Every day, the National Auto Body Council says the industry‐at‐large and the general public gets a little more familiar with the work being done as part of the its Recycled Rides program, through which NABC members refurbish donated vehicles and gift them to families in need and organizations dedicated to assisting others. The NABC says what isn’t so well‐known is that the Recycled Rides process is constructed to ensure participants who represent the NABC and its mission do so in a manner that accentuates the best the collision industry has to offer. Contributing repairers must be able to project a positive image because the initiative is designed to create a link between that image and the perspective of the consumer, often filtered through local media, according to NABC.
The group says its vetting process is not complicated, nor is it time‐consuming. Quite simply, any collision repair business wishing to be part of Recycled Rides needs to be an active member of the NABC. By joining with the NABC in its vision to help improve the image of the industry, the organization knows that shops are in it for the right reason and not for personal gain at the expense of others.
Furthermore, the association between the shop and a well‐established organization like the NABC creates a legitimacy to participation that the shop might not otherwise achieve on its own, NABC says.
“By being part of a nationally recognized effort to help others,” said NABC Executive Director Chuck Sulkala, “the individual’s motivations are clear to others. The local media knows that the shop is engaged as part of something bigger part of literally hundreds of acts of simultaneous good will across the country making it something more than a mere PR ‘grab’.”
There is a practical side to being part of a nationwide program, too, the NABC notes. Much of the work that goes into making the initiative a success falls outside the scope of repairing the vehicle and is potentially difficult for the shop, given that ownership and management are consumed with running a business. Different contributors to Recycled Rides help the shop locate the right parts, find a suitable charity to work with, and take care of vehicle titling and registration.
This support is made possible with a $100 Recycled Rides participation fee separate from membership, which is also a part of helping cover direct program administrative expenses. The return on investment is significant, according to NABC, because this kind of assistance helps ensure that the total return of value occurs for shop owner, technician, vendors, insurers and the recipient not to mention the positive PR that goes along with it. Because the NABC works with vendors across the country, it can keep participation costs to a minimum.
“We’ve steadily refined our model over the years and continue to tweak it to make it work most
efficiently for everyone involved, but we won’t rest on our laurels,” adds Sulkala. “With Recycled Rides as well as our other programs, our goal is to provide community‐based programs to improve the image of the industry, and make those programs available to local shops at a reasonable cost so they can benefit. The quality control that being an NABC member brings to the mix extends that value. Shops that want to be part of the program can see it for themselves, and we’re happy to be able to provide that kind of transparency.”