AMENA Automotive is a proud media partner of RepairX Middle East, an initiative that aims to integrate modern technology with the automotive repair industry.

RepairX is an event organized by Repair Talks where eminent speakers engage and collaborate in a discussion regarding today’s issues, tomorrow’s solutions, and tackling the issues to prepare for the future, revolving around the automotive collision repair industry.

Repair Talks has come to Dubai, with Alan Whaley, Chairman of AMENA Automotive as one of the speakers. RepairX Middle East began with a keynote address by Aqil Janahai, Head of Dubai Government Workshop Division, followed by a short speech on Global Automotive Outlook by Shelley Cheshire, CEO of Repair Talks.

Shelley Cheshire, CEO of Repair Talks, addressing RepairX Middle East.

"About 80 percent of car crashes result from driver error. This startling number will go down drastically once autonomous cars take over the roads." Alan Whaley, AMENA Automotive.

Repair Talks is an innovative business networking platform for the global crash repair industry. The company has taken the essence of social networking and refined it to only include industry-specific information, contacts, and resources.

Like any social network, user-generated content is one of the USPs of Repair Talks. Through such measures, industry stakeholders can stay abreast of what their peers are finding useful. Sharing such tidbits can spark a conversation, which is good for both parties involved.

With a view to encouraging dialogue between prominent entities of the crash repair industry, RepairX was floated by Repair Talks. At its core, the idea behind RepairX is simple yet profoundly effective: Industry stakeholders working together to arrive at solutions to challenges faced by their field of profession.

The first edition of RepairX Middle East created a lot of new opportunities for all attendees, whilst enriching the regional automotive industry.

It was inevitable that RepairX would come to the Middle East, one of the world’s biggest automotive markets. For its first edition, RepairX Middle East attracted quite the turnout in the form of key personnel from the regional automotive industry.

Shelley Cheshire spoke about the gathering, “The philosophy behind this event was born through the desire to bring stakeholders together, to share an insight into today’s issues, tomorrow’s solutions, and the challenges ahead, by sharing how our colleagues both here in the region, and further afield, are tackling the same issues and preparing for the future.”

Indeed, with the global automotive industry modernizing at a rapid pace, it is necessary to take into consideration that what holds valid today might not do so just a few years down the line. Presentations shared at RepairX Middle East painted a realistic picture of what the automotive industry might look like in the future. In simple words, that future is sustainable and autonomous.

According to some metrics shared by Alan Whaley in his address, about 80 percent of car crashes result from driver error. This startling number will go down drastically once autonomous cars take over the roads. It is not a question of if, but when, that AVs will be a regular sight across the world’s roads.

Left to right: Dean Lander, Thatcham Research, Alan Whaley, Chairman - AMENA Automotive, Grant Greef, FCA Middle East Alan Thomas Wuertz, Mercedes Benz ME, Keith Malik, AkzoNobel

Once AVs are widely adopted globally, crash statistics will differ, reflecting the increased safety of driverless cars. By 2050, it is projected that very few people will actually own cars, and new customers will simply enrol in carmakers’ subscription programs. In fact, a fairly large number of automakers have already begun offering car subscriptions, mainly in the US.

So what does the future hold for the automotive collision repair industry? While reduced risk of crashes is indeed welcome news, it automatically puts said industry at somewhat of a disadvantage. If cars won’t crash anymore, or drivers won’t be allowed to commit mistakes by advanced electronics, the collision repair industry will slowly come to a halt, eventually withering away. This is where it is necessary to realize a plan needs to be put into place to secure the future of the industry. For it is one of the crucial elements of the global automotive market.

This was the subject, and prime focus, of discussion at RepairX Middle East. Shelley Cheshire laid out the possibly bleak future for automotive collision repair due to the advent of technology, while key players across the Middle Eastern automotive spectrum joined forces to arrive at a satisfactory game plan to tackle the issues faced today.

Other key speakers at RepairX Middle East included Thomas Edelmann, Managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE, Christopher Weeks, Head of NBRA (National Body Repair Association), Thomas Wuertz, Collision Repair Business Development Manager at Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East, Lucy Cater from AkzoNobel Market Support, Eleni Kitra, Strategic Business Development Head for Automotive and Financial Services at Facebook, and Vipul Dave from Thatcham Research.

With RepairX, Repair Talks aims to bring the automotive industry together professionally and collaboratively to make for a prosperous, sustainable, and safe future.