Tesla says it will be selling 500,000 cars a year soon. The odds are good that with all those Teslas running around, some of them are going to find solid objects to run into, causing dings and dents — or worse — that will need to be repaired. Until now, Tesla has required anyone who wants to be certified in Tesla auto body repairs be trained by the company at its dedicated facilities in California. But that means there simply won’t be enough qualified repair personnel to meet the needs of Tesla customers.
To address that issue, Tesla has decided to start offering online training. In an email sent this week to the certified repair facilities it has now, the company said:
“Building on the past 5 years of experience, we have been able to evaluate and dramatically simplify training, and will no longer require instructor led, onsite training. We have developed online training as a more time and cost effective way to train your technicians to be approved for Tesla repairs.
“Online training offers many benefits not possible solely with instructor led training, such as unlimited reviewing of procedures, more frequent class offerings and updates for the network, and less time to train our whole technician population vs cycling everyone through constrained classrooms. Cost to you is greatly reduced, as weeks of lost production and travel expenses are eliminated as well.
“Structural technicians will no longer have to travel to Tesla for onsite weld training and recertification. We have created an arrangement with I-CAR to achieve the necessary qualification, without the expense of lost production and travel previously required.”
I-CAR, for those of you not involved in the body shop business, is the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. It works with all major industry stakeholders, including insurance companies, manufacturers, repair parts manufacturers, and technical training organizations to “provide everyone involved in collision repair with access to high-quality, industry-recognized training solutions.”
Is this move by Tesla a good thing? Lots of educational and training courses are now offered online, but can people really learn how to use today’s sophisticated welding tools without holding them in their hands and using them on real cars? Can brain surgery be taught by watching a video?
Whatever the concerns, there simply is no way Tesla can train enough people if they all have to travel personally to California. Presumably, those who receive online training will work under the supervision of experienced repair personnel who have had the benefit of direct hands-on training at Tesla. If nothing else, online recertification training will lower the cost of keeping employees up to date on all the latest developments. And that could translate into lower repair bills, something insurance companies will surely appreciate.
Source: Inside EVs