In the event the aluminum-bodied vehicles on the road today are a correct gauge, the 2015 Ford F-150 probably may well be more costly to repair than its steel-bodied predecessor.
Body shop owners say aluminum repair parts cost more than steel parts. And furthermore, as it often takes longer to mend an aluminum body, the labor costs usually are higher.
That has been the event of a suburban Detroit chain of high-end body shops that collision repair santa ana ca, Porsche and BMW vehicles as well as a New York City shop that handles Jaguar and Land Rover aluminum vehicles.
But Ford says that situation can change. With the National Automobile Dealers Association convention, the company told dealers the redesigned F-150 would not be more expensive to mend in comparison to the current model.
Although aluminum repair parts cost more, Ford said, they are created to be installed quickly, which could reduce labor.
Insurance companies could have lots of say about what the repairs will definitely cost.
“The charge to repair is dependent upon the insurance company,” said Larry Smith, owner of Autometric Collision Inc. in suburban Detroit. “The good insurance providers will listen to us and pay attention to the manufacturer’s guidelines. The bad ones will discount exactly what the manufacturers say.”
As an example, if a piece of the metal body is bent over a few millimeters, a manufacturer might need a substitute, while an insurance provider would pressure our bodies look for a less expensive fix by straightening it, said Smith, whose company has nine shops from the Detroit area.
The shift to aluminum is going to be costly for Ford dealers with regards to the equipment they should buy along with the training technicians will need to take. To help you, Ford is offering dealerships a twenty percent discount on equipment and training through October.
But Smith says working with aluminum is no harder than working with steel; it’s just different. He explained if a body shop technician is available to change and it has the appropriate training, they can conform to aluminum.
Land Rover, the newest automaker to change from steel to aluminum, requires body shop personnel working on the aluminum-bodied Range Rover to successfully pass an intensive training program. Some dealers send their body shop employees, while dealers who don’t have their own own body shops must be sure that the body shops they send their potential customers to are trained.
Ford dealers make use of a body shop training curriculum run by the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, exactly like Land Rover.
“There exists a one-week Jaguar-Land Rover intensive welding, riveting and bonding class held at the I-CAR training headquarters in Appleton, Wis.,” said Land Rover spokesman Wayne York Kung. “[Dealer body] shops must have no less than two structural techs on staff.
“We require that repairs performed on all-aluminum vehicles be separated, and in a number of cases the certified shop actually includes a separate building where they are doing these repairs.”
Smith said he spent about $50,000 to train two employees to repair the newest aluminum Porsche 911 sports vehicle. “I won’t live for enough time to recoup that,” he said. It costs about $20,000 each to send technicians to Mercedes-Benz to learn to fix that company’s vehicles.
Ford dealers might recoup their costs quickly as a result of F-150’s high volume. Over 500,000 F-150s were available in 2013.
Land Rover dealer Michael Levitan’s three stores on Long Island in Ny don’t have body shops. Instead, Levitan works together a local independent collision repair center, Supreme Auto Collision, 06dexkpky Lindenhurst, N.Y., which has completed Land Rover’s dealer training course. Levitan says we have seen no problems with having aluminum-bodied Range Rovers properly repaired.
Glenn Berman, owner of Supreme Auto Collision, said those who own aluminum-bodied vehicles pay more for repairs. He was quoted saying the replacement areas of the body cost more as well as the labor prices are higher because aluminum repairs take longer than fixing a steel-bodied vehicle.
Another factor driving up the price: While steel aftermarket parts are widely available, the sole aluminum replacements now available come from the vehicle manufacturers.
“When something [on the steel-bodied vehicle] gets bent, you can pull it and straighten it,” Berman said. “With an aluminum vehicle, the factory wants anyone to get rid of the entire piece and replace everything.”
He was quoted saying insurance carriers often pressure him to deviate from factory repair procedures to cut costs.