Thursday, 03 September 2020 16:54

Will Burgeoning E-Commerce Hurt the Collision Repair Industry?

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For many months prior to March, the collision repair industry had been preoccupied with ADAS systems and autonomous cars and trucks and their effect on the collision repair business.

The systems are purported to greatly reduce accidents and mitigate the severity of accidents that do occur. Many in the industry were afraid this would have an ill effect on the collision industry---fewer accidents and less severity means less work for body shops.


According to Frank Terlep, industry veteran and author of the recently released book, "Auto Industry Disruption," only about 21% of the U.S. fleet currently has ADAS capability. If past history is any indication, it could be years before ADAS-equipped cars reach a crucial mass where accident prevention and severity mitigation have a profound impact on the number of cars requiring collision repair.


For instance, hydraulic brakes for cars were patented in 1917. Ford would be the last auto manufacturer in the U.S. to adopt the hydraulic system in 1939.


What might have a more immediate and long-lasting effect is the burgeoning concept of e-commerce, most lately exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID 19 Hits


With the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, people started working from home if their occupation allowed it, or many were furloughed if they couldn’t. Travel came almost to a standstill. Highways were empty, airplanes were empty, restaurants and hotels closed and American business was brought to its knees for weeks.


With so many people no longer commuting and/or minimizing their trips, even locally, collision shops reported a decrease in business by 40% to 50% or more.

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