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Thatcham to provide support to Australian bodyshop trade

Thatcham Research has signed a £2 million, five year deal with Australian insurer Suncorp Group to provide repair methods and times to vehicle repairers and insurance assessors across Australia and New Zealand.

In the first such global repair information partnership, Suncorp are investing heavily in Thatcham’s escribe product, the UK industry’s primary source of vehicle repair data that is currently in use by 89% of the insurers’ approved repair network. The system will provide subscribers with comprehensive estimation information, model-specific repair methods and critical safety data across a range of platforms including PCs, smart phones and tablets.

“With increasing vehicle complexity, it’s imperative that technicians are able to access fully researched methods and times to perform repairs at the highest levels of quality and efficiency,”  said Suncorp National Industry Relations Manager, Rob Bartlett. “Thatcham has delivered high quality and relevant repair information to the industry for more than 40 years and Suncorp is proud to be able to bring the escribe product to our market.”

In this exciting deal, Suncorp will fund the development of local vehicle content in escribe, with Thatcham researching and adding seven new Australian cars in the first year and a further five in each subsequent year up to a total of 27. This is the first time that Thatcham has provided its repair expertise internationally. The impact is expected to be especially significant as Suncorp will be making escribe available to all repairers, assessors and training organisations across Australia and New Zealand, not just to those who are aligned with the group.

“The Australian vehicle market remains among the most diverse in the world and our escribe product will reduce repair method complexity and bring a higher, more consistent standard of repair,” said Lesley Upham, Thatcham’s Commercial Director. “It fills a critical gap in technical information for the Australian market and brings benefits to both the repair industry and ultimately, the consumer.”