When the jury for the aftermarket parts trial against State Farm awarded the plaintiffs $456 million and the judge ruled the insurance giant committed fraud and awarded the plaintiffs an additional $730 million, some people cheered, some people jeered and others shed tears. But how will all this ultimately affect consumers — and repairers?
You may never know that what you’re saying is annoying your shop’s customers until you involve your grandma.
Aftermarket (A/M) crash parts have had one roller coaster of a year: On one hand, the Consumer Reports cover story on A/M parts brought a lot of negative attention to them and opened the eyes of a lot of consumers. On the other hand, at the Collision Industry Conference’s (CIC) recent "fit and finish" demonstration
It’s no secret the collision repair industry is suffering from a technician shortage. What’s maybe not quite as well-known is that some of the industry’s current techs are suffering, too.
Many collision repair shop owners started their businesses for the freedom owning a business offers — freedom to be your own boss, freedom to do what you want, how you want, when you want.
For years, shop owners have clashed with insurers regarding such things as forced usage of aftermarket crash parts and insurers’ unethical — sometimes illegal — persuasion methods of steering insureds to "recommended" shops. While some progress has been made in these areas, shop owners, for the most part, have been arguing in vain. They’ve been battling insurers to protect the rights of consumers (and their own livelihood), while consumers have remained oblivious to it all. In essence, shop owners have been fighting for people who aren’t even aware there’s a battle going on.
It’s not uncommon to hear shop owners complaining about how awful the collision repair industry is. In fact, when a group of such shop owners get together, it’s worse than a group of old ladies sitting around discussing all their health problems. I know because I speak with a lot of collision repairers and I’m related to a lot of old Italian women (my mother, for one). And, although I have no desire to hear my family discussing bladder control, a group of collision repairers complaining is still worse — especially since most of their problems are fixable.
You can’t go one month without hearing or reading about a consolidator buying an independent collision repair shop. In the past few months alone, ABRA Auto Body & Glass acquired East Marietta Paint & Body in Marietta, Ga., formerly owned by Donnie and Ruth Reeves; Sterling Collision Centers acquired JSI Collision Centers, with four locations
If single-shop operators want to compete with consolidators and multiple-shop entities, they’re going to have to change their Mom-and-Pop mentality.
If you add facilities for the wrong reasons or without thoroughly understanding what you’re getting into, you may end up with multiple headaches instead of multiplied success.
Some insurers are rounding up consumers and steering them out of shops like herds of cattle – leaving many shop owners to ask: “Where’s the beef?”
A year filled with changes and challenges, some shop owners came out ahead while others dreamed of getting out