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Report: Cost of Aluminum Vehicle Repairs Will Hit Body Shops, Consumers Hard

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The Lame & The Ludicrous
Location
Southern California
Car(s)
'15 LSG Golf R
From http://www.dailytech.com/Report+Cos...it+Body+Shops+Consumers+Hard/article34576.htm

Body shops face huge costs to gear up and train for aluminum vehicle repairs

Mainstream auto manufactures have used aluminum in the construction of vehicles for a number of years. However, most of the panels on cars and truck were traditionally made from stamped steel, while in some cases hoods and trunk lids were made from aluminum.

With Ford rolling out the all-new F-150 that uses a body made 95 percent from aluminum, the future looks expensive for body shops charged with fixing vehicles after an accident. Reports indicate the costs of tools and training at body shops could soar.

That would lead to labor rates at the shops rising as well, leading to more costly repairs. Ford is blazing the trial into mainstream vehicles made mostly of aluminum, but other manufactures will follow. Making broader use of aluminum to reduce the weight of vehicle is one of the big ways that automakers plan to meet CAFE standards handed down by the White House.

Some body shops will have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in new training and equipment to be able to repair the aluminum used in Ford trucks. Smaller body shops might not be able to justify the cost, which could be a big benefit to dealer-owned body shops.

“Not every shop in America will be equipped to repair the new F-150,” said Dan Risley, president of the Automotive Service Association. “It’s cost prohibitive because there aren’t a lot of vehicles on the road with aluminum, so the return on investment could take a few years. When you throw aluminum into the mix, everything changes.”

He says that less than 20 percent of body shops will be equipped to fix aluminum body structures. Shops certified to fix high-end European brands like Porsche, Jaguar, and Audi cars that are used to working with aluminum will be the best ready to deal with the influx of new aluminum vehicles needing repairs.

Ford is not the only company that will employ extensive use of aluminum in full-size pickup trucks. General Motors announced last month that its next generation Silverado and Sierra will use the lightweight material.
 

Bender1

Banned
Location
Doylestown, PA
Body shops wont take a hit - it will all be passed on to us via premiums.
 

XGC75

Go Kart Champion
Location
sw mi
If the cost of the car doesn't change, a collision in an aluminum car will be more likely to be totaled. Increasing cost of components and increasing difficulty of remanufacture are reasons states require cars to be totaled. Not to mention the faintest lick of body damage can already total a car, or the detonation of airbags. I don't see this impacting premiums much if at all.

butchered by autocorrecr
 

Bender1

Banned
Location
Doylestown, PA
If the cost of the car doesn't change, a collision in an aluminum car will be more likely to be totaled. Increasing cost of components and increasing difficulty of remanufacture are reasons states require cars to be totaled. Not to mention the faintest lick of body damage can already total a car, or the detonation of airbags. I don't see this impacting premiums much if at all.

butchered by autocorrecr

good points.
 

nakenyon

Go Kart Champion
Location
Middletown, PA
Body shops wont take a hit - it will all be passed on to us via premiums.
This.
If the cost of the car doesn't change, a collision in an aluminum car will be more likely to be totaled. Increasing cost of components and increasing difficulty of remanufacture are reasons states require cars to be totaled. Not to mention the faintest lick of body damage can already total a car, or the detonation of airbags. I don't see this impacting premiums much if at all.

butchered by autocorrecr

Excellent points. I wonder what kind of increase we'll see in vehicles getting totals once these mostly aluminum vehicles start rolling out. At some point, I figure it will have to normalize though (as more cars start to use aluminum) and we'll see prices start to come down for repairs, just wonder how long that will take.
 
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