I-CAR's grand opening of Chicago Technical Center debuts world-class, mission-centric facility

Aug. 25, 2022
The new facility supports the evolving technical challenges faced by the inter-industry.

 I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, marked the official opening of its new Chicago Technical Center (CTC) Aug. 24, the most

recent symbol of I-CAR’s neutral, mission-centric work and purpose, and its commitment to technical leadership on behalf of the industry, explained I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne.

“I-CAR’s mission is to deliver increasingly accessible, on-demand and relevant education, knowledge, services and solutions for the collision repair inter-industry, and our new technical center in metro Chicago serves as another beacon of progress and promise that will benefit all industry segments amid one of the most transformative eras of automotive innovation,” he said.

The new 48,000 sq-ft. facility expands on the expert foundational technical resources and programming footprint at I-CAR’s Appleton, Wis. Technical Center, which is also currently undergoing renovations and updates to position that facility for the future.

The Aug. 24 event included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours for about 80 members of the inter-industry.

“This investment in our industry’s technical infrastructure couldn’t have come at a more critical time, with accelerating repair complexity in areas not previously native to our industry, and we thank the countless individuals from throughout the industry who have provided untold hours of input to help guide us forward to this milestone,” Van Alstyne said. He further noted that 18 organizations have donated much of the tooling and equipment within the CTC, and “we are very appreciative of their support.”

Those donors include 3M, AirPro, AsTech, Autel, Car-O-Liner, Chief, DG Technologies, Fluke, Hunter, Keco, Polyvance, ProSpot, Saint Gobain, Snap-on/John Bean, Solidus, Spanesi Americas, Stahwille America, and Wiha Tool.

Jeff Peevy, I-CAR Vice President, technical products, programs and services, described the CTC as a “a purpose-built research and development facility” offering an intentional work-lab approach.

“This enables I-CAR’s technical experts to vet and test collision repair methods, best practices and educational programming for emerging technologies as these continue to accelerate and become increasingly complex,” he said. “The Technical Tsunami™ our industry is facing drives the need for relevant and timely solutions to support new competencies collision repair professionals must possess, and that is why, with the inter-industry's support, I-CAR is doubling down on its commitment to expand our technical capabilities and capacities,” Peevy added.

With its expanded capabilities, I-CAR, working closely with the OEMs, will be able to address  new technologies with greater speed and proficiency, Peevy explained. “As technical advances show up on the horizon, we do not have the luxury of waiting to determine if it is going to become mainstream or not. We must go to it, learn it, and be able to educate the industry in a timely manner, if needed.”

Kyle Thompson, chairman of the I-CAR board of directors, underscored the CTC’s value and benefit:

“The CTC represents a massive collaboration with inter-industry partners to reimagine the future of training solutions. This is an investment by I-CAR in the industry’s future to drive us all forward and I could not be prouder of this effort.”

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