While Thursday's IBISConnect Latin America 2020 was focused primarily on Central and South American markets, the worldwide audience was treated to the same thought-provoking presentations and interviews – in both English and Spanish with instant interpretation – and all the networking opportunities they would find at an in-person IBIS conference.
Óscar Balcázar, GiPA's America region director, started proceedings with a fascinating presentation filled with relevant data which highlighted trends in the regional car parc.
Following each session, IBIS Worldwide CEO Jason Moseley interviewed the speakers and panellists, and took questions from the global audience using the intuitive bilingual Slido Q&A facility.
Delegates were treated to a dual presentation from General Motors featuring Kris Mayer, general director aftersales, and John Eck, collision manager–wholesale dealer channel customer care and aftersales, who tackled the challenges the repair community has faced during the pandemic and will face as technology continues to advance.
"We have worked hard to ensure training levels are where they need to be, because safe and proper repair is critical at GM," Eck said. "That's why we match technicians who have the required skills to each specialised job in repair."
Osiel D Velázquez R, director of operations at CESVI México SA, explored trends in bodyshop training programmes in Latin America, looking at the needs of today's repair centres in relation to new technology, the digital age, remote training, quality standards, safety and hygiene.
"To improve training in bodyshops it is important to change the minds of the owners and managers," he said. "Every bodyshop needs to set up a programme of proper training if their technicians are to evolve the way they need to so they can repair modern cars safely."
Then followed a virtual coffee break, during which delegates could "mingle", ask questions and visit the IBIS Expo Hall complete with sponsor stands from 3M, Axalta, Glasurit, GiPA, CESVI México, Automechanika and WorldSkills.
Eduardo Avila, key account manager at Axalta Coating Systems, later offered insight into Axalta Consulting and the company's activities in the region, before Flavio Battilana, COO at CSN Collision Centres in Canada, gave delegates an understanding of the workings and management of a collision repair network in a different market, while offering advice on bodyshop best practice.
IBISConnect Latin America closed out with Moseley conducting interviews with two very different industry figures. First up was Alejandro Martinez, vice-president safety and industrial Latin Americaat 3M, who discussed the region's collision repair market trends and how agility and adaptation have been crucial during the pandemic.
Then offering insight into the minds of the next generation of repairers, we heard from WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 car painting champion and Medal of Excellence winner Lucas Bessoni Campos from Brazil.
All of the IBISConnect Latin America 2020 sessions and IBIS Expo Hall content are available online. Use your existing login details for access or click here to register.