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January / February 2018 WWW.AUTOFORUM.CO.ZA

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January / February 2018



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Cover Stories SANRAL ‘writes off’ R3.6 Billion in e-toll debt? Or not


The role of WiFI in a driverless world


Auto industry ‘Code of Conduct’ won’t be easy to finalise


Tesla’s reveal takes aim at the truck market


SA drivers shine at UD Trucks’ Extra Mile Challenge





SEMA 2017

Trade Talk Volvo Cars’ first climate-neutral manufacturing site


VW, BP and Castrol renew partnership


Nissan showcases brain-to-vehicle tech at CES


Tenneco supplies MTV to Suzuki


Toyota rated greenest carmaker


VW in more trouble over diesel emissions tests


Toyota again makes Fortune’s list of top companies


1/2” drive electronic torque wrench





Industry News 16


Fuel levy announcement expected in budget speech

FAX: 086 627 1135

Bosch “unclutters” the cockpit


How China appears to be winning the U.S.’s future electric car and auto sectors


Auto braking and repairs - Krista Mcnamara


VW registers VW Mobility Solutions Rwanda


New venture capital fund for Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi



Right to Repair victorious in Australia


Understanding suspension - Part 3


Automechanika Shanghai


WARWICK ROBINSON Mobile: +27 (0) 82 855 7750

Auto Maintenance & Repair Beijing 2018

32 Consumer Awards.





AutoForum - January / February 2018


Commercial Vehicles CHEP awarded for environmental excellence


RBT delivers first TATA Ultra 814


Free truck driver health screening sees increasing participation


Volvo Trucks confirms 2019 availability of electric trucks in Europe




Advertisers Guide

BodyShop News


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Alert Engine Parts


Alfa Int AMR Audi Parts

13 29 33

Plan your training early in 2018


Auto Cosmos - Electrolog


How to determine what is and is not accident related




Can you sell uncollected property


Cape Automotive Forum


Celette’s Cameleon – combining MZ and Naja technologies


Celette SA


What you need to know to repair the new aluminium intensive Audi’s




Highveld Garage Equipment


BASF opens its first automotive coatings production plant in Thailand

Hofmann Megaplan



Ital Machinery

4 & 41

A Short History Of Materials And Body Engineering




SEMA 2017 – Simply Gigantic


Robert Bosch - Diagnostics


Robert Bosch - Parts


Snap-on Equipment Snap-on Equipment Silver Falcon / Hurricane Wheelquip

IFC 38-39 48-49 25


Download a QR code reader for your Smart Phone or Tablet from the Apple or Android app stores, and you can use it to scan this code & go direct to our online edition at – it is free and updated DAILY! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: AutoForumZA While reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the advice and information given to readers, neither the editor, nor the publishers, can accept any responsibility for any damages, injury or loss which arise there from. The opinions expressed by contributors to this magazine are not necessarily shared by the editor or the publishers.


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Trade Talk

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Volvo Cars’ first climate-neutral manufacturing site Volvo Cars has announced that its engine factory in Skövde, Sweden, has become the company’s first climate-neutral manufacturing plant, having switched to renewable heating as of 1 January 2018. Skövde also becomes one of only a few climate-neutral automotive plants in Europe. “Improving energy efficiency is our first priority and then, for the energy we need to use, we aim for supplies generated from renewable sources,” says Javier Varela, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Logistics at Volvo Cars. “The Skövde plant achievement is an important addition to our broader efforts in minimising our environmental footprint. We are pleased to be a leader within the automotive industry in the move towards climate-neutral manufacturing.”

A new agreement between Volvo Cars and the local provider ensures that all heating supplied to the Skövde plant is generated from waste incineration, biomass and recycled biofuels. Since 2008, along with the company’s other European plants, its Skövde site’s electricity requirements are provided for from renewable sources. “This is a proud moment both for the Skövde plant and for Volvo Cars,” says Stuart Templar, Director for Sustainability. “We will continue to work actively with our energy suppliers in all regions to secure further access to renewable energy for our manufacturing plants,” concludes Varela.

VW, BP and Castrol renew partnership BP and Castrol recently made public the renewal of their successful 17 year global strategic partnership agreement with the Volkswagen Group for the global supply of fuels and lubricants. The agreement covers Volkswagen passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, Audi, Seat and Skoda.

Oliver Rose, Vice-President, BP Global Accounts, commented: “For 17 years we have had an extremely successful partnership with the Volkswagen Group. We will continue working together to ensure the millions of drivers of Volkswagen Group vehicles get the best performance and protection.”

The companies have added that within the partnership, a new Castrol and Volkswagen jointly-branded engine oil has been co-engineered with Volkswagen group, which will be launched “soon”.

Imelda Labbé, head of Volkswagen Group Aftersales Worldwide added: “Volkswagen has had a long and successful partnership with Castrol. This powerful combination of our brands will reinforce the natural fit of our high quality standards and reputation. We are delighted to extend this partnership and look forward to working together.”

They add that as technology partners, the two companies will continue their close collaboration in joint research and development to improve fuel efficiency and generate innovative future mobility solutions.


Trade Talk

AutoForum - January / February 2018 AutoForum - January / February 2018

Nissan showcases brain-to-vehicle tech at CES Nissan gave visitors to the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 a glimpse of its vision for the future of mobility – a future, it says, with more autonomy, more electrification and more connectivity. Among the highlights were the brand’s pioneering Brain-toVehicle (B2V) technology. B2V interprets signals from the driver’s brain to assist with driving and to help the vehicle’s autonomous and manual systems learn from the driver. The technology promises shorter reaction times and systems that adapt to maximise driving pleasure. Also featured were the Nissan IMx concept vehicle and the all new Nissan LEAF. Making its regional debut, the IMx promotes a stronger connection between car and driver. It has a full suite of autonomous driving capabilities, seating for four, and an electric powertrain with more torque than the Nissan GT-R. The new generation of the Nissan LEAF combines 100% electric driving with advanced technologies such as ProPILOT (ProPILOT Assist in the U.S.), e-Pedal and enhanced connectivity. This icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility went on sale in Japan in October 2017.



Executives from Nissan and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance also joined panel discussions during CES: r Nissan Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci joined a discussion titled “Self-Driving Cars: the Future of Personal Transportation”. r Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president for global design, joined a discussion titled “Design Thinking for Your Business.” r Christian Ledoux, director of mobility and connected services for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, joined a panel titled “Autonomous Vehicles in the Cities of Tomorrow”

Driven by


Diagnostic Solutions from Bosch: BEA 750

Trade Talk

AutoForum - January / February AutoForum 2018 - January / February 2018

Tenneco supplies MTV to Suzuki Tenneco has confirmed that it is supplying its Multi-Tuned Valve (MTV) suspension technology on the Swift Sport manufactured in Japan, as well as the Dzire compact-sedan passenger car produced at Maruti Suzuki India Limited. The latest generation Swift, which made its debut in September at IAA 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany, will feature front struts and rear dampers from Tenneco. Tenneco has worked with Suzuki for more than a decade, supplying OE front struts and rear shock dampers for the previous generation Swift and Swift Sport models. “Tenneco’s MTV valve technology has been precision-engineered to offer our customers great flexibility when it comes to tuning vehicle ride characteristics, for the best possible balance of performance and comfort,” said Martin Hendricks, executive vice president and president, Tenneco Ride Performance.

durability compared with conventional designs, MTV valve technology is a leading choice for a wide range of applications. The clamp-disc, full-displacement valve system is engineered to provide precise handling and driving comfort in a variety of driving environments. Tenneco produces the suspension technology for the Dzire at Tenneco’s Bawal plant in India, and at Tenneco’s Gliwice and Hodkovice plants in Europe for the Swift Sport.

The company designs and develops a broad range of passive, adaptive and semi-active shock absorbers to meet the needs of OE customers across multiple segments and markets. Offering extensive tuning options, excellent noise reduction and long-lasting

Toyota rated greenest carmaker 2017 marked the year that Toyota was rated tops in the green stakes, being named the world’s greenest carmaker in December, according to a global environmental performance assessment commissioned by Newsweek magazine.

The annual Newsweek Green Rankings evaluate the world’s largest publicly traded companies, using eight metrics to measure environmental performance. Companies are scored against their industry peers on each metric, including energy, water and waste levels.

The “Best in Industry Global” award in the vehicles category of the Newsweek Green Rankings recognised Toyota’s track record of environmental sustainability, as well as its eco-sensitive hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles. Toyota was ranked 16th among the world’s 500 largest publicly traded companies – the Global 500 – ahead of respected organisations such as Apple, Starbucks and Nike.

Toyota’s green strategies are also well enshrined in the organisation’s Environmental Challenge 2050. To go beyond zero environmental impact and achieve a net positive impact, Toyota has set itself six goals or challenges – whether in climate change or resource and water recycling – to demonstrate its commitment to continuing towards 2050 with initiatives that will realise sustainable development, together with society.





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Trade Talk

AutoForum - January / February 2018 AutoForum - January / February 2018

VW in more trouble over diesel emissions tests Reuters reported in late January that Volkswagen is once again in hot water over its role in the diesel emissions cover up. But this time the furor is over the automaker’s alleged testing, which exposed monkeys to “toxic diesel fumes”. Reuters quotes Volkswagen supervisory board Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch as saying: “I will do everything possible to ensure that this matter is investigated in detail. Whoever is responsible for this must of course be held accountable. ” His words came just days after a New York Times report which claimed “German carmakers had used an organization called European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT) to commission the tests. The study, conducted in 2014, was designed to defend diesel following revelations that the fuel’s exhaust fumes were carcinogenic, the newspaper reported.” The Reuters article said that although it had not been able to immediately confirm the details and purpose of the study, EUGT, which was dissolved last year, could not be reached for comment. It added that “EUGT received all of its funding from VW and fellow German carmakers Daimler and BMW, the New York Times said.” The report continues : “The European Commission is aware of reports of third-party testing and “we hope that the Minister of the respective country will be able to explain what has happened” at a ministerial air-quality summit that will take place in Brussels, a spokeswoman for the European Commission said.”



“Representatives of automakers General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said they do not test the effects of emissions on humans or animals.” Reuters quoted the carmaker stating the day after the NYT article broke, that it had pledged to “never to test with animals again,” but added just two days later that “some staff members, whom it did not identify, including some in its legal department, at the VW brand’s technical development division and at Volkswagen of America, were aware of the tests at the time.” “Volkswagen said the study was never discussed in any management board meetings, after Bild earlier reported that an internal e-mail showed that at least some senior managers were informed about the design of the research.” But the controversy did not end there. The Stuttgarter Zeitung reported that EUGT also sponsored scientific experiments testing nitrogen dioxide, a gas found in exhaust fumes, on people. According to the newspaper, Aachen University’s research hospital confirmed that EUGT had sponsored a study in 2013 and 2014 but said it was related to workplace safety, not diesel emissions. “As part of the study, 25 people were exposed to varying levels of nitrogen dioxide for three hours to investigate the possible health effects of the chemical compound in concentrations below the limit for workplaces, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen said in a statement. The German government said that any auto emissions testing on monkeys or people was unjustifiable. “

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Trade Talk

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Toyota again makes Fortune’s list of top companies Toyota has once again been named one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine and named the No. 1 motor vehicle company for the fourth consecutive year in an annual ranking. Fortune also recognised Toyota as one of the Top 50 “All-Star” companies surveyed, moving up five spots from last year. Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list is acknowledged as the definitive report card on corporate reputation and is based on company surveys and industry peer ratings from senior executives, directors and industry analysts. For each company, the survey measures nine attributes considered critical to a company’s global success, including quality of products and services, social and environmental responsibility, global competitiveness, and value as an investment, among others. “Toyota is honoured to be listed among the world’s most admired companies once again,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). “This ranking acknowledges the many successes of our global team who are committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility for our customers.”

The magazine collaborated with Korn Ferry on this survey of corporate reputation. They began with a universe of about 1,500 candidates: the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue, along with non-U.S. companies in Fortune’s Global 500 database that have revenues of $10 billion or more. They then winnowed the assortment to the highest-revenue companies in each industry, a total of 680 in 29 countries. The top-rated companies were picked from that pool of 680; the executives who voted work at the companies in that group. To determine the best-regarded companies in 52 industries, Korn Ferry asked executives, directors, and analysts to rate enterprises in their own industry on nine criteria, from investment value and quality of management and products to social responsibility and ability to attract talent. A company’s score must rank in the top half of its industry survey to be listed. To select the 50 All-Stars, Korn Ferry asked 3,900 executives, directors, and securities analysts who had responded to the industry surveys to identify the 10 companies they admired most. They chose from a list made up of the companies that ranked in the top 25% in last year’s surveys, plus those that finished in the top 20% of their industry. Anyone could vote for any company in any industry.

The full list appears in the magazine’s February issue and can be viewed online.

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AutoForum - January / February 2018

Fuel levy announcement expected in budget speech The AA expects Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, in his budget speech on the 21st February, to include an announcement on increases to the General Fuel and Road Accident Fund levies. The latter are both included in the price of petrol and diesel. With a budget shortfall of around R50bn in 2017, this may seem an ideal mechanism for the minister to source additional revenue. The association however, urges government to be careful in determining future hikes to these taxes, and insists it must consider the impact these increases have on especially the poorest of the poor in the country. “It will impact the poorest of the poor hardest, as they mostly rely on public transport. Road users in general are already under enormous financial strain; a big increase to these levies will certainly place an even greater burden on them,” says the AA. Currently the General Fuel levy is R3.15 and the Road Accident Fund levy R1.63. Together these levies total R4.78, which roughly makes up 33% of the total cost of a litre of fuel. Last year, the levies increased by almost 9% on the 2016 prices, way above the CPI inflation rate, recorded in November 2017 at 4.6%. Since 2013 increases to the levies have been above inflation. In 2013 the levies climbed by more than 8% while average CPI that year was 5.7%. In 2015 average CPI ended on 4.6% while the levies rose by 24.7%, and in 2017 the levies increased by 7.33% compared to an average annual inflation of 6.4%.


“Clearly the rate of increases in the levies outstrips inflation considerably and motorists and road users may well feel aggrieved that they are seen as an easy source of revenue, at a time when they are having to tighten their belts. For this reason we are advocating for increases to the levies which are in line with average inflation of around 6%. Should this happen the combined levies will cost R5.07/l, which is a 29c/l increase to the current levies. “Any increases higher than inflation will constitute considerable rises to the fuel levies; we cannot support such hikes and urge government to make their decision carefully, and with the interests of all road users in mind,” the AA says.


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AutoForum - January / February 2018

Bosch “unclutters” the cockpit Touch screens, handwriting recognition and gesture control have for many years been gradually replacing conventional mechanical buttons and switches in the car. But sadly this is often to the detriment of road safety. After all, controlling the navigation system, the on-board computer menu, or the radio, is a distraction. Bosch used CES 2018, in Las Vegas, to showcase its smart cockpit technology that it says, allows drivers to concentrate on driving. Eyes can be kept where they should be: on the road. “We are “uncluttering” the cockpit. The more complex the technology in modern vehicles, the simpler and more intuitive control systems need to be,” says Dr. Steffen Berns, the president of Bosch Car Multimedia.

driving, 61 percent switch through radio stations, and 43 percent browse through complicated menus on their onboard computers. Distractions like these are among the most frequent causes of accidents. “Our job is to make HMI a reliable companion in every situation,” explains Berns. At the heart of the HMI is a voice-controlled assistant that responds to natural speech and can even understand dialects.

Artificial intelligence helps transform the human-machine interface (HMI) into a command centre that thinks ahead. “Initial functionalities with artificial intelligence feed valuable information into the HMI about the driver, the vehicle, and the surroundings.

Thanks to natural language understanding (NLU), drivers can talk to the assistant Casey as they would with a passenger. Another virtue of Casey is “her” ability to think ahead.

That enables proactive adjustment of displays and controls to any given driving situation,” Berns says. Bosch also draws on this information for the development of automated driving. Here too, HMI is the core element that allows optimal interplay between people and vehicles. Operating HMI, without getting distracted According to the Allianz Centre for Technology, 63 percent of drivers in Germany operate their navigation systems while


Drawing on artificial intelligence, she can learn to predict likely destinations depending on the time of the day; or if she is asked to switch on the radio, she knows the driver’s preferences, such as listening to the news in the mornings and music in the evenings. Digital displays make driving safer We perceive 90 percent of our sensory input through our eyesight. That means that, as drivers, we have to have important information directly in our field of vision at the right time.

Digital displays are taking over the cockpit. This means more than simply keeping an eye on speed, rpm, and driving range. Smart algorithms capable of learning to filter and prioritize content. If the roads are slippery, drivers immediately get a warning signal directly in their field of vision, while less important information, such as the current radio station, is switched to another display.

A central cockpit computer controls the HMI

That helps keep the driver concentrated on the road. When it comes to operating infotainment, air conditioning, and radio, touchscreens and central controllers have a decisive drawback: the driver has to look to enter commands accurately.

More processing power is needed to show coordinated information on all displays. In the future, Bosch says it will run the entire HMI through a cockpit computer and will integrate more functionalities in a single central processor. That will enable the convergence and synchronisation of the infotainment system, the instrument cluster, and other displays so that any given information can be orchestrated, managed, and displayed anywhere in the vehicle at any given time.

At a speed of 50 kph, the car will travel 30 meters while the driver’s eyes are taken off the road for two seconds; at 120 kph on the freeway, the distance increases to more than 60 meters – driving blind. “Car displays with haptic feedback are going to catch on. They allow easier operation of all manner of functionalities – for example radio and phone functions – faster, simpler, and, most importantly, safer.” The keys displayed on the touchscreen feel just like real buttons. The haptic display thus conveys the feeling that the user is adjusting the volume using a real slide control. As a result, drivers can keep their eyes on the road for longer.

Displays, infotainment, voice control: one consequence of the advanced cockpit technology is the increased demands on processing power, wiring, and the architecture of on-board networks. In current production vehicles, 5, 10, or as many as 15 electronic control units run displays and electronic devices.

“It gives car drivers and passengers virtually unlimited possibilities for adjusting the air conditioning, controlling the navigation system, or changing radio stations, from anywhere in the vehicle.” adds Berns. In addition, reducing the number of control units also frees up valuable installation space, lowers vehicle weight, and shortens the time needed for the development of new vehicles. And, in the future, over-the-air updates will ensure that the cockpit computer and hence the entire HMI is kept up to date with the same simple process used for smartphones.



AutoForum - January / February 2018

How China appears to be winning the U.S.’s future electric car and auto sectors According to an article on Thomson Reuters, “China is leapfrogging the U.S. in its bid to take advantage of the automotive sector’s seismic shift toward electric vehicles.” The article, which appeared online in December 2017, highlights the July statement by Volvo whereby it confirmed that from next year, all of its new cars launched will feature electric motors. It was a bold commitment and as the article author Joe Harpaz comments, it was also a potential death knell for the internal combustion engine, the move seemed almost preposterously aggressive for a company that was on the brink of bankruptcy as recently as 2010. “But Volvo had a wild card: China. Volvo’s battery-powered vehicles will be produced initially in China, where its owner, Geely Automobile Holdings of China, already produces batterypowered cars for the Chinese market, currently the largest market for electric vehicles. The full strategy didn’t really come into focus until October, when Volvo unveiled the new Polestar high-performance electric car at a press event in Shanghai. The company simultaneously announced plans to invest 5 billion yuan (USD$760 million) to build a new plant for the Polestar brand in Sichuan Province, and a new all inclusive subscription service that will allow customers to use the car on-demand without the hassle of actual ownership.”


Harpaz continues: “Whoa, Volvo! Remember when Volvos were the boxy-but-good brand of tweed-clad English professors and suburban soccer moms? Now they’re launching a sleek luxury four-seater hybrid coupe that will go head-to-head with Tesla in China with a sales model borrowed from Uber and Zipcar. Beyond the “wow” factor of the announcement, however, Volvo’s recent moves make it clear just how profound an impact the electric vehicle revolution will have on the auto industry. It’s not just the cars, either. As the Volvo example illustrates, the industry is on the cusp of a major disruption that will involve equal parts technological innovation, new business models, and changing regulation. It will also be played out in an incredibly competitive global trade landscape that is constantly in flux as different countries, manufacturers, and suppliers vie for a competitive edge.” “Welcome to the digital car arms race: the next generation of vehicles that are electric, always connected, self-driving, and subscription-based. Consider, for example, Tesla’s announcement during the same month that it is setting up a manufacturing facility in Shanghai, officially becoming the first

This article “Is the U.S. at risk of losing its auto industry to China?” first appeared in Forbes magazine and again on the Thomson Reuters website.

foreign automaker to build a wholly owned factory in the city, thanks to a special deal the company inked with the Shanghai municipal government. That last part is really important. Until now, any foreign firm manufacturing products in China were severely limited by the Chinese government. Typically, that meant a foreign manufacturer that wanted to produce goods in China had to enter into a joint venture with a Chinese partner, sharing their technology and revenues with that partner, in order to avoid the steep 25 percent tariff the country places on foreign-owned manufacturers. That’s how every foreign auto manufacturer operates in China today.” “Tesla’s deal is different because the manufacturing facility will be located in Shanghai’s free-trade zone, which will allow the company to maintain full ownership of its profits and its technology, a first for the auto industry. Under current rules, though, which Tesla is still reportedly trying to negotiate, any Teslas built in that free-trade zone would still be subject to the 25 percent tariff. And that’s where things start to get complicated. Even with first-mover advantage in the electric vehicle space, direct access to the thriving Chinese consumer marketplace, and deep links to the Chinese supply chain, Tesla would be operating at a 25 percent cost disadvantage to Volvo in China, due to current global trade rules that favor locallyowned companies.” According to Harpaz, Managing Director, Tax & Accounting Corporate Segment at Thomson Reuters, “This is a strategic move on the part of China. The country appears to have a sense that the current technological disruption that’s unfolding in the auto industry presents an opportunity to take a strong foothold in an industry it hasn’t yet conquered. As fossil fuel-powered vehicles that are bought or leased from a car dealership face the growing risk of going the way of the horse and buggy, China is positioning itself both politically and structurally as the premier destination for the auto industry version 2.0. Contrast the approach taken by China to what’s been unfolding recently in the U.S. The House version of the

proposed tax reform plan calls for an elimination of the $7,500 federal electric car credit, while the U.S. Senate version of the plan keeps the federal credit in place, effectively putting a major consumer enticement to buy electric vehicles in a state of legislative limbo.” “This creates a tough situation for U.S. automakers. A major incentive to purchase electric vehicles in the U.S. is potentially going away. Meanwhile, China is doing everything it can to spur the adoption of electric vehicles, having implemented new regulations in September that will require electric vehicles to account for up to 8 percent of new vehicle sales by 2020. On the surface, that should make China look like the electric vehicle promised land, but for U.S. automakers, tapping into that market requires either swallowing hard to accept a 25 percent tariff or inking a deal with a local company that could be a competitor. Add the constant march of new technology to the mix and you can see why automakers are scrambling to develop electric vehicle strategies that can work globally. GM and Ford recently unveiled plans to add a combined 33 electric vehicles to their lineups. Volkswagen has committed to launching 15 “new energy vehicles” in China. The list goes on. Increasingly, it’s beginning to look like those manufacturers who get the electric vehicle formula right will need to do a lot more than develop great cars. They’ll need to have a mastery of the complexities of global trade, deep insight into how various regulatory reforms may impact supply and demand in different regions of the world, and the ability to adapt quickly when these dynamics change. China will loom large in this evolution. And if the U.S. isn’t careful, it could lose its lead in the auto industry as the ground shifts beneath it.” He concludes: “That’s a major change for legacy automakers and one that will no doubt result in a fair share of trials and errors. It’s also a huge risk for the U.S. because the trade agreements, trade policies, incentives, and public-private sector partnerships it forms today will play a critical role in determining the auto industry’s winners and losers tomorrow.”



AutoForum - January / February 2018

Auto braking and repairs

- Krista Mcnamara

Automatic braking systems are just one of the many Advanced Driver Assistance Systems that help drivers reduce crashes. These systems use sensors and brake controls to help prevent high-speed accidents. Some of the automatic braking systems can prevent accidents completely, but most auto braking systems simply reduce the vehicleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s speed before an accident does happen. If more vehicles are being equipped with automatic braking, what does this mean for repair shops and technicians, and how will repair processes change? Plan for the future Repair shops and technicians should plan for a future of fewer repairs coming from one obvious source, such as rearend crashes. The vehicles of the future will require different technology and repair tools. Technicians will need additional skill sets, including diagnostic and vehicle electronics knowledge, to perform the required repairs. The complexity of vehicle technology is changing rapidly.

Nissan has announced that six of its most popular vehicle models would have automatic braking systems as a standard feature for current 2018 models. This is four years ahead of the self-imposed deadline from the auto industry to have automatic braking systems in vehicles by 2022.

Changes are coming Currently, automatic braking is a standard feature on approximately 10 percent of all new vehicles, and is available as an option on another 50 percent.

Multiple sensors Automatic braking systems often use sensors to identify objects that the vehicle is approaching. Most Advanced Driver Assistance Systems use sensors. These sensors, located primarily in the front bumper and windshield, include radar, camera, infrared, and ultrasonic varieties. Checking the automatic braking system, and all related sensors, is critical after a crash. A vehicle should not be released from the repair facility if there was damage to any of the systems or sensors, until these parts are replaced and re-calibrated to ensure that the entire system is back on the network and working properly.

(Note: This article, published in December 2017 increases these numbers quite a bit. However, most U.S. automakers have voluntarily committed to have automatic braking systems on all of their vehicles by 2018. This will account for roughly 99 percent of all U.S. vehicle sales and lower for SA.)

A vehicle is not completely repaired until all of the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s) are cleared and verified as repaired. A completion scan with an appropriate scan tool device can determine if all repairs to each damaged sensor and other parts have been successfully completed.


VW registers VW Mobility Solutions Rwanda Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda is the latest milestone in the automaker’s sub Saharan Africa strategy and will see the roll out of its integrated automotive mobility solution. The latter is a first for the Volkswagen Group. Speaking at the media briefing in Kigali, Rwanda, Thomas Schaefer, chairman and managing director of Volkswagen Group South Africa announced that VWSA has registered Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda. This follows the December 2016 Volkswagen Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), which resulted in a detailed study to develop a business case for Volkswagen to introduce an integrated automotive mobility concept in the country. “Our studies are complete, we believe that we have a business case that will work and we are now ready to commence with the implementation of our plans for Rwanda. In short, after today there is no going back, we are now fully committed to implementing our unique integrated automotive mobility solution in Rwanda together with Rwandans.” VWSA chose Rwanda as the country in Africa to study the feasibility of an integrated automotive mobility solution thanks to its political stability and zero tolerance for corruption policy, its dynamic economic growth of some 7% per annum, a young and tech savvy population and the fact that the automaker has received strong support for its plans from Government as well as enjoying cooperation and support from the RDB. VW confirms that a building has been identified for the operations and that the production facility will have an initial annual installed capacity of up to 5000 units, with 2018 its startup year. The Volkswagen product portfolio will initially include the Hatchback Polo, the Passat, a sedan and possibly the Teramont, a large SUV. The current business plan assumes employment of between 500 and 1000 people in Kigali in phase one for Mobility Solutions admin, production, training, sales and service and the drivers. A Rwandan software development start-up company Awesomity Lab - has been appointed to develop the mobility App and Volkswagen says it is also in negotiation with other potential Rwandan suppliers. The first service to be offered will be community car sharing, which will launch in quarter two, with around 150 vehicles in service within a few months. This will be followed by a ride hailing service with some initial 150 vehicles planned in the medium term still in 2018. In 2019 public car sharing with some initial 250 cars planned will be launched and this will be followed by a shuttle service and lastly a peer to peer car sharing service is envisaged. These numbers are based on assumed market demand, as such an innovative integrated mobility solution is a first for the automotive industry. VWSA Chairman and MD Thomas Schaefer.

All the mobility services will be accessed by the custom developed App through which all bookings and payment will be made. Services will also be able to be booked online or via a hotline to cater for people who do not have a smartphone. Some US $20 million will be spent in Rwanda by VWSA during phase one of the integrated automotive mobility solutions. “We are delighted with the progress that has been made since we signed the MOU with Volkswagen in 2016. We are ready to partner with Volkswagen as they implement their integrated automotive mobility solutions as well as vehicle assembly operation in Rwanda. Our country is determined to become the leading innovator in Africa. This project is in line with Rwanda’s policies to protect the environment, create jobs, and reduce our trade deficit. We are confident that this partnership will help create countless opportunities for young Rwandans not only in terms of employment but also in terms of skills transfer”, said Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the RDB.



AutoForum - January / February 2018

New venture capital fund for Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance have announced the launch of Alliance Ventures, a new corporate venture capital fund that plans to invest up to US$1 billion to support open innovation over the next five years. In its first year, the fund expects to invest up to $200 million in start-ups and open innovation partnerships with technology entrepreneurs focused on new mobility, including vehicle electrification, autonomous systems, connectivity and artificial intelligence. With further annual investments, Alliance Ventures is expected to become the largest corporate venture capital fund in the automotive industry over the period of Alliance 2022, the strategic midterm plan launched last year by Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive officer of RenaultNissan-Mitsubishi, commented: “Our open innovation approach will allow us to invest and collaborate with start-up companies and technology entrepreneurs, who will benefit from the global scale of the Alliance. This new fund reflects the collaborative spirit and entrepreneurial mind-set at the heart of the Alliance.” The fund is described as unique, thanks to the fact that it offers potential partners access to the global scale and scope of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. The latter sold more than 10 million vehicles in 2017, through 10 separate brands and with a presence in all major automotive markets. Alliance Ventures is expected to invest in start-ups to bring new technologies and businesses to the Alliance, while ensuring a fair financial return. The fund will make strategic investments at all start-up stages and will incubate both new automotive entrepreneurs and forge new partnerships. The first deal by Alliance Ventures will be a strategic investment in Ionic Materials, a promising US-based company developing solid-state cobalt-free battery materials. The equity acquisition coincides with the execution of a jointdevelopment agreement with the alliance for R&D cooperation. Ionic, based in Massachusetts in the U.S., is the developer of a pioneering solid polymer electrolyte that enables improved performance and cost


effectiveness of high-energy density batteries for automotive and multiple other applications. The alliance says that through such investments, it will help identify and support the development of new technologies for potential use by Alliance members. Such initiatives are aligned with the objectives of Alliance 2022, which aims to strengthen cooperation and to double the annualized synergies generated by Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors to more than €10 billion by the end of 2022. The $200 million initial venture capital investment comes in addition to more than €8.5 billion in total annual research and development investments by the alliance members. The alliance will launch 12 pure electric models by the end of the plan, utilising common EV platforms and components, while also bringing to market 40 vehicles with autonomous drive technology and developing robo-vehicle ride-hailing services. Renault (40%), Nissan (40%) and Mitsubishi Motors (20%) will jointly fund the entity, which will have a dedicated investment committee to make investment decisions and monitor their performance. “This investment initiative is designed to attract the world’s most promising automotive technology start-ups to the Alliance,” said Carlos Ghosn. As part of the Alliance 2022 strategic plan, RenaultNissan-Mitsubishi is forecasting that the combined revenues of its member companies will reach $240 billion and that annual unit sales will exceed 14 million by the end of 2022.



















During the usual mounting and demounting of the tyres, it analyses the geometry of the rim and the uniformity of the tyre (radial and side rigidity, and any geometric deformation) that may cause, above all, vibrations while driving.

MATCH-MOUNTING It solves any irregularity by optimising the coupling position of the rim and tyre (match-mounting), the only real solution to this problem, avoiding the pointless use of the tyre changer and wheel balancer. Uniformity is the first technology that allows match-mounting to be carried out directly on the tyre changer, transforming it into a real wheel diagnosis centre. Essential for the professional who wants to provide clients with a first-class service.

Automechanika Frankfurt 2016

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AutoForum - January / February 2018

Right to Repair victorious in Australia The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) late last year celebrated the final report into the New Car Retailing Industry, which was delivered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The report recommended a mandatory scheme that will compel all car companies operating in Australia to share the same repair and service information that they currently share with their dealerships, with independent repairers, on fair and reasonable commercial terms. “To say that we are delighted with this outcome would be a major understatement,” AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity is quoted as saying. “This is a David and Goliath story. A group of small independent repairers spread throughout the country with limited political skill and very limited resources, took on the might of the multinational car companies. The car industry leveraged their financial, lobbying and marketing power to criticise the skill and credentials of our industry, telling Government that all vehicle repair and service information was being made available but independent repairers didn’t have skills to use it. The ACCC has refuted those claims and the evidence supports our sevenyear Choice of Repairer campaign.” Director of Right to Repair SA (R2RSA), Les Mc Master, believes that the outcome is great news for the SA campaign, as it highlights what is happening in other countries where the Right to Repair campaigns have active.


Charity believes that time is of the essence to act on the recommendations contained in the ACCC’s Final Report. “The Government has the independent umpire’s verdict, which contains clear evidence of anticompetitive behaviour. They now need to act quickly to protect consumer choice and competition in the automotive repair and service industry,” he says.


“There is no reason for any delay as this recommendation has been a long time coming. It has been five years since the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAC) recommended that the Government consider the introduction of a mandatory code for data sharing. Finally, after an exhaustive 18-month review, the ACCC has recommended government intervention in the form of a mandatory scheme, so it is now time to act,” he continued. “We believe that the key to great consumer outcomes is to have both dealers and independent repairers on a level playing field, competing for customers on their merits. The Choice of Repairer campaign has never been about bashing dealerships and if they also need a fairer deal, the AAAA would fully support that.” Mc Master says the R2R campaign aims to allow consumers to select where their vehicles are serviced, maintained and repaired at competitive prices in the workshop of their choice. “There is a need for a fair and competitive regulatory environment that enables freedom of choice for consumers and gives aftermarket Small Medium Enterprises a chance to stay in business. South African legislature needs to follow international Right to Repair trends, which promote South Africa’s existing consumer and competition laws. We celebrate this victory with our Australian counterparts.”





AutoForum - January / February 2018

Understanding suspension - Part 3 In our last issue, we continued the discussion of the great significance of the materials and designs used in modern, mass-produced, vehicle suspension systems. This was a follow-on from the first article, which covered the evolution of suspension and the role of rack and tie rod ends. Part 2 looked at control arms and suspension kits and now in Part 3 we will be taking a closer look at preservation coatings and the advanced technology used in the suspension components manufacturing processes. The Cataphoresis Process Definition: Cationic Electro Deposition of Paint or Coating / Electro Coating. The process of cataphoresis involves seven stages in which an electro deposition of paint / coating takes place in an immersion of a continuously charged electrical current. This results in a deposit of a film coating of between 12-18 microns (μm) on the entire component’s exposed surface and boasts elevated anticorrosive properties. The cataphoresis process therefore extends the life of the suspension component. Testing has confirmed the coated components’ ability to withstand 900 hours of salty steam tests and operating conditions ranging between + 120ºc / -40 º

The Cataphoresis Process

Quality Testing

There are few components on the motor vehicle that are subjected to more rigorous operating conditions than the vehicle’s suspension system. These conditions include road undulations, inclines, declines, pot holes, road debris as well as all weather conditions.

With all the innovative manufacturing processes, it is critical that suspension manufacturers continually conduct quality inspections on components during the various stages of manufacture, as well as on finished goods samples.

It is for this reason that the preparation of the suspension components prior to the application of the preservation coating is of the utmost importance – it will ensure the longevity of the components against corrosion and the elements. The preparation and coating process is commonly referred to as the Cataphoresis process. Regrettably, only 5% of suspension manufacturers adopt the stringent preparation and cataphoresis coating process on safety critical components, which is an unnerving reality.

Robotic Welders Vehicle and suspension manufacturers on mid-sized vehicles are rapidly changing over from manufacturing control arms that use heavy forged or cast steel, preferring to use those of light weight, pressed sheet metals. The pressed sheet metal process can only be achieved with the precision welding of the critical joints, where the pressed metal sections intersect. Robotic welders have revolutionised the way products are manufactured, with this most clearly evident on suspension parts.


Below are the standard quality tests 1. Optimal scanning 2. Contour Scanning 3. Hardness testing (Vickers and Brinell standards) 4. Metallographic analysis 5. Tension compression and shear testing 6. Salt spray 7. Climate chamber 8. Life testing ( road simulation testing )

Stabilizer links and Stabilizer bars As a vehicle moves around a bend in the road, drivers may notice that the vehicle body tends to marginally move outside the turning radius of the wheels. This is as a result of inertia counter thrusting the direction of travel. The side of the vehicle that is subjected to the marginal body shift will inherently dip or lower and the opposite side of the vehicle body will rise. In order to balance this seesaw effect, manufacturers utilise stabilizer bars and links. Stabilizer bars and links ensure that the suspension is more rigid during turning and prevents a pendulum effect or sway on the vehicle’s body

AutoForum - January / February 2018


Automechanika Shanghai

- Michel and Albert Malik

Is Automechanika Shanghai the largest in the family? With the number of participants breaking records, last year’s show demonstrated the success of Asia’s leading automotive fair. After closing its doors for the 13th edition, Automechanika

The success and growth of the fair was clear to see on

Shanghai recorded its most successful ever year. The

the show floor, particularly through a number of new

2017 show, which took place from 29 November to 2

and enhanced areas on display. For example, show

December, received an overwhelmingly positive response

participants noted how there was a stronger emphasis

from all corners of the automotive industry.

on electronics at the show, with an increased display of new energy vehicles, electric car developments and

The event represents the entire supply chain for business

autonomous driving innovations.

exchange, marketing, networking and education on a global scale, and is Asia’s largest trade fair for the

Participants also emphasised how this reflects the

automotive parts, accessories and service industries. With

overall direction in which the entire automotive industry

encouraging final figures and participant feedback, the

is moving, and many praised the show’s ability to run in

show continues its upward trajectory in terms of scale and

tandem with the evolving trends of automotive industry.

overall offerings.


On top of this, with the addition of the new REIFEN Zone

Key figures for Automechanika Shanghai 2017:

for tyres, wheels and rims, the industry’s entire product

r 6051 exhibitors from 40 countries and regions

supply chain is now covered at Automechanika Shanghai.

r 40,000 square metres across 15 halls r 130,928 visitors from 142 countries and regions

Many exhibitors expressed how this helps generate more opportunities for cross-sector collaboration with leading

r 149 buyer delegate groups from 20 countries and regions

players for parts, components, repair, maintenance,

r 19 international pavilions

accessories, customising, electronics, systems and tyres.

r 57 concurrent fringe programme events

The same can be said for the increased internationalism

Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt

of the fair, with 19 individual country and region pavilions

(Shanghai) Co Ltd, was pleased with the overall outcome

participating from France, Germany, Hong Kong,

of the show. “Over the years, the consistent increase in

Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland,

quality and exhibitor participation has accounted for the

Russia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the

ultimate success of Automechanika Shanghai.”

UK, the US and the UAE. “Moving forward, we will further enhance the There has also been a 14 percent increase in overseas

representation of each sector according to the market’s

exhibitors, compared to last year. These boosts have led

demands and achieve an even more balanced product

to what has become Automechanika Shanghai’s largest

representation. I’m certain the show will continue to play

ever globally represented show, transforming the fair into

a major role in bringing various sectors together, and will

an international hub by drawing in high-level participants

grow alongside Asia’s evolving automotive industry.”

from multiple sectors. The top 10 visiting countries for the 2017 edition included Taiwan, Korea, Russia, Malaysia,

The next edition of Automechanika Shanghai will take

Iran, India, Thailand, Japan, Turkey and Australia.

place from 28 November to 1 December 2018.


AutoForum - January / February 2018

Auto Maintenance & Repair Beijing 2018 The Chinese automotive industry has arguably been the largest in the world since 2008, as measured by automobile unit production. Driven by immense growth in vehicle ownership - exceeding 200 million by the end of 2017 – the country also boasts a rapidly growing maintenance and repair sector. This year, the average age of cars in China increases to 5 years, the period when spending on aftermarket parts and services typically peaks. At the same time, the number of out-of warranty cars is expected to rise, further driving demand for aftermarket products and services. With an estimated 440,000 repair workshops distributed all over China, Chinese officials believe this repair demand will exceed capacity, which means unprecedented opportunities for manufacturers, distributors, end-users as well as shareholders from the global repair and maintenance area. The organisers of Auto Maintenance and Repair Beijing 2018 see the event as a prime meeting place for members of the global industry to meet, interact and do business with their Chinese counterparts.

AMR2018 is estimated to increase the show scale to 1,200 exhibitors in a 110,000sqm show space and welcome over 60,000 visitors – including distributors from Mainland China, of whom the vast majority are decision makers. It boasts over 30 featured events focusing on the industry’s new trends and hot issues which will be held during the show, providing a unique opportunity for visitors to network and engage with the industry’s top minds.

This year’s staging of the AMR event will focus on a number of areas of the automotive aftermarket, with particular emphasis on the following trends: r Fast access for international key players in the automotive field to tap into the evolving repair and maintenance sector in China. Thanks to the recent JV between Messe Frankfurt and Beijing Traders-Link, AMR will showcase even broader areas of the industry chain. Hall W4 will be set up to exclusively exhibit products regarding the car care, parts, accessories & products, with companies such as Liqui-Moly, Motul and Wep having confirmed their participation. r The traditional maintenance and repair section of the event will be further enhanced to cover every aspect of the industry from collision repair, garage equipment, tyre related products, diagnostic & testing machines to car painting. Brands such as 3M, Beissbarth, Car-O-Liner, Corghi, Festool and many more will again be exhibiting at the show along with new additions Hunter, Snap-on, Kapci and Axalta and more.

In addition, AMR offers customised VIP services for AutoForum readers. You can qualify for two nights complimentary accommodation, a shuttle bus service between the hotel and venue as well as AMR VIP Lounge entry, to enjoy a lunch and tea breaks.


All you need to do is comple the pre-registration at the following official website: Visit the website for more details, as well as terms and conditions. Through our long standing relationship with the show organisers, AutoForum and BodyShop News will again enjoy a presence at the event in 2018. If necessary, we can facilitate introductions to local and international contacts as well as translators and guides. Email us for more details. This show is growing in size and relevance every year evidenced by Messe Frankfurts’ recent JV and is set to continue raising its profile year on year.



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AutoForum - January / February 2018

Suzuki scoops best brand again in 2018 Consumer Awards. The Galleria in Sandton hosted the third edition of the Cars. consumer awards – powered by Wesbank - in a red carpet event on the 25th of January. 20 manufacturers attained finalist status within the 13 categories. The winners are determined by a jury member evaluation process and customer input via the Ownership Satisfaction Survey, which accounts for 50% of the scoring, and which means that real consumer opinions form the basis for the results. Suzuki were again victorious in achieving ‘Brand of the Year’ for the second time, having edged out Mercedes-Benz by 1%.


The category winners were: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Budget Car - Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GL Compact Hatch - Mazda 2 1.5 Individual Premium Hatch - Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI Comfortline Compact Family Car - Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GLX Family Car - Mazda CX-5 2.5 Individual Business Class - BMW 420d Gran Coupe Executive Sedan - Mercedes-Benz E350d Avantgarde Leisure Double-Cab Bakkie - VW Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI Adventure SUV - Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4X4 Auto Executive SUV - Mercedes-Benz GLC250d 4Matic AMG Premium SUV - Volvo XC90 T8 Fun Car - Mini Cooper Works Sports Auto Performance Car - BMW M2 M-DCT



AutoForum - January / February 2018


CHEP awarded for environmental excellence Supply chain company CHEP has received an Environmental Sustainability Award for its leadership in global supply chain sustainability at the sixth Automotive Global Awards, which took place in London late last year. Sharing the award was CHEP’s customer Endurance Technologies, an automotive component manufacturer based in India. Both companies were honoured for their joint achievement reducing CO2 emissions and preventing deforestation. The Automotive Global Awards recognise excellence across 22 categories in the automotive logistics, purchasing and supply chain sectors. Organised by media company Three6Zero, the annual global recognition awards brings together industry leaders from logistics suppliers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and third-party logistics service providers (LSPs) “to celebrate innovation and growth across the automotive industry.” Director of CHEP Automotive, India, DK Rai, commented: “CHEP’s efforts alone have resulted in the saving of some 360 trees per year in materials and emissions. The vast size of automotive and logistics operations in India provides us with a good example of how small changes can make a big difference when implemented on a larger scale,” CHEP explains that its environmentally friendly, cost-saving, multi-user platform pooling service, reduces the total supply chain cost per part, while improving the efficiency and carbon footprint for its customers.

At the same time it optimises transportation routes to minimise empty truck travel. At the awards, judges commented: “The CHEP and Endurance Technologies entry falls very clearly into a total sustainability category. There is demonstrable and measured positive reduction in fossil use – for both packaging materials and fuel, and in emissions – through the net transportation reduction. There is also a positive impact on labour through less handling and the elimination of re-handling and further opportunity for genuine pooling. The described process is a worthy and successful use of durable in lieu of expendable packaging.” The award marks the second year in a row that CHEP has been honoured with an Automotive Global Supplier Award. In 2016, CHEP Automotive Europe and Tier 1 supplier Eberspächer won the Product Innovation Award at the awards programme. It recognised a new, efficient reusable packaging solution designed to optimise Eberspächer’s intercontinental supply chain.

RBT delivers first TATA Ultra 814 Republic Bus & Truck (RBT) a Tata Truck Dealer hosted a number of dignitaries at their Brakpan facilities for the official delivery of their first TATA Ultra 814 series to Katana Foods. Managing Director of Katana Corporation Mr Chris Vassarotti said “with 30 years of operating in the import, export and distribution sector, the transportation needs of the company were evolving” and that this was “the first 4,5 ton vehicle the company has invested in.” Mr Harneet Luther, Executive Director of Tata Automobile Corporation (SA) representing the manufacturer, was pleased with the response to the new range and intimated at strong growth throughout Southern Africa with this addition to the commercial vehicle line-up. Dagwood Bhagoobhai, Dealer Principal of Republic Bus & Truck proudly handed over the vehicle whilst emphasizing the one stop nature of his business, with sales of new and used passenger, commercial vehicles and buses standing alongside the parts and servicing division catering for both the local and export markets, successfully over the past 15 years. He welcomed Katana to the Tata Brakpan family and invited guests to examine some other examples of the Tata range of products within the dealership while enjoying the refreshments provided.


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AutoForum - January / February 2018

Free truck driver health screening sees increasing participation The Engen Driver Wellness initiative, which we covered in 2017, has already seen in excess of 3 217 truck drivers pull up their sleeves and take advantage of the voluntary free health screenings on offer. The initiative is part of Engen’s annual Driver Wellness programme, which rolled out at 24 Engen Truck Stops in five provinces from April to November last year and is run by Thubelihle Occupational Health & Wellness (TOCH). Of the 3 217 truck drivers tested, 44% were found to have some form of concern. “We provide health education about chronic disease and HIV/AIDS and those drivers who are found with abnormalities are provided with a referral letter and advised to visit their general practitioner, nearest clinic or hospitals,” explains Thokozani Mthembu, the CEO of TOCH.

that the main aim of this initiative is to improve health through awareness. “In the past a number of truck driver refrained from being tested, opting to rather not know their numbers. Education has helped to demonstrate to drivers why their health is important and how life choices impact on their well-being. Ultimately this increases their health, safety and productivity.”

Operated nationwide at Engen Truck Stops and Engen retail service stations, drivers are offered free voluntary screenings in mobile clinics. These are conducted by qualified nurses and councillors where blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, tuberculosis, BMI (Body Mass Index), Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) and HIV/AIDS are tested.

“There has been a marked increase in the amount of individuals using the services we provide which is a clear indication that this intervention is making a difference to the wellbeing of drivers and will ultimately lead to a healthier industry,” adds Nduvane.

Abnormalities included being over-weight or obese, which accounted for 20% of drivers; 3.5% tested high for glucose levels and cholesterol. Five per cent of drivers tested high for blood pressure and 3% screened tested positive for TB. Drivers who tested positive for HIV totalled 6.7% and just over 2% tested positive for STI’s. The oil company says that its initiative has impacted positively on the country’s bulk truck driver operators and has continued to increase driver participation in voluntary screenings and improved health scores over the years. “Facing facts, knowing their numbers and their status is the first step towards getting healthy,” says Mthembu Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Mntu Nduvane says


As testing is voluntary, the incremental acceptance of health management as a path to longevity and wellbeing are important indicators that health empowerment is gaining traction. Given the long and lonely hours long-haul drivers spend on the road and the stresses associated with the job, these interventions form a critical pillar of support. “Engen’s Driver Wellness campaign continues to have a massive all-round impact. This includes both on the drivers and their families, who benefit from reduced exposure to diseases and greater longevity of a breadwinner, and of course on the company itself, in terms of improved worker productivity, skills retention and disease management,” says Nduvane.

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AutoForum - January / February 2018

Volvo Trucks confirms 2019 availability of electric trucks in Europe Volvo Trucks has confirmed that from 2019 it will begin sales of electric trucks in the European market, with certain ‘reference customers’ receiving their operational units later this year. “Electromobility is fully in line with Volvo Trucks’ long term commitment for sustainable urban development and zero emissions”, says Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks. But its not only lowered emissions that come from going the lectric route. “By using electrically powered and quieter trucks for goods transport in urban areas, we meet several challenges simultaneously. Without disturbing noise and exhaust gases, it will be possible to operate in more sensitive city centres. Transport may also take place throughout less busy periods, for example in late evening and at night. This will reduce the burden on the roads during daytime rush-hour traffic, allowing both the road network and vehicles to be utilised far more effectively than today.” This was clearly evident in a project entitled Off Peak City Distribution, which was conducted by Stockholm City, Sweden and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and which studied the effects of goods transport at night in central Stockholm. It found that the trucks avoided having to operate in rush-hour traffic, and thus transport assignments were carried out in onethird of the normal time. A distribution truck has just over ten times the load capacity of a regular van. With well-developed logistics and more effective


utilisation of roads in the evenings and at night, it is possible for many smaller vehicles to be replaced by fewer, but larger, vehicles. This contributes to lower emissions and less traffic. If a larger proportion of transport assignments could be carried out during hours when fewer people are on the road, it will also significantly reduce the risk of accidents. “Our technology and know-how within electromobility are based on proven commercial solutions already in use on Volvo’s electric buses and solutions that were introduced in Volvo’s hybrid trucks as far back as 2010. The vehicles themselves are only one part of what is needed for large-scale electrification to succeed. Enabling long-term sustainable transport is a complex issue that requires a holistic and wide range of measures. We are working closely with customers, cities, suppliers of charging infrastructure, and other key stakeholders to create the necessary framework for electrical trucks,” says Jonas Odermalm, Head of Product Strategy for Medium Duty Vehicles at Volvo Trucks. “We believe in full electrification for urban distribution as a first step. However, we are working with electrification for other transport applications. This is only the beginning”, concludes Nilsson.

Body repair insight in association with BodyShop News International January / February 2018

Plan your training early in 2018




AutoForum - January / February 2018

Plan your training early in 2018

- Mark Czvitkovits

Every year the demands on collision repairers grow as OEMs release new vehicles and improve technology, changing the build structure with new and more advanced materials. ANCAP rating criteria advances and changes with these improvements and the job of maintaining a five-star rating during repair becomes more challenging. It is now not just the build structure of the vehicle, but the

I-CAR has training streams for estimators, body repair and

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that need to be

refinish technicians as well as assessors that provide relevant

protected and recalibrated to ensure the systems work as they

training in these roles. Any training is likely to be more

were designed to. Even the smallest damage can potentially

worthwhile and effective if it is supported by a simple training

lead to these systems requiring attention. The challenge is that

plan that addresses your goals as a business.

many of the critical components are in the most vulnerable positions, behind bar fascia or in grille components.

There are several things you should consider: r"USBJOJOHCVEHFU

As we continue to streamline repair processes it becomes vitally


important that every person involved should be better prepared


and trained to understand the potential impact on not following


a procedure in its entirety. There continues to be headlines in


all international markets that highlight the outcomes that occur during a poor repair, but we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see much on the outcome of

The burning question is often how much to set aside as an

a good repair.

ongoing training budget. Most companies spend between one to two per cent of payroll on staff development and training. The largest cost will always be the implementing of a training

A good repair provides businesses and customers with a

programme as it creates the need to schedule workflow

positive outcome that will benefit every stakeholder involved.

around training requirements. The impact initially in any training

From a customer perspective, they will have their carâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s safety

programme will be greatest if no previous programme has been

systems restored so there will be no unexpected return trips to

in place, but as the training becomes routine the impact will

the repairer or dealership to have any issues reinspected. The

be less. In addition, it would be expected that business and

customer will also become an advocate for your business in the

technician performance will improve.

future. Not training your staff can lead to lethargy, unsafe repair The repairer will benefit from a smooth repair process, no

practices and the risk of falling further behind the technical

come backs and continued efficient flow for other vehicles in

tsunami we are currently experiencing. At I-CAR Australia,

the repair process. Of course, one of the key ingredients to

we can assist you in developing a training plan that will

achieving this is to have well-trained employees in every area of

provide a solid understanding of the new technologies and

your business. Having a solid training plan to address the needs

materials currently used, as well as providing a better focus on

of the roles within a business should be a priority in 2018. Every

performing complete repairs at every level. The longer you delay

year we discuss the need to train and every year the industry

the harder it will become, so letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s make 2018 the year

procrastinates in implementing the plan.

of change.


Mark Czvitkovits CEO I-CAR Australia

AutoForum - January / February 2018


How to determine what is and is not accident related - Krista McNamara

Diagnostics freeze frame data, if available, and can give a repairer clues as to when a diagnostic trouble code was triggered. Freeze frame data is a record of many different control units, including; fuel systems, calculated loads, engine coolant temperature, fuel trim, engine speed, vehicle speed, and more when a malfunction is detected. When troubleshooting, freeze frame data can help determine

It’s important to understand that often, vehicle owners haven’t

if the vehicle was moving or stopped, whether the engine was

seen, or even been in contact with their vehicles in several

warmed up or not, if the air-fuel ratio was LEAN or RICH and

days or even weeks. The vehicle may have been subjected

other data collected at the time the malfunction occurred.

to multiple tow trucks, tow yards, and exposed to outdoor elements. A collision shop MUST document how the vehicle

Issues with the automotive power train can either be a normal

arrived at the shop – both physically and electronically.

part of the repair process or a catastrophic ending, depending on when the problem is found, diagnosed, and repaired. The

The time of the data collection, when compared to the time

difference in outcome is the timing of the data collection. The

of the accident, can also be a clue to determine if covered

best time to obtain all possible computer readings is when the

components were normal, the cause of, or the result of the

vehicle is first brought to the shop. The collection of the freeze

accident. This information then can be used to better refine

frame data at the very start can then be used in the accurate

the repair estimate. It can be difficult to amend the estimate,

preparation of the repair plan.

order parts and install components after repairs have started, or worse, been completed.

Can you sell uncollected property?

- Hestelle Graaff

Your customer failed to pay for the services completed on his vehicle and now it is sitting on your property, taking up valuable space. Can you sell it? The law is clear on this point. Selling unclaimed property in

legally reclaim you costs. “What the vendor can do if property

storage is illegal.

remains unclaimed, is sue the customer for outstanding costs. Once judgment has been given in favor of the vendor, the sheriff

Hestelle Graaff comments: “The vendor’s possession of the

can attach the customer’s property in storage to sell on public

customer’s property is derived from a contract to render

auction. It is very important that the vendor does not relinquish

services and/or provide goods in exchange for payment. In

possession of the customer’s property until it’s been attached

terms of this contract, the vendor never becomes the owner

by the sheriff. Otherwise, the vendor loses his lien or right of

of the customer’s property. For this reason, the vendor cannot

retention over the property.”

sell the customer’s property if the customer fails to collect his property after notification by the vendor.”

Graaf concludes: “For the vendor to get rid of unclaimed property and claim storage costs, the correct legal channels

“If the vendor sells the customer’s unclaimed property to a 3rd

must be followed. If you are unsure about your rights, it is

party, the customer can claim his property back from the 3rd

always better to consult your attorney first.”

party due to his ownership rights. The contract between the

The RMI offers a legal service under the title RMI4Law and

vendor and the 3rd party is null and void and the 3rd party can

members of this scheme enjoy the benefit of simply phoning the

claim payment back from the vendor.”But there is a way to

24/7 legal advice line to get assistance from an attorney.


This article in its original format first appeared on the South African Motor Body Repairers website.

Celette’s Cameleon – combining MZ and Naja technologies - Andrew Hooker

Celette is a worldwide manufacturer of collision repair systems headquartered in the township of Vienne, near the city of Lyon. Its manufacturing, research and development (R&D), warehousing and commercial department as well as marketing and training operations are located at its headquarters in France. To service the emerging Asian market, the company operates

In 2007, an entirely new concept – the MZ+ System – was

a second manufacturing plant in Chonburi, Thailand. Celette

introduced. The dedicated fixture size was drastically reduced

Asia Pacific also provides local R&D, marketing and aftersales

and the basic set of benches plus traverses, MZ towers, MZ+

support. Globally, Celette has six subsidiaries and technical

pistons became universal for all car brands.

offices to support the increasing demands of car manufacturers. The subsidiaries are situated strategically in North America,

The machined surface of the Celette bench offers primary

Germany, Italy, China, India and Japan.

reference, along with traverses, MZ towers, pistons and platform specific MZ tops, to start the diagnosis and

More than 50 years of strong partnerships with global car

subsequent pulling to the secondary damage and final repair.

manufacturers have enabled Celette to deliver a unique range

This concept of repairing damaged vehicles is unique to Celette

of highly-accurate, dedicated jigs. The products have been

– it is the only company in the world to provide dedicated jigs.

developed not only for repairing accident damage, but also to increase body shop profitability by reducing process time and

The Celette MZ+ system is recommended for car manufacturers


like McLaren, Rolls Royce, Mercedes- Benz, BMW, Audi, VW, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini and all other manufacturers

The company was founded in 1953 when Germain Celette

using aluminium and carbon fibre body structures. Extremely

designed the first collision repair bench. After World War II and

precise with accuracy levels of less than one millimetre, the

a period of forced deportation to Germany, Celette opened

MZ+ system is renowned for its ease of use.

a general service workshop. At that time, a friend, who ran a bodyshop, asked him to create a system to repair damaged

The MZ+ system is not only for diagnosis but also for rigid

Renault 4 CVs with unibody (monocoque) construction.

anchoring of the control points. In the event of structural component replacement, the MZ+ system provides strong

Celette obliged and manufactured his first bench and bracket

anchoring from thermal stresses exerted during welding.

set from used metal beams. Word soon spread and the Simca

Repeatability of a constant reference is possible during mixed

Company (later to become Chrysler France), which had been

joining processes, which includes riveting and adhesive

looking for such equipment, contacted Celette and supplied


him with an The Cameleon is a new concept for structural repairs and car ‘Aronde’ body to enable him to design a bracket set. By then

body measurements and according to Celette, is the perfect

Celette had been thinking of a universal bench and designed

combination of the precision of the MZ+ dedicated jig system

bracket sets for three other current models of that period: the

and the Naja electronic measuring system.

Citroen TA, the Peugeot 203 and the Renault 4 CV. As a result, it became possible to use the same bench for each vehicle,

By using both technologies, the new customisable solution

changing only the bracket set. The rest, as they say, is history.

allows the repairer to customise their own fixture set assembly in seconds. The Cameleon software interface is user friendly

The company’s repair philosophy is to replicate the processes

and does not require any extensive training. Thanks to its

used on vehicle production lines. Celette started with MUF1 in

internet apps using the Naja data sheets and its collaborative

the 1950s, continuing development up to the MUF5, which was

platform, Cameleon gives access to the software and its base

a 3.4-metre long bench mounted on wheels for mobility. The

of more than 17,000 vehicles, free (in the basic version). Celette

first modular bench, the 4-metre long MUF6, which featured

says the Cameleon Customisable Solution is a more advanced

41 positioning holes, was then developed. In the 1990s, the

and complete solution, offering a reliable, prompt, efficient,

fixtures were made smaller by introducing traverses and MZ

and customised repair solution for each vehicle with a unique


fixture set.

Andrew Hooker is Advanced Repair Projects Manager at Thatcham Research.



AutoForum - January / February 2018

What you need to know to repair the new aluminium intensive Audi’s -Tim Sramcik

Fans of the “Jurassic Park” franchise are all too familiar with the movie’s message about scientific innovation moving too fast. To quote one character wagging his finger at the park founder, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should”. That’s the stuff of science fiction movies, but it could also

Hybrid happenings

describe a section of the collision repair industry that wonders

Not all that long ago, repairers were forced to pause and take

why automakers seem to work so much harder imagining new

a renewed look at their work when automakers began mixing

designs, than figuring out affordable ways to fix them.

traditional steels and UHSS. Identifying advanced steels and performing recommended repairs proved to be a challenging

Judging by a recent I-CAR study showing more than 66 percent

task for shops until manufacturers provided more up-to-date

of shops not engaging in ongoing training programmes, an even

guidance on handling these cutting-edge materials. The Q7 and

larger part of the repair industry isn’t overly concerned with how

A8 considerably raise the stakes in the materials game by using

it will repair these vehicles—for now anyway.

a combination of four different steels and three aluminiums in their body structures alone:

All that needs to change - and quickly - since indications

r Soft steel

r UHSS (hot formed)

are that the collision repair industry is about to undergo a

r High strength steel

r Aluminum casting

revolution, where tomorrow’s designs will forever change how

r Advanced high strength

r Aluminum profile, and

all repairers do business.


r Sheet aluminum.

Enter the 2017 Audi Q7 and A8, two redesigned aluminium-

The Q7 uses a mix of 51 percent steel and 49 percent

intensive luxury vehicles whose hybrid material engineering is

aluminium in its body, out pacing similar hybrid mixes in

help lay the groundwork for how vehicles will be repaired in the

the industry and arguably planting a new standard for other

decades to come.

automakers to look to. Aluminium assimilation

Skeptical? Step inside the new world of collision work as we break down the eight realities Audi’s latest creations will be

Finishing out its form, the Q7 also includes a full aluminium

bringing to your doors in the next several years.

hood, roof doors and hatch. The four aluminium doors each lost


nearly 23.5kgs. Together with the advanced steels, aluminum

The A8 adds three more bonding types to its mix, including

helped the new Q7 shed near on 325kgs from the previous

laser and MAG (metal active gas) welds and grip-punch rivets.

generation. The A8 further ups aluminium ante even higher with

This means shops wanting to repair the two Audis will need to

a body structure that’s nearly 58 percent aluminium.

be trained in these areas—at least the ones that are accessible to collision repairers. According to Audi Collision Repair

Alternative answers

Programme Manager Mark Allen, some of the joining methods

The A8 also makes extensive use of other materials, most

can only be performed by advanced, extremely expensive

notably magnesium and carbon fibre (which finds a home in

machining equipment at Audi manufacturing facilities.

the Q7’s seat dividers, along with nearby areas). Audi says the

Should these bonds need to be recreated during a collision

A8’s front front-brace linking and strut towers are magnesium

repair, shops must follow Audi guidelines to build a suitable

while the largest portion of the passenger cage is a carbon-

replacement bond, which in many cases will involve utilising a

fibre rear panel. Not only do the two materials cut weight (with

rivet to attach UHSS to aluminium.

Magnesium usage alone providing a 28 percent weight saving in place of traditional materials), they also produce greater

Exponential investments

rigidity for a more comfortable ride, improved handing and

Typically, the only shops needing the training to do this work

better acoustics. Audi says carbon fibre provides 33 percent of

would be part of an Audi certification programme since only

the torsional rigidity for the entire vehicle.

those shops can order structural parts. Being part of these programmes remains expensive. Allen places the cost of a

Bonding breakthroughs

clean room and Audi approved tools for aluminium repair

The use of hybrid parts required Audi to increase the number

around U.S.$90,000. The industry is finding such an investment

of different bonding solutions that could join different materials.

more acceptable since it can be utilised as part of multiple

The Q7 features 11 different joining types, including:

certification programmes.

r Resistance spot welding for steel to steel and aluminium to aluminium bonds

steel—through the application of frictional heat

The extensive use of carbon fibre - or more specifically, carbon-

and high axial pressure.)

fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) - in the A8, however, requires

r MIG welding

r Clinching

repairers to pick up additional costs, including a specialised

r MAG welding

r Roller hemming (which

filtration system and a sonogram camera. “The woodpecker

r Structural adhesives

allowed Audi to raise door

method of uncovering damage won’t work here,” explains

r Friction element welding

height in the A8 by 1.8

Allen, who says only a sonogram camera can provide the cross


dimensional image necessary to determine if the part has been

(A rotating friction element penetrates the upper

r Punch Riveting (using a


aluminum layer and then

hollow rivet to connect

produces a frictional joint

UHSS hot-formed parts),

If that’s the case, he says, the part must be replaced since

with the basic material-


it cannot be repaired (as with advanced structural parts,

-UHSS hot-shaped

r Friction element welding.

only Audi-certified shops can order carbon fibre pieces).



AutoForum - January / February 2018

Replacement means cutting away the old part and using special

Also notable here is the fact the Audi worked with Porsche

adhesives to bond the new part. Off-gassing from this process

(both are owned by Volkswagen) to create this technology.

produces dangerous fumes that can only be safely removed

Though Audi says each brand will remain distinct, they

using a particulate and charcoal filtering unit to protect shop

will share vehicle strategy for architectures, modules and

workers. With the sonogram camera—which usually runs near

components to shape mobility up to 2025, according to Audi.

$40,000—the total investment for performing carbon fibre

Industry analysts say there is little doubt the technology will

repairs runs an additional $100,000.

see its way into Volkswagens as well, translating into multiple brands and models sporting the same advanced designs with

Big time buy in

all requiring special tooling and training to repair.

Allen says these costs haven’t scared off shops wanting to perform Audi certified work. When changes to Audi’s

This revolution looks to build steam across the automotive

certification programme was announced, 163 of 170 shops

industry as competing OEMs ramp up their efforts to build

agreed to remain. “There was no pushback,” Allen says. “They

mixed material products. “In three to five years, this kind of

realize that’s the business and understand this is how shops

design will be common in most mass-produced vehicles,” Allen

must operate if they’re going to remain in business.”


Industry evolution Closing the generation gap Repairers still needing some convincing on just how rapidly these changes are going to overtake the collision industry might want to consider how quickly they developed at Audi. The first generation of the Q7 (produced 2005-2015) was designed to compete in the hot selling luxury crossover SUV category by offering top tier performance and safety technology. The Gen 1 featured soft, advanced and high strength steels along with some aluminium (making just 8 percent of its mass) in a distinctive body concept with no aluminium or hot-formed steels in the structure. This same setup that was part of the The rest of the repair industry might soon need to be adopting

luxury market is today common in most vehicles, although the

the same attitude, since Allen is convinced that the kind of

steels have in many cases been updated.

design revolution Audi is undergoing will be shared by most auto manufacturers. Allen says repairers shouldn’t discount

The second generation includes all the materials already listed

the effect of Audi’s latest designs simply because they’re

here, along with a design with no horizontal/vertical separation

featured on high-end vehicles with relatively modest production

between aluminium and steel. Hence, in roughly a decade the


Q7 underwent a transition from using a form that was cutting edge, then became part of the industry norm before suiting

The A8 sold just over 4,100 models last year while 30,563 Q7

back up with an all-new cutting-edge design. It did so in an

models hit U.S. streets. However, their designs represent the

industry where all auto manufacturers are under pressure to

kind of change Allen says manufacturers everywhere will need

produce the same kinds of innovations in shorter spans of

to adopt for a variety of reasons.

time. Using history as a guide, expecting the same kinds of innovations across OEM brands and models in just over the

Not only does the use of advanced and hybrid material parts

next five years is a pretty safe bet.

cut emissions and improve engine efficiency (to meet demands of numerous countries), the technology Audi has developed to

Considering the repair industry is playing a kind of “game”

build them into automobiles offers other significant financial

predicting whether, where and when they need to invest training


and tool dollars to handle such changes, the Q7 and A8 provide some pretty sound evidence that the time is now to begin

Audi reports its laser welding technology provides exact

addressing hybrid material designs. These vehicles may not be

positioning that “considerably” reduces the risk of hot cracking

at most shop doors tomorrow, but they have counterparts on

during production, which creates damage and waste. Moreover,

the way who may be knocking at doors everywhere by 2020.

Audi says the process saves 95 percent on recurring costs in series production since it “eliminates the necessity of expensive process controls.”


This article is reproduced from the original on the Auto Body Repairers Network website. Tim began writing for ABRN nearly 10 years ago and has produced numerous news, technical and feature articles covering virtually every aspect of the collision repair market. In 2004 the American Society of Business Publication Editors recognized his work with two awards. Tim also has written extensively for Motor Age and Aftermarket Business.

BASF opens its first automotive coatings production plant in Thailand BASF’s Coatings division has opened a new automotive coatings plant at its Bangpoo manufacturing site in Samutprakarn province, Thailand. The new plant is the first BASF automotive coatings manufacturing facility in ASEAN, and will produce solvent-borne and waterborne automotive coatings to meet growing market demand in the region. “BASF is a trusted partner of all major automotive

Fischer, Senior Vice President, Coatings Solutions Asia Pacific,

manufacturers around the world, with a broad competence in all

BASF. “Working closely with our automotive customers globally

coating layers,” said Dirk Bremm, President of BASF’s Coatings

and regionally, we are committed to be the partner of choice

division. “The inauguration of the new plant demonstrates our

and drive for growth and success in the highly competitive

commitment to meeting customer expectations for advanced

ASEAN market.”

coating technologies and products in ASEAN, for ASEAN.” The new production plant in Bangpoo complements the According to the LMC Automotive Report of November 2017,

facilities at the Coatings Technical Competence Center ASEAN,

this year’s total ASEAN car production is anticipated to reach

which opened in September 2015 at the same location. The

around 3.9 million vehicles. Thailand will account for more than

technical centre includes a laboratory for product development,

50 percent of this market, representing the largest coatings

high performance application facilities and colour design, as

market within ASEAN, followed by Indonesia and Malaysia.

well as a small batch production unit.

With an increasing number of automotive OEMs engaging in

“BASF has been active in ASEAN for over 50 years with a

production and technology development activities in ASEAN,

strong footprint in Thailand,” added Andrea Frenzel, President

BASF says there is a growing need for local innovation in

South & East Asia, ASEAN & ANZ, BASF. “With our new

coatings solutions and products, as well as a high degree of

automotive coatings plant, we aim to help Thailand strengthen

technical service.

its role as a key market and production hub for the automotive industry in ASEAN, and to support the economic development

“With our robust capabilities in Thailand, we meet the increasing

of the neighbouring countries.”

demand for sustainable and eco-efficient solutions,” said Peter


AutoForum - January / February 2018


A Short History Of Materials And Body Engineering - Andrew Hooker

The history of materials and car body engineering is difficult to define. Many manufacturers have laid claim to a technical advance, but advances in production and materials have been incremental and often unheralded. The Lancia Lambda is credited with having the first load-bearing unibody without a roof. Approximately 13,000 examples were built between 1923 and 1931. The Citroen Traction Avant is recognised as the first high

High Strength Steels were developed during this time, with

volume unibody vehicle. More than 750,000 were built

600MPa dual-phase materials available by the end of the

between 1934 and 1956. It also featured front- wheel drive and

decade. This development typified the way that car and steel

independent suspension, both of which are common today.

industries evolved together, forging the close relationships that are still evident today.

As with many other fields of technology, World War II drove greater and deeper cooperation between steel producers and

High Strength Steel applications quietly but relentlessly grew.

car manufacturers. The immediate post- war years required

For example, the BMW 3 Series of 1982 had an HSS content of

the industry to manage steel shortages and develop far greater

three per cent while the 3 Series of 1998 (E46) had closer to 50

production efficiencies than ever before.

per cent content, though the average content for cars overall was around 12 per cent in 2007. The sudden need for lighter

This led to the introduction of oxygen furnaces, vacuum

cars opened the door to aluminium suppliers too, though their

degassers and many other production facilities that became

market share remains small. Some car manufacturers embraced

core to steel production globally. The steel industry developed

aluminium, but the majority continued to use steel as engineers

capabilities in deep drawing of steel sheets, which was

were more confident using proven steel joining techniques.

opportune for the rapidly advancing car industry. The 1990s and early 2000s brought new safety standards, The car industry applied mass production systems, learned

such as the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro

during the war years, to private car manufacturing, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no

NCAP), and a growing desire to reduce engine emissions.

surprise that plastics began to appear in car bodies as early as 1953 with the Chevrolet Corvette. Events such as the 1970s oil

In 2003 the UK committed to a 60 per cent reduction of CO2 by

crisis helped the newly emerging Japanese car industry become

2050, leading to a greater appreciation of the significant weight

the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest car producing nation.

increase of vehicles over the preceding decades.


Between 1970 and 2010, the average curb weight in Europe

The new Alfa Romeo Giulia, for example, features Trip-Bainitic

increased by 90 per cent.

steels, a steel/polymer for the bulkhead and transmission tunnel, a thermoplastic for the battery tray options, and six

With the steel and aluminium body shell accounting for 20 per

different carbon fibre technologies.

cent of this weight, changes were quickly implemented with the Advanced High Strength Steel content of cars increasing

Over the next eight years a range of new, formable AHSS

by 300 per cent between 2005 and 2010. This meant these

grades will be released to vehicle manufacturers and crash

materials were no longer just applied deep within the structure

repairers will see them almost immediately. With recycling

– they were also more commonly found within the areas of a

increasing the amount of available material, aluminium content

vehicle likely to be repaired, leading to an increased need for

is rapidly expanding, and we can expect lots more composites

training and specific repair data. The need to shave every spare

and fibre-reinforced plastics to appear.

kilogram led to smaller flanges and laser welding in production, creating new repair challenges. Body shops could no longer

This will bring demand for more adaptive welding, more cold

replicate the production joining technique, so repairers needed

joining capability, both mechanical and adhesive, and very

to learn new repairs such as soft solder of roof panels.

specific repair processes. Multi- material design presents possibly the biggest challenge, with distribution of forces

The generation of vehicles we’ve seen emerge over the past five

between dissimilar materials requiring specific directional

years has taken many approaches to weight loss. Jaguar Land

application of fasteners and very specific parameters for

Rover, for one, remains focused on aluminium intensive car

adhesive application. Make no mistake; if carried out incorrectly

bodies, with the Range Rover (L405) being 427kg lighter than its

these joins may fail.

steel predecessor. Mercedes- Benz and Audi also recognised the many advantages of aluminium, and despite the relatively

In years to come we can expect repairers to use new joining

high material cost, it is commonly used across higher end,

processes such as friction stir welding, and maybe eventually

prestigious vehicles. Aluminium joining strategies in production

we shall see lasers used in workshops. But that’s the future.

differ, with Mercedes-Benz showing confidence in spot welding,

Few countries have defined car body repair procedures and

whereas Jaguar prefers cold joining techniques. Riveting and

standards, so repairers need to ensure they are accessing

adhesive technique proficiency became, and remains, a core

specific and up to date repair information. With the rate of

body shop requirement.

advancement and diversity of car body engineering strategies, the car you repair today could well be very different from the car

What we are seeing on most of these new vehicles is a shift

you repaired a month ago.

across the spectrum of available steels. The use of High Strength Steel is decreasing, superseded by much higher

Getting it wrong could be costly, and dangerous. We urge

grades of Ultra-High Strength Steel, Advanced High Strength

all repairers to prepare themselves with the right tools and

Steel, Very High Strength Steel, and Hot- Formed (Press-

equipment, the skills, and the correct data to repair the evolving

Hardened) materials up to 2000MPa. It’s expensive, but

car body.

these steels do not require as much production investment as alternative materials, and economies of scale are keeping the material costs manageable when compared to aluminium, magnesium, fibre-reinforced plastics and others. Replacing an individual panel with a higher-grade alternative can save a few kilograms each time, totalling as much as 200kg on some models. The new Holden Astra achieved a total weight saving of 120kg via a small decrease in HSS, and by increasing the AHSS, UHSS, and Press- Hardened Steel by 300 per cent. The rate of development is going to increase. Though not always as easy to join during production as traditional materials, many of the new generations of steel are put into production as soon as they are released.



AutoForum - January / February 2018

SEMA 2017 – Simply Gigantic A number of adjectives come to mind when describing the annual SEMA Show held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Amongst them: gigantic, eye-opening, fun and overwhelming. BodyShop News’ Publisher, Michel Malik was there. Organised by the Specialty Equipment Market Association

and motorcycles. The show also attracted more than 3000

(SEMA), the trade organisation representing the US$41 billion

members of the media and generated an economic impact of

automotive aftermarket industry, the SEMA Show is touted as

more than US$315 million.

one of the world’s greatest custom car events. The show covers more than one million square feet of exhibit space (nearly

This is the eighth year SEMA has included a dedicated

93,000 square metres) and an additional 1.5 million square feet

“Collision Repair & Refinish” section of the exhibition and a

(nearly 140,000 square metres) of features and attractions. More

“Repairer Driven Education (RDE)” educational track organised

than 1500 vehicles were on display at this trade-only event

and supported by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists

where automotive specialty equipment manufacturers debuted

(SCRS). I-CAR also provided training classes during SEMA.

new products and connected with industry buyers from all over the world.

Prior to the partnership between SCRS and SEMA, many of those in the US collision repair industry referred to the exhibition

SEMA in 2017 attracted more than 130,000 domestic and

as “The Fuzzy Dice Show”, implying that everything you never

international buyers from more than 100 countries involved

needed but always wanted for your car was on display.

in the automotive, truck, SUV, power sports and RV markets, who visited more than 2000 exhibitors over the four days of

The down side of a show this large is that there is so much

the show. Of those, only a small fraction were specifically

going on and so much to see that scheduling conflicts are the

associated with the collision repair industry. The displays were

norm and it was difficult to take advantage of the vast array of

segmented into 12 sections, with the New Products Showcase

offerings. Just walking through this huge show took hours. As

featuring nearly 3000 newly introduced parts, tools and

if the SEMA Show and ancillary activities themselves weren’t

components. In addition, the SEMA Show provided attendees

enough, another huge automotive trade show ran concurrently

with educational seminars, product demonstrations, unique

across town. The Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo, better

events, networking opportunities and more. Second in size to

known as AAPEX, had its own line-up of seminars, educational

the annual Consumer Electronics Show presented in January,

sessions and industry meetings. But that show doesn’t affect

SEMA was again a revhead’s delight with every conceivable

our industry that much and frankly, I had hardly enough time to

engine-powered vehicle ranging from classic cars to new cars

get around SEMA.


Happenings within SEMA 2017 included 3M’s Custom Painted

The painters pictured with Chip Foose included:

Hoods auction.

r Pablo Prado, KandynChrome, USA r Jacob Miles, Milestone Paint & Body, USA

3M’s Automotive Aftermarket Division, along with the Collision

r Connie Manjavinos, PassionateInk, USA

Repair Education Foundation, auctioned off custom-painted car

r Clay Hoberecht, Best Body Shop, USA

bonnets designed by leading painters from around the world to

r Danny Schramm, SchrammWerk, Germany

benefit the 3M ‘Hire our Heroes’ programme. The auction began

r Christian Wilke, Lackabilly, Germany

on the Friday and ran throughout the show.

r Carmine De Maria, C.A.D. Custom, Australia r Shane Wanjon, Exclusive Image Paint and Body, USA

The bonnets were created during the 2017 3M PPS World Cup,

r Justin Jimmo, Refinish Network, Canada

held in conjunction with the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit

r Carl-André Giroux, Canada

earlier in the year. 3M invited leading automotive painters from

r Ryan “Ryno” Templeton, Blasted by Ryno, USA

around the world to come to Detroit and participate. The painters designed and painted the bonnets to reflect their They demonstrated their painting skills with the latest 3M

perspective on classic car culture. Also included in the auction

solutions for vehicle painting, including the 3M PPS Series 2.0

were four patriotic themed hoods created by Ryan “Ryno”

Spray Cup System.




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AutoForum - January / February 2018

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Af 2018 January February Online mag  
Af 2018 January February Online mag