Following a substantial collision involving a Toyota Supra, which thankfully protected the driver after the correct deployment of the vehicle’s active and passive safety systems, Toyota (GB) saw an opportunity to use the damaged vehicle, which was written off, at its head office as a skills training vehicle for technicians and to demonstrate the expertise and high-quality repairs delivered by the Toyota Approved Repairer network.
The initiative is being supported by ACIS, which has provided the Sikkens approved paint products, and ACIS member Sayers Motor Factors, which painted the vehicle. ITAS (International Technical Automotive Systems) stripped, sectioned and prepared the vehicle.
The damaged GR Supra was released to Toyota (GB) for use on a collision awareness training event in June. However, Toyota Body and Paint Project and Reporting Manager Paul Collins, had the innovative idea of extending the use of the damaged vehicle to provide continuous training for technicians. The bodyshell would help highlight the range of material utilised in the body construction, reinforcing the need for training as vehicles are continually advancing in terms of materials used in their structure.
Under the skin, the GR Supra features three types of aluminium, one mild steel, five high-strength steels and three ultra-high-strength steels. It has an aluminium front end, which reduces overall weight and contributes to keeping the centre of gravity as far towards the centre of the vehicle as possible. The offside rear and nearside front corners of the damaged GR Supra have been cut away, exposing the underpinnings.
Toyota technicians can now study each area of the car, using the colour coding to differentiate the materials used with the vehicle’s structure.
Paul Collins explains, “This is the first time we have ever done anything like this. We asked the car insurer QBE Insurance whether we could acquire it for training and the company kindly donated it to us. As a result, we’ve been working closely with Bob Prill, Head of Engineering at QBE to deliver the project at Toyota GB’s head office. As vehicles become increasingly advanced, we need to ensure our Approved Repairer Network remains the best at what it does and has all the latest information available to benefit our insurer partners.”
He adds, “There are so many learnings we can take from this. We can showcase how these materials have an influence on both the safety and performance of the vehicle. We want the technicians to understand the different types of materials, where the transfer of energy occurs, and where the vehicle’s panels can and can’t be sectioned. It’s a great visual aid for them.”
ACIS CEO Graham O’Neill, comments, “ACIS and our members are continually looking at innovative ways we can support our customers and the wider repair industry to help drive up skills training and ensure that technicians are constantly at the top of their game.”