IF IT AIN’T BROKE
Recycled parts appear to be outperforming the aftermarket in revenue, according to LKQ’s Q3 earnings report. While the global supply chain struggles through a persistent microchip shortage, LKQ benefits from its ability to source its inventory locally, providing customers with a more direct link to sought-after auto parts. LKQ president and CEO Dominick Zarcone said, “Although fill rates have been challenged, we are witnessing a positive offset from our quote conversion rates on salvage parts.”
Multi-shop operators are in a selling mood according to Vincent Romans, who predicted industry consolidation will continue on at an “aggressive rate” during November’s MSO Symposium in Las Vegas. The managing partner of the Romans Group and publisher of an annual whitepaper on the U.S. and Canadian collision industries spoke on consolidation and private equity trends, where he predicted that collision repair industry consolidation will continue to consolidate—and aggressively so. The Romans Group is estimating multi-location operations with more than US$10 million in annual revenue will represent at least 48 percent of the revenue market share by 2025—and it could get as high as 61 percent. In the United States, Romans said the top three consolidators— Caliber Collision, Gerber and Classic Collision—will continue on an aggressive expansion plan. “It’s not going to stop,” he said.
STAY A WHILE
The Automotive Industries Assocation of Canada (AIA Canada) says consumers behaviours have shifted amid COVID-19, and some customers want to see certain aspects stick around, even in the post-pandemic era. AIA Canada presented the data in an October 28 webinar, where AIA President J.F. Champagne, Quorus Consulting Group President Rick Nadeau and James Channer, co-founder of Motion Brands discussed consumer behaviours in the aftermarket since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to AIA Canada’s findings, gathered from a June 2021 survey conducted by the organization, 21 percent of drivers found it was more difficult to stay up-todate on vehicle maintenance and repair during the pandemic; 13 percent found it easier and 66 percent found no impact. The top-cited challenges faced by the former group were booking issues with their chosen repair centre (24 percent); COVID lockdown and associated health risks (21 percent); closed or reduced hours at the chosen repair centre (14 percent); financial reasons (13 percent); too busy (eight percent); driving significantly less (seven percent) and access/distance to the repair centre (five percent). The trio also discussed what sorts of behaviours consumers plan to grip to in the post-pandemic era. According to the findings, 69 percent of consumers would like to see sanitization stations become a permanent fixture of the front office, while 68 percent want their vehicle sanitized before pick-up. Sixty-seven percent also seek online bookings to remain an option. On the other hand, some customers will be more than happy to bid adieu to certain COVID-19 protocols, like reduced seating areas (64 percent) and plexiglass barriers (34 percent).
LIKE LOOKING IN A MIRROR
A survey of 500 independent repair shops, carried out by IMR Automotive Market Research, found that it’s taking considerably longer to repair customer vehicles due to materials shortages. The survey found that 85 percent of American auto repair businesses said repairs are taking “a little longer,” while the other 15 percent said they are taking “a lot longer” to complete repairs. The average cycle time for vehicle repairs in the U.S. is a day-and-a-half longer than pre-pandemic records show, according to IMR.