Thousands of collision repair technicians, insurance estimators as well as Ford field staffers and others will undergo training programs that will allow the carmaker to perfectly complement and support the launch of the 2015 Ford F-150 in the fourth quarter of 2014. Ford is making sure that when a wrecked aluminum F-150 is brought into a shop, there are collision repair specialists who are experts in handling such matters, especially that aluminum behaves differently from steel.
Ford strongly recommends that repair shops set up separate areas for working on aluminum because of steel-aluminum contamination issues. The training will be administered by I-CAR, (the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) in conjunction with Ford.
Ford will cover the cost of training for one technician per dealership. Dealerships who want to have more than one trained technician will have to shell out for the additional training expense.
For the training, I-CAR will deploy at least 200 instructors, who themselves went through a training program. "It's definitely a big undertaking, but it will not stress our capability," said Jason Bartanen, I-CAR's director of industry technical relations, "We've been preparing for this a couple of years." Bartanen noted that I-CAR had also trained personnel for Jaguar and Audi -- both offering aluminum-body vehicles -- albeit in low volumes.
I-CAR also prepared a training program for around 2,000 Chevrolet dealers for the 2006 Corvette Z06. While training costs will depend on the experience of a technician, I-CAR said that the two-day course will cost nearly $1,000 per individual. The training course will be taught in two parts: a general session on aluminum repair techniques and a session specific to the F-150. [source: automotive news - sub. required]