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

Police watchdog investigating fatal crash in Kelowna

Kelowna RCMP received a report of a single-vehicle collision on Bulman Road near Highway 97 on June 1

Kelowna council greenlights ‘The Wedge’

The wedge-shaped building will be built at the corner of Leon Avenue and Water Street

Single vehicle rollover on Clifton Road

The incident happened just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday in Kelowna

Kelowna BC SPCA busy throughout pandemic

Branch manager Sean Hogan said they have a good problem right now

Province looks to seize Kelowna home owned by alleged drug trafficker

Michelle Collins and Nigel Byrne were also recently investigated by Kelowna RCMP for drug trafficking

VIDEO: Okanagan moving company offers free community junk removal

Brett + Buddies Moving and Junk Removal serves the whole Okanagan Valley

Vehicle stolen in Revelstoke recovered near Salmon Arm after occupants suffer overdoses

Police say they were alerted to the vehicle after occupants treated by ambulance after drug use

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Highway 1 closed after body found near Hope

Coroners Service reportedly on the scene, highway has been closed for 10 hours in both directions

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

LETTER: Questions raised about Summerland property taxes

Dear Editor: By now property owners in Summerland will have received their… Continue reading

COLUMN: Is parliament essential?

We need time to dig into the books and ensure that taxpayers are being respected

Sicamous RCMP catch driver going twice the speed limit

The car was impounded for seven days and the driver received a hefty fine

Most Read