General Motors' new collision repair network is designed in part to enable the automaker and its dealerships to challenge insurer demands that body shops use cheaper aftermarket parts instead of new factory parts for repairs, a prominent GM dealer says.
GM says the network, scheduled to launch in early 2019, seeks to promote "streamlined" collision repair, allowing member shops to spend less time diagnosing and performing repairs. Dealership and independent body shops must submit to an audit of their shops, equipment and training to enroll in the network.
"Every shop would prefer to use OEM collision parts due to their superior quality and fit," says Peter Lanzavecchia, president of Burns Buick-GMC in Marlton, N.J., and until recently a member of GM's dealer advisory board for fixed operations.
"The insurance industry has a rather strong domination of the collision repair industry," Lanzavecchia told Automotive News. "The OEM certification program gives shops a little muscle to push back."
Lanzavecchia says he plans to join the GM network because he has had good experiences with other automakers' repair certification programs. The dealer also owns Burns Hyundai in Marlton.