Hoffman Estates, IL
March 07, 2019

New Enhancements are Establishing the Foundation for the ‘Even Better I-CAR’

I-CAR reported yet another impressive year of training growth and partner participation during 2018, estimating that nearly one-fourth of the collision repair industry is now actively engaged in I-CAR training.
During his presentation at the January Collision Industry Conference in Palm Springs, Calif., I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne detailed the continued rise in the total number of students, shops and partners actively participating in training programs. He also provided an update about the monumental changes to I-CAR’s education offerings that are being prepared for launch in the second quarter of 2019 and were announced in 2018, including a complete rebuild and upgrade of all required training, along with heightened Platinum™ and Gold Class®training requirements. These changes will benefit the industry and consumers.
“The ongoing growth I-CAR experienced in 2018 is further validation of our expanded commitment and the industry’s acceptance of the need for training,” said Van Alstyne. “It’s also a signal for us to push forward with new relevant and sustainable solutions for the technicians of today and tomorrow. As an industry, we must raise this bar so technicians can face the ‘Technical TsunamiTM’ confidently with relevant knowledge, acquired skills and preparedness. Shaping our future together through complete, safe and quality repairs is a common goal of our Inter-Industry supporters.”
Gold Class experienced a 21 percent increase in the number of shops that achieved this designation, which totaled 6,818 Gold Class shops at the end of 2018. This Gold Class onboarding program was discontinued at the end of February because it didn’t support the new Gold Class requirements.
Also reported at CIC, I-CAR’s Welding Training & Certification™ participation and thus those nottrained by I-CAR has shown the following improvements:
  • Steel: 69 percent in 2013 to 29 percent in 2018
  • Steel Sectioning: 98 percent in 2013 to 62 percent in 2018
●     Aluminum: 94 percent in 2013 to 65 percent in 2018
In the past year, I-CAR held approximately 14,000 welding events, the greatest number of such events since I-CAR’s inception in 1979 and an increase of 43 percent from 2017. Aside from welding, the number of online, live, in-shop and virtual courses completed in 2018 reached more than 240,000, the highest number ever and an 18 percent increase from 2017.
The number of OEMs, insurers and organizations that acknowledge I-CAR training as a repair network requirement or qualifier also rose in 2018. Twenty-six OEMs, insurers and other organizations now require Gold Class, while 25 OEMs and insurers require I-CAR Welding Training & Certification™. 
Also in 2018, I-CAR rolled out its Sustaining Partner™ program to connect companies from the inter-industry with collision repair professionals and help reduce training costs for career and technical colleges. This innovative program also provides access to information, course content and marketing opportunities. Throughout 2018, I-CAR gained 16 new Sustaining Partners, including AkzoNobel, Autel Diagnostic Intelligence, Auto Club Enterprises, Car-O-Liner, CCC Information Services, Chief Automotive Technologies, Collision Advice, Farmers Insurance, Ford Motor Company, Hunter Engineering Company, Intrepid Direct Insurance, LKQ Corporation, Polyvance, Precision Equipment Systems, Pro Spot International and Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes.
Demonstrating its continued annual growth, I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support®(RTS) Portal usage increased by more than seven percent from 2017 to 2018, according to the “Who Pays for What?” survey conducted by Collision Advice and CRASH Network. For the first time in the survey’s history, more than half of respondents utilize RTS to access and research OEM repair information, the No. 2 source identified for such support by respondents.
Finally, I-CAR’s National Scheduling initiative launched in 2018 with hundreds of I-CAR training sites at career and technical schools and suppliers located across the nation. More sites continue to be added as needed to create a consistent and enhanced learning environment for students and instructors alike.

Founded in 1979, I-CAR is a not-for-profit education, knowledge and solutions organization designed to support the evolving needs of the Collision Repair Inter-Industry. I-CAR is focused on improving the quality, safety and efficiency of auto collision repair for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.