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Automechanika Holds First-Ever Collision Forum

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FRANKFURT, Sept. 18, 2014—Automechanika Frankfurt held its first-ever Collision Damage Talk on Thursday to discuss the latest industry themes in Germany and Europe at large.

A packed house of body shop owners and operators gathered as a number of industry experts discussed industry issues and trends, many of which mirrored similar issues that shops in the U.S. face.

Reinhard Beyer, chairman of the board of BVdP, discussed assuring quality and processes through certification programs. BVdP, a German association for body shops, recently created a certification program called “QualiCar,” to certify shops and provide a stamp of approval.

While the program has seen considerable success, the high cost of training and certification was also an issue discussed at the forum.

New customers and up-and-coming players in the space were also discussed. Acquiring fleet services, such as ADAC, the German equivalent of AAA, may become important players in the repair market for body shops.

Finally, Peter Borner, president of ZKF, and Jens Nietzschmann, CEO of DAT, spoke about the importance of maintaining a strong Web presence. Both speakers noted both the opportunities available to shop owners on the web for acquiring new customers, but also warned against resorting to discounting or price bidding.

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