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 

Thursday, 04 October 2018 09:25

Retro News: Stats From 20 Years Ago Indicate Shop Labor Rates Haven’t Kept Up With Inflation

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 20 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (November 1998)


PPG has done a comprehensive study of over 2,000 collision repair facilities. Here is a snapshot of some of the statistics:


• The average labor rate: $34 an hour.

• Average gross profit per hour per technician: $45.63 (top 25 percent), $32.57 (middle 50 percent), $19.69 (bottom 25 percent).

• Labor efficiency (hours sold versus available hours): 154 percent (top 25 percent), 118 (middle 50 percent), 82 percent (bottom 25 percent)


PPG’s Rich Altieri said it is likely that repair opportunities will continue to decrease. His prediction: By 2006, 40 percent of today’s shops will cease to exist. If the collision industry is a $24 billion business, 24,000 shops doing $1 million a year in sales would take care of the market.


- As reported in Hammer & Dolly. The rise and fall in the number of body shops isn’t always clear. Some claim there were as many 80,000 shops in the 1970s. But using more than 40 years of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), industry publication CRASH Network argues the total number of shops has fluctuated between 37,500 and 44,000 from 1972 on, growing by just over 300 shops to about 40,200 in 2016. The average labor rate nationally last year was $48.85 (according to CCC Information Services), up almost 44 percent compared to the average reported by PPG for 1998, but below the 54 percent cumulative rate of inflation during that period; to keep up with inflation, the national average last year would have had to have been about $53.


15 Years Ago in the Collision Repair Industry (November 2003)


The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) “Fraud Awareness Committee” is the first to admit its recent survey was not scientific. After all, it was completed by only about 100 people who happened to be attending the CIC meeting earlier this year.


But the results may be interesting for those wondering about some of those “gray areas” shops and insurers find themselves in at times, said David McCreight, a member of the committee who shared the survey results last month in Boston.

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