East meets West for repair expertise

Thatcham Research hosted a visit from a high profile Saudi Arabian delegation last week, as the group embark on a partnership to bring improved standards in vehicle assessment and crash repair to The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The group, which was led by Engineer, Hani Dahhan from the Saudi Authority for Accredited Valuers – Taqeem, also included representation from the motor insurance industry through the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency – SAMA and Saudi accident management specialist company Najm.

Thatcham’s Repair Technology Centre and Academy provided the main backdrop for the three day visit, where the group learnt more about cutting edge repair techniques, materials, equipment and processes.  They also saw how personnel development through training and accreditation has helped to maintain technicians’ skill levels in the UK and will be evaluating how a similar approach could help to develop the industry in Saudi Arabia.

As part of the week long programme, the group also took in a visit to locally based, kitemarked repairer Newbury Crash Repair, as well as the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

The Saudi group are looking to invest in the development of standards and professionalism in vehicle crash repair in their own country and view Thatcham Research, as a highly credible global research centre, to be the perfect partner in helping them achieve their long term aims.

Hani Dahhan, VP Planning & Business Development at Taqeem, said, ‘We’ve been hugely impressed with both the facilities at Thatcham Research and the knowledge of those we have met, who demonstrate their extensive experience in all aspects of vehicle repair. The visit has been a real eye opener and we realise that there is a lot of hard work ahead. However, we’re delighted to be going down that road with Thatcham Research as our partner.’

Strategy and development director, Neale Phillips at Thatcham Research added, ‘As a research organisation it’s absolutely key that Thatcham are at the forefront of best practice.  We’ve worked hard to establish our reputation as a thought leader in the UK and I’m particularly pleased that we are now able to help with developing a strategy for repair assessment and standards in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – a great reflection of our credentials and growing global influence.’