Gaining Perspective

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Some of North America’s largest collision repair groups gathered at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas on November 4th for the 8th annual MSO Symposium.

The symposium also included conferences hosted by industry experts regarding the latest issues and trends impacting the collision sector. Information sharing is a big part of the MSO Symposium, as it offers the ideal opportunity for collision network decision makers to share experiences and build relationships in a neutral environment.

Romans Group President, Vincent Romans, provided an overview of the opportunities resulting from the consolidation movement currently sweeping the sector, especially for those fortunate enough to have the financial and human resources to reap the benefits.

CCC Information Services Director, Susanna Gotsch, harnessed data to provide an in-depth analysis of the collision sector. Backed by historical and statistical data, she explained why collision network managers wishing to expand via acquisition should pay close attention to specific key indicators, including collision frequency, before they invest.

It was also interesting to learn from Susanna Gotsch that so far, the impact from the implementation of advanced driver assistance systems on collision frequency is relatively minor. Still, she believes that these statistics are bound to change as the average model year of the vehicle fleet evolves. The industry expert also points out that the average cost of repairs is expected to increase by 5% over the next few years, as increasingly complex cars require new skills and additional time to be correctly repaired.

A panel group discussed the growing trend across the U. S, which is seeing new vehicle dealerships actively working to retain collision repair work on customer vehicles. Their goal is to extend the “red carpet” effect. Collision repair services are formally presented at the time of sale. Thus, customers are aware that in the event of a collision, they can ask their insurer to send the damaged vehicle to the dealership’s collision repair centre or affiliated partner, which, ideally, is certified for that specific brand.

Participants also benefitted from insight shared by four network leaders, who discussed some of the challenges faced by shops in their respective networks, including shop certification programs. From the point of view of the panellists, they agreed that it’s important that a sufficient number of shops in individual networks are certified to cover the demand for the brands that make up the bulk of their work.

“I believe that above and beyond obtaining certification at any cost, it’s essential that our shops demonstrate their capacity to repair all of the vehicles passing through their doors,” explained Driven Brands President (CARSTAR), Michael Macaluso.

This symposium arrived at some interesting conclusions. According to the various stakeholder presentations, the trend in which bigger, more efficient shops are gradually increasing their market share will continue, while pressure from new technologies will also continue. Stakeholders were unanimous in wishing that vehicle manufacturers and insurers come to an agreement on standardized repair procedures, which would result in uniform, clear directives for all collision repair providers.

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Categories : Collision


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