Manitoba Public Insurance opens new centre for automotive research and training

Winnipeg, MB (Oct. 17, 2017) – Manitoba Public Insurance continues to keep pace with rapid changes in the design, construction, technology and reparability of motor vehicles with the opening of its new, state-of-the-art centre for automotive research and training at the J.W. Zacharias Physical Damage Research Centre in Winnipeg, Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“Changes in how vehicles are manufactured are having a significant impact on the reparability of new vehicles,” said Cullen. “The opening of this new research and training facility will benefit vehicle owners and Manitoba’s collision repair industry by ensuring that when vehicles are involved in collisions, they will be properly repaired back to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards.”

The new research and training centre – located in the J. W. Zacharias Physical Damage Research Centre in Winnipeg – will enable qualified technicians to work in collaboration with Manitoba’s repair industry, as it adapts repair methods related to vehicles now being constructed of complex materials, including aluminum, carbon fibre, high strength and ultra, high-strength steels.

Training and research centre technicians will work closely with Manitoba’s repair industry and Red River College to offer access to training on new and emerging vehicle repair techniques and equipment, resulting in significant savings for local collision repair shops that would otherwise have to spend thousands of dollars to send their autobody technicians to out-of-province training sessions.

“Manitoba Public Insurance recognizes that the auto manufacturing industry is creating significant change for the collision repair industry and costs of repairs are increasing, which is why we are taking steps to save Manitobans money over the long-term,” said Manitoba Public Insurance President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Guimond.

“This facility and the staff within it will ensure that the auto body technicians in Manitoba remain highly skilled and able to respond to rapidly changing vehicle construction and repair techniques. It’s expected that by next year, half of the Manitoba fleet will represent vehicles with complex materials, many of which require specialized training, tooling, equipment and facilities to ensure these vehicles are repairs safely back to manufacturer standards.”

“Doing so ensures that if our customers are involved in subsequent collisions, they will never be put at risk to injury or death as a result of their vehicles not being repaired properly back to manufacturer standards. This also helps to ensure the value of a vehicle is not diminished as a result of being involved in a motor vehicle collision, thereby protecting the financial investments of our customers,” added Guimond.

Moving forward, Manitoba Public Insurance’s new centre for automotive research and training will host technical training courses for the collision repair community, in addition to offering tours to Manitoba high school students who may have an interest in becoming auto repair technicians. Manitoba Public Insurance will also leverage its relationships with other collision research facilities around the world to investigate new and cost-effective vehicle repair techniques, tools and equipment for use by Manitoba collision repair shops.

New centre for automotive research and training site of global conference

Delegates from around the world will be converging in Winnipeg this week for the 2017 Research Council for Automotive Repair (RCAR) Conference.

“As the only Canadian member of RCAR, Manitoba Public Insurance is proud to host this distinguished international forum,” said Guimond. “This conference is specifically designed to facilitate the exchange of information on research findings and strategies for implementation of cutting-edge research in automotive technology. There is no better location than our new training and research centre to host this important conference.”

RCAR is an international body of automotive research centres, whose primary goal is to reduce the human and economic costs of motor vehicle losses. This is done through research into improved vehicle damage resistance, reparability, security, and safety – all of which impact the cost of insuring and repairing motor vehicles. RCAR has members, spanning 20 countries and five continents: Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Australia.

A highlight of this year’s RCAR conference is a Vehicle Technology Showcase, featuring exhibitors many of Canada’s automakers. The showcase will focus on emerging technologies, including the latest trends in electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and vehicles featuring the latest in complex materials. The 2017 Showcase will also feature classic and collector vehicles, supplied by members of the Manitoba Association of Auto Clubs and Manitoba Classic and Antique Auto Club, to demonstrate the significance of changes to vehicle design, construction, automation, and reparability over time.

About Manitoba Public Insurance

Manitoba Public Insurance is a non-profit Crown Corporation that has provided basic automobile coverage since 1971. Our services are available throughout Manitoba in claim centres and Customer Service centres.

Driver and vehicle licensing services are available at more than 300 Autopac brokers around the province.

Our staff of about 1,750 is dedicated to keeping Manitoba’s roads safe and vehicle insurance rates low. We’re a large company, but we are accountable to you every step of the way.

SOURCE: Manitoba Public Insurance

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