New Cadillac Aluminum Repair Program

For 2016 the Cadillac CT6 will be one of the latest cars to make a major switch to an aluminum intensive construction for a North American manufacturer. General Motors is already working on the training program for their "CT6 Network" certified dealership and independent collsion repair shops. GM has already mentioned having as many as 100 locations around the nation, which could also include many independent repair centers.

GM has recently announced how the new certification process will occur for body shops repairing the new 2016 CT6 sedan, and it will center on Axalta Coating Systems managing the program and VeriFacts helping to manage the network and audit the member shops. A great thing for independent shops is that they will not need a dealership sponsor to enroll in the program. GM will also have VeriFacts audit their member shops yearly for both equipment standards and repair standards to ensure all of the certified repairers are keeping tools and techniques up to date.

The CT6 will use 11 different materials in the construction from aluminum to high strength and mild steel in differing parts of the vehicles. Most of the components will be of a replacement only nature, so there wouldn't be any need for a factory grade laser welder but there will be a lot of adhesives, self piercing rivets and even some MIG welding.

Necessary training articles will be available to all on GM Genuine Parts early in 2016, with the car slated to be on show floors sometime in March. At NACE GM had said it would restrict parts sales to their "CT6 Network" and will keep their measurements contained the same way via certain frame equipment companies.

We are excited to learn more as the Cadillac Aluminum Repair Network begins to take shape over the coming future and look forward to seeing what is in store. This will be another in what will probably be a long line of vehicles using more and more aluminum and what were once purely exotic materials in a more mainstream manner.

For evidence of the extensive use of aluminum in the CT6 this image shows what parts and components are used.

Cadillac will use an advanced mixed-material approach for the lightweight body structure of the upcoming CT6 range-topping sedan. The structure is aluminum intensive, but the new Cadillac also includes 13 different materials customized for each area of the car to simultaneously advance driving dynamics, fuel economy and cabin quietness. Sixty-four percent of the CT6 body structure is aluminum, including all exterior body panels – and the mixed material approach saved 90 kg (198 pounds) over a predominately steel construction. 

For more information:
GM Repair Insights; Cadillac Debuts Aluminum Repair Program

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