Damian Cahill, Collision Business Manager kicked off the Holden 2018 Collision Repair Forum roadshow in style at their head office in Melbourne, with over 100 repairers, insurers, dealers and other industry suppliers in attendance.
With safety a key focus, Cahill introduced Mark Wakeman who set the scene with a couple of confronting crash-test videos, before running through the range of passive safety systems built into the Holden of today. However, it was the Holdeneye that caught everyone’s attention with its plethora of active safety systems, including AEB with pedestrian detection. Repairers were reminded of the importance of returning these systems to factory operating standards.
Wakeman also touched on OnStar, the latest emergency assist system, the latest General Motors self-drive technology, SuperCruise and wrapped up with an overview of where Holden is with the Takata airbag recall.
Next up Artur Candido updated the audience on the structural steels used in the ZB Commodore, particularly highlighting the “new” UHSS that further strengthens the chassis, which in turn has implications for all repairers. He also discussed the new Equinox and pointed out that the entire vehicle is optimised for safety with a high-strength, lightweight body-on-frame construction that is torsion tested to identify where the energy is dissipated. Candido added a timely reminder that the pedestrian detection system is based on an explosive charge under the bonnet and warned repairers to be aware of this when welding in the engine bay!
Ryan Williamson, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Segment Sales Manager, delivered an overview of the new Impact Resistant Structural Adhesives (IRSA) from 3M, which is a two-pack epoxy adhesive engineered to optimise shear, peel and impact performance. He explained that the use of mixed materials and the increasingly complex geometries of the vehicles have had a significant impact on the performance of vehicles, their weight, strength and safety, including changes to crumple zones and increased loads on joints. These, he said are just some of the reasons why welding is no longer sufficient, and the inclusion of bonding reduces galvanic corrosion between mixed materials, improves vehicle dynamics, reduces NVH and improves crash energy management.
Damian Cahill returned to the podium to round out the evening with an update on the activities of the Collision Business and made the key point that since the 2017 Forum, Holden has now recommending pre-scanning and has mandated post-scanning for all repairs. He also advised that Holden can now stamp a replacement VIN part for the Colorado and produce reprints of compliance plates and replacement build labels – all under strictly controlled procedures, of course.
He also announced changes to Holden’s collision repair methods procedure which will now use the VACC’s cloud-based system. There will be various payment options, although access will be free-of-charge to those on the Loyalty Program. Holden has also defined minimum specs for sealants and adhesives for windscreens, refocused on their genuine parts campaign, introduced Holden Complete Care and launched Holden Accident Care.
Cahill highlighted the newly-launched Holden Certified Collision Repairer Network, which provides a range of services that includes: free access to Holden repair procedures, support during the repair process, engineering support, the repairer’s business name on the Holden website, the opportunity to use Holden-branded marketing material and, through GM Finance an insurance package for Holden customers. He clearly outlined the requirements to become a Holden Certified Collision Repairer, including an annual fee and a rolling annual minimum spend on Holden Genuine Parts.
In summing up, Cahill reiterated Holden’s investment in time and money on the range of activities, services and initiatives reinforces that Holden is here for the long haul.