European Technology Trends Predict Future of U.S. Repairs, Mitchell Says - BodyShop Business

European Technology Trends Predict Future of U.S. Repairs, Mitchell Says

Europe’s experience with advanced vehicle technology predicts future changes in the U.S. collision repair industry, according to Mitchell’s latest Industry Trends Report (ITR), released today.

This edition’s Quarterly Feature, "Looking at Europe to Predict the Future of U.S. Collision Repair," says that European manufacturers are tackling increased fuel efficiency and mileage targets and mandated side impact standards that will soon reach the U.S. market, and shops must be trained to repair the new features that will come along with this technology.

The report notes that Europe’s experience with both high-end and more commonly repaired vehicles, such as Jaguar’s new XJ and Volkswagen’s new Rabbit, is instructive. Both types of vehicles will soon come to U.S. shops for repair and present challenges to those unfamiliar with their advanced materials and construction. For example, the estimating and repair of new VW Rabbits requires knowledge of Ultra High Strength Steel alloys and the proper techniques to safely repair them. In the case of the Jaguar XJ, its new door frame construction is complex enough that the manufacturer will sponsor a door exchange program where the damaged door must be exchanged through the dealer for a rebuilt unit rather than risking a faulty repair.
 
"This is a remarkable time in the collision repair industry. The technological advances taking place are transforming today’s vehicles into increasingly complex pieces of machinery," said Mitchell’s Vice President of Industry Relations, Greg Horn. "Just as it did in the 1970s, the high-tech vehicle revolution occurring today in Europe offers a clear and compelling view of the challenges ahead in the U.S. collision repair industry. In the competitive U.S. market, we cannot afford the risk of being left behind.”
 
The ITR also discusses:
 
• The average initial appraisal value calculated by combining data from all first and third-party repairable vehicle appraisals uploaded through Mitchell systems in Q2-2009 was $2,391 – a 3-percent decrease from the previous year’s Q2-2008 appraisal average of $2,472. Applying the prescribed development factor to these data points produces an anticipated average appraisal value of $2,452 on a slightly older vehicle.
 
• At $11,995, the average Actual Cash Value (ACV) of vehicles appraised for collision losses during Q2-2009 reflects the aging vehicle fleet and lower actual cash value that the current economic conditions have caused.
 
To downloaded the complete ITR, visit www.mitchell.com.

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