John Van Alstyne, president and CEO of I-CAR. “Training and knowledge provide a platform for business and personal excellence, generating benefits for both the organization and the customer, including increased operational efficiencies, reduced cycle times, minimized repair mistakes, and most importantly, complete and safe repairs.”

Honda said all shops that participate with the ProFirst program will receive a plaque, free access to Honda and Acura parts catalogs and bulletins, access to service and repair information, and placement on the company’s store-locator tool on its consumer website—collision.honda.com.

“We are pleased to be working with OEConnection and I-CAR for the ProFirst program. As the industry changes and automotive technology changes, we must make changes in our programs to keep pace,” said Jim Roach, senior vice president for American Honda’s Parts and Service Division. “ProFirst, and our association with both OEConnection and I-CAR, is a step in the right direction. ProFirst is a win-win for all involved, especially for Honda and Acura owners.”

For more information, or to apply for the program, visit profirst.honda.com or profirst.acura.com.

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