In September 2017, Global Market Insights (GMI) released a study on the automotive collision repair market. As the company’s name might suggest, the study incorporated data and predictions for repair markets around the globe. When you look at those numbers, they were fairly positive. Between today and 2022, GMI predicted close to 20% growth for the global industry.
But you don’t own a shop just anywhere on earth. You own one in North America. So how did the study stack up for the future of your shop and your competition? As the old saying goes, they had some good news and some bad news.
We like to end things on a positive note, so that means we’ll start with the less-than-great good news for the industry:
- According to the study, the North American collision repair market will grow slowly over the next decade, because new car sales are expected to slow considerably in that time.
- Speaking of new cars, they increasingly include new technologies—lane departure warning systems, pedestrian sensors, autonomous emergency braking, night vision and more—that are meant to reduce the collision rate and the severity of accidents overall.
- Improved road and highway infrastructure will also reduce the need for repairs.
- The number of techs entering the collision industry will still not meet the demand for open positions. This is one of the largest challenges facing the industry today, and it’s not expected to get better anytime soon.
- Keeping profits up will require many collision shops to manage the entire repair process, which will challenge smaller shops.
While not exactly the best news, those predictions certainly don’t spell doom and gloom for shop owners. And there were plenty of positive glimpses into the industry’s crystal ball, including:
- In 2016, the North American market for collision repair was valued at more than $42 billion.
- Paints and coatings will grow significantly over the next five years.
- An increased population in urban areas will likely lead to an increase in the number of minor crashes that require repair.
- Repairing newer vehicles with the latest technology will require techs to have more training (which isn’t great news), but it could increase the overall cost of repairs (which isn’t bad news at all).
- State-of-the-art equipment and products will continue to increase many shops’ efficiency and productivity.
Of course, we make plenty of equipment that can help your shop get more cars in and out of your bays regardless of their shape when they arrive. So the next time you need new frame machines, measuring systems or wheel service equipment, you know where to find the best. And if you ever need consultation on how you might grow your shop faster than the rest of the industry, just contact your Chief Automotive Sales Rep. They’ll be happy to work with you to make sure your shop is efficient and productive as possible.