How climate change is affecting after-sales service in the automotive industry

Climate change has already become a reality, as voiced by experts and the media, a fact that has already had an impact through hailstorm damage to vehicles and after-sales service in the automotive industry.

The evolution and impact of climate change

Because of this, the evolution of climate change is a matter of some concern, since its effects can be seen in the demands and needs of the vehicle fleet.

Weather-related claims in Spain

First, to consider the consequences of climate change on a large scale, note the following chart, which shows how the trend has skyrocketed in recent years. From 1940 to 2022, we have gone from an increase of 0.2 ºC to an increase of 1.2 ºC: the difference of 1ºC is evident.

Increase in temperature - Climate change

Moreover, to understand the risks to the Spanish market, it is worth taking a look at the distribution of weather-related claims in the country from 2017 to 2021.

Claims - After-sales service - Climate change

This image shows how the Balearic Islands, the centre of the Iberian Peninsula, some areas of Andalusia, and the coasts of Catalonia, the Valencian Community and the Region of Murcia account for a large part of these claims.

The impact of climate change on hail damage

At this point, it is worth asking how climate change affects, and will affect, hailstorm events.

The increase in warm and humid air, due to the higher evaporation of the oceans, which powers storms, together with more overall instability, will probably lead to an increase in these episodes, resulting in larger hail.

In fact, we need to realise that if the average melting level increases, the top layer of storms, which produces hail, will shrink, and small hailstones will be more likely to melt before hitting the ground. Large hailstones, however, will not be as affected.

The consequences of hailstorms on the vehicle fleet

How does this situation affect the vehicle fleet? We know that hail dents the bodywork, especially the bonnet, boot and roof. In addition, if the hailstones grow in size, the damage will be more frequent and serious and, in the worst scenario, could also affect other parts of the vehicle: headlights, windscreen etc.

In any case, this damage has a negative impact not only on individuals, but on car hire companies and after-sales garages as well. While individuals can have their daily lives affected and need a replacement vehicle, companies watch on as their cars lose value, with the consequent loss of business.

After-sales garages, meanwhile, are tasked with offering quality services to their customers and satisfying their needs quickly if they want to build loyalty.

Insurance companies will also be affected by having to cover the costs of repairing vehicles with comprehensive or extended liability policies, provided that weather damage is covered.

Solutions for damage due to hail in automotive after-sales service

In light of this situation, at Lever Touch we use PDR techniques to offer effective solutions that make a difference in automotive after-sales service.

Advantages of PDR techniques

The main advantage of PDR techniques is that no filler or sanding is used, thus preserving the original paint on the vehicle.

This type of repair, in addition to being environmentally friendly, allows the car to be repaired without lowering its value, all in less than 24 hours and at a lower cost than other methods.

Tools for removing dents without painting

To ensure a quality result, there are three materials that can be used based on the characteristics of the damage caused by the hail:

  • Rods, to remove dents by exerting pressure from the inside of the vehicle.
  • Hot-melt adhesives, to work from the outside when the use of rods is not warranted.
  • Electromagnetic induction, if the panel is weakened by the severity of the damage and the temperature of the metal has to be adjusted to restore its original stiffness.

The profile of a PDR specialist

To carry out this process, Lever Touch relies on a PDR specialist

This profile, which emerged in 1964 at a Ford production plant in Detroit, plays a key role in the garage: he is able to restore the panel without painting, by hand and in a very short time.

It is also important to keep in mind the demands of each after-sales intervention, as a result of which each of these professionals receives specific training by make and model.

SMART Repair: express bodywork and paint

The commitment of Lever Touch to PDR techniques lets us repair hail damage in the least invasive way possible. 

However, for the most severe damage caused by large hail, the express bodywork and paint service yields perfect results by relying on advanced technological resources and materials from premium brands.

To arrange a visit or get information on the Lever Touch solutions to repair hail damage, essential to offering good automotive after-sales service, contact us.