Body shops not to blame for ICBC’s financial issues: ARA

The Automotive Retailers Association is fighting back against accusations levelled against them

Posted by Automotive Retailers Association on Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The president of the B.C. Automotive Retailers Association says his industry refuses to be the scapegoat for the ongoing financial issues within ICBC.

“Our concern is that our industry might be used as a scapegoat, quite frankly, for the escalating costs of ICBC,” says Ken McCormack, president and CEO of the Automotive Retailers Association. “We are not the problem, but we do want to be part of the solution.”

As president of B.C.’s aftermarket automotive repair business, he is calling on the government and ICBC to cut repair costs without sacrificing safety through a number of recommended measures.

The ARA participated in a third-party review of automotive repair, recovery and recycling.

Included in the recommendations are changes to ICBC’s salvage procurement policies to enable access to serviceable ‘like new’ used parts for vehicle repairs.

McCormack says this could dramatically cut repair costs without sacrificing quality or safety.

Responding to news that ICBC has incurred a $1.3 billion deficit, he acknowledges government claims that collision repair costs have risen 30 per cent over the past two years, but contends it is not the fault of the repair industry.

“We have certainly seen a significant increase in the value of those repairs,” notes McCormack, but he says it is not the body shops that are escalating those costs.

“The body shops in this province have little to no pull whatsoever on those costs. Vehicles are getting more expensive. While those costs have increased by 30 per cent, I can assure you it is not the body shops reaping the benefits.”

Related: ICBC in ‘financial dumpster fire’: minister

He says motorists are purchasing more expensive and technologically-advanced vehicles and the parts to repair these vehicles are more expensive.

“The standards and methodology for repairs and replacement of parts for damaged vehicles have been set by manufacturers. Use of high-strength steel and aluminium as well as technology including lane departure warning, automatic braking and adaptive cruise control which continually monitors and, in some cases, controls the vehicle, add to repair costs that collision shops have no control over,” he adds.

The ARA states that collision shops have had to invest heavily in equipment and training to be able to keep up with these technological advances.

“There is a need to find economies outside of the repair shops. They already have low profits and the collision sector has had no substantial increase for the past eight years and it’s been longer than that for rate increases in other sectors including glass, towing and salvage,” McCormack says.

Among other recommendations advanced by the ARA is increased support for industry-led technician certification programs designed to save ICBC money through efficiency and improved cycle times.

“We want to work with ICBC and the government to find solutions that will help ICBC reduce its financial burdens while improving vehicle service availability and quality,” McCormack says.

“We think the economies are there to reduce ICBC’s costs and ensure the future viability and sustainability of our automotive-service sector. ICBC’s policyholders are our customers as well.”

RELATED: ICBC projects deficit of $1.3 billion this year

RELATED: ICBC board members replaced before NDP overhaul

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

What does Family Day mean to you?

Jens Lundsbye 100 Mile House “It means spending the day together with… Continue reading

Preparing for climate change focus of upcoming workshop in Williams Lake

NStQ communities, licensees, local governments and interested people invited to share ideas

From the archives of the 100 Mile Free Press

40 YEARS AGO (1980): 108 Mile Ranch was to become the first… Continue reading

Sugary drink tax could use some work

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

RCMP release photos of a suspect following two break-and-enters at a 100 Mile business

The 100 Mile RCMP responded to a report of two break-and-enters that… Continue reading

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

‘A long way to go’: UNBC hosts Moose Hide Campaign gathering on Feb. 24

The event is a part of a movement to stand up against violence inflicted on women and children

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Most Read