John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).

He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Tuesday, 06 July 2021 14:25

Predicting What the Collision Repair Industry Will Look Like in 2035

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Where will the collision repair industry be in 2035?

That daunting question was tackled this spring by the Future Disruptions Committee at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC). As the panel discussion began, Sean Carey of SCG Management Consultants pointed to a weakness in the exercise itself.


“Rather than take yourself forward 14 years, take yourself back 14 years,” Carey suggested.


Think about comparing a 14-year-old Honda Accord to a current Honda Accord, he said: the differences in the vehicle itself, in the repair procedures used, in how estimating is done and how the entire claim is settled.


“It was vastly different from where we are today, and in 14 years it will be vastly different again,” Carey said. “It’s not always easy to conceive what’s going to happen in the future. We’re guessing at best.”


With that preface, Carey said he foresees “mass consolidation” in the industry, with the formation of at least one cross-functional entity that includes an insurance company, technology companies and a large repairer group---its “own ecosystem.”


“From a moment that vehicle is in an incident, this organization, under one single ownership, takes care of everything,” Carey said. “Data is going to make that very, very possible.”


Direct repair and OEM certified shop networks will give way to licensed shops, each “capable of repairing only particular types of vehicles,” he said. “This mainstream, ‘bring it all in on Monday, we’ll ship it all out by Friday,’ will be a thing of the past. [Vehicles] will not be allowed to go to an unlicensed shop.”


There will be far fewer vehicle repairs, but what there are will be very costly, he predicted.


“Severity will climb through the roof,” he said. “Severity today will seem laughable. Think tens of thousands, not two or three thousand, and shaving an hour here or a procedure there. These things are going to cost a lot to repair.”


Other speakers agreed the...

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