WORLD NEWS: UK Club Reports 81 Percent of Body Shops Seeing Drop in Work Volume - BodyShop Business

WORLD NEWS: UK Club Reports 81 Percent of Body Shops Seeing Drop in Work Volume

The UK’s ABP Club (Auto Body Professionals Club) conducted a survey in April 2009 on its Web site that showed 81 percent of respondents reported a decrease in the volume of work in the first quarter of 2009, compared to the same period last year.

This is the third consecutive year UK shops reported a drop in work volume, according to the ABP Club. Last year, 63 percent of shops said they experienced a fall in work volumes in the first quarter of 2008, and 62 percent reported a decrease in quarter one 2007.

In contrast, the number of respondents reporting an increase in work volumes in quarter one 2009 has dropped to 11 percent, from 20 percent in 2008 and 22 percent in 2007.

Work volumes are unchanged for 8 percent of this year’s respondents, compared to 18 percent last year and 15 percent in 2007.

The ABP Club believes there are two causes for the decreased work volume.

Increased number of total losses: Declining second-hand car values, combined with increased repair complexities, means that more vehicles are declared by the insurers to be “beyond economic repair,” the club says.

High excesses: The ABP Club says that comparison Web sites (aggregators) have made it easy for people to reduce their insurance premiums by taking a voluntary excess.

“Whatever the reason, the fact is that less accident repair work is being undertaken,” said Mark Bull, ABP Club director. “Compound this with a reduction in average repair time, reducing parts margins and rising operating costs, it presents a clear picture that UK body shops are facing financially challenging times.”

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