Nonprofit organization I-CAR has provided technical training for collision repair shops for almost four decades.
“We go into shops and we ensure that the shops are putting the cars back together correctly,” Doug Schlueter, national MSO manager of I-CAR, told Mega Dealer News at this spring's NADA Show in Las Vegas.
I-CAR offers both hands-on live classroom and virtual training to perform complete, safe and quality repairs. This includes vehicle and technology specific training, welding training and OEM training. Solutions range from creating and implementing custom training programs to licensing instructional content for use in addition to a shop’s existing curriculum. The training is intended to help shops protect their customers, as well as reduce liability, stay ahead of technology and improve business performance.
“There are over 100 significant model changes that happen every year and really there’s no way for the industry to stay up to date on that unless they’re taking training consistently,” Schlueter said.
I-CAR recently released 13 new courses that address the knowledge technicians need to keep up with in a rapidly changing business. Among those are electronic systems diagnostics and repair, planning mechanical repairs, electrical damage inspection, troubleshooting basic electrical circuits, hybrid vehicle identification and damage analysis, initialization and calibration of electronic systems, and understanding vehicle communication networks.
Schlueter said the organization works with about 25 dealerships including GroupOne, which began using I-CAR about five years ago and had approximately 40 to 50 locations at the time.
“They went from zero gold class, which is kind of our flagship brand, all the way up to 100 percent and when they did that their KPIs improved, their cycle time got better, their turnover rate got better — all those things associated with training got better,” Schlueter said.
Other dealerships I-CAR have worked with include Asbury, AutoNation and Hendricks.