The Latest Auto Body Industry Trends
From auto body repair needs to optional cosmetics, the auto body industry draws all levels of interest, from those in the industry to those simply passionate about cars. Wherever you lie on the spectrum, here are a few newsworthy trends driving the field forward.
Laser headlights have been at the top of the trends, with BMW and Audi as the leaders, and in 2017, thecarconnection.com notes that they’re now legal in the U.S. – and a requirement for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick+ award. Laser high and low lights are considered more efficient and effective than LEDs. They will start to become more prevalent throughout the industry as manufacturers strive to keep up with competitors in safety and efficiency.
While auto shops that specialize in the collision repair industry may have to work hard to keep up with the advanced technology and communication systems of today’s vehicles, the opportunities created by collision technology look positive.
According to partsandpeople.com’s analysis of Thatcham research firm’s predictions, autonomous vehicles and collision avoidance technology will decrease the severity of damage caused by collisions. However, while these technologies decrease severity, they will not eliminate collisions. Instead, they will cause a decrease of “totaled” cars (which are never repaired) and thus an increase in cars involved in collisions needing repairs. This should be good news for both car owners who want to increase the longevity of their vehicles and auto body businesses who want to capitalize on fewer totaled cars and more repairs.
Tesla Increases Opportunities for Body Shops
As an automotive brand known for its cutting edge innovations, Tesla is making it possible for more auto body shops to join its network, diversifying the Tesla repair market. According to fenderbender.com, Tesla requires its partner shops to complete on-site training, but it will be adding an online training option and plans to prioritize adding 300 body shops to its network shortly.
This initiative creates more opportunity for local auto body shops to serve Tesla drivers, and it provides Tesla drivers with a greater variety of accessible choices when in need of a repair.
Car Body Paint Colors Retreat From Technology
Car body paint trends can be indicative of the consumers’ overall interests and needs, and we see this more than ever in today’s color trends.
In its 2018-19 automotive color palettes, PPG reports the consumers’ desire to connect with nature through the colors of their cars, even as they buy into more advanced automotive technology. Two of four palettes reflect this theme, with IM Perfect focused on organic shades influenced by nature and Lucid Dreams reflecting calmness and a refuge from technology overload.
Today’s drivers are hooked on the latest technology, and as a result, they crave the natural.
Greater Need for Auto Body Upkeep and Repair
When you compare the condition of cars on the road today to those 20 years ago, you’ll notice a major difference: the standard in the appearance of cars has risen. People care about the image of their cars more than ever. Fewer people are willing to drive cars with body paint missing, rust patches, and mismatched parts.
While there will always be the occasional sore thumb, this is more good news for the automotive collision repair industry. An increased focus on appearance can lead to a greater need for auto body upkeep and repair, particularly by those trained to provide quality work.
Where do you think the automotive field will go next? Stay tuned for more trends and news.
Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.