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Certification: Ford expands network to Canada; CSN head criticizes ‘one size fits all’ in Collision Repair Mag

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Ford has expanded its aluminum F-150 and “regular” collision repair networks to Canada, its third-party certification partner announced Monday.

“We are very excited to partner with Ford Motor Company of Canada to add the Ford National Body Shop Network Certified Program to our Certified shop’s credentials,” Leanne Jefferies, vice president of Canadian operations for Certified Collision Care, said in a statement. “Our joint-effort certification program provides top performing collision repairers an effective means to differentiate themselves in their market by aligning with the most powerful brands in the automotive industry.”

Auto body shops could sign up for the program as of Monday. A list of requirements can be found here.

The Ford network in Canada will be similar to that established in the U.S. by the automaker and Certified Collision Care’s parent Assured Performance, which operates under a “Certified Once, Recognized by Many” philosophy where one OEM’s certification easily transfers to other Assured-affiliated OEMs. That means that Ford-certified shops should be able to make it onto the new FCA-Certified Collision Care Canadian network announced in May.

Besides FCA and Ford, Assured Performance in the U.S. is also affiliated with Nissan and Hyundai — a potential hint of future Canadian certification programs.

More certification coverage in Repairer Driven News

Canadian Ford and FCA certification could be highly lucrative if the OEMs, shops and Certified Collision Care can successfully market it to Canadian drivers. Ford was the No. 2 brand in Canada and the F-Series the No. 1 vehicle in 2015, according to GoodCarBadCar. And FCA was the No. 1 brand and producer of the No. 2 model (the Ram pickup) in the country, according to GoodCarBadCar.

“The program will ensure that Ford vehicle owners can choose a Certified collision repair provider to return their vehicle to OEM specifications, and ensure the vehicle’s fit, finish, durability, functionality, value, and safety are preserved,” Certified Collision Care wrote Monday. “This is particularly important based upon the increasingly complex vehicle design and repair requirements of Ford vehicles.”

CSN on certification, industry capability

In related Canadian collision repair news, the chief operating officer of CSN Collision Centres recently took a frank look at the collision repair industry and collision certification programs with a Nov. 30 op-ed in Collision Repair Magazine.

“The introduction of OEM certification for luxury has demonstrated that many of the repairs facilities in Canada are not equal,” COO Flavio Battilana wrote in Collision Repair Magazine. “The majority of repair facilities in Canada are not capable of investing in the future of more complex repairs, that really require a higher level of repair knowledge and capability.”

“The recent development of OEM certification for mainstream vehicles further heightens the awareness of the importance of repairing the vehicle properly to ensure safety and performance. The collision repair industry does not need an added layer of cost. It needs clarity, it needs support, it needs engagement. If there is a need to introduce external organizations to the industry, they must add value. A third-party validation without a return on investment strategy presents significant challenges. If validation is required, it should be completed by an organization that has the best interests of all parties directly connected to the economy.

“While CSN is in support of the industry recognizing and taking steps towards certification and accountability, CSN will continue to work directly with our OEM partners, as opposed to attempting an unproven one size fits all solution.  It is important for the industry to ensure the right facilities are doing the right repairs, with the right compensation.”

Read the rest here in Collision Repair Magazine.

More information:

“Ford Motor Company of Canada Launches Body Shop Certification Program with Certified Collision Care”

Certified Collision Care, Dec. 5, 2016

“Op-Ed: Certification needs to be more than a rubber stamp”

Flavio Battilana of CSN Collision Centres via Collision Repair Magazine, Nov. 30, 2016

Featured images: Ford has expanded its aluminum F-150 and “regular” collision repair networks to Canada, its third-party certification partner Certified Collision Centres  announced Monday. (Provided by Certified Collision Centres)

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