How can the use of recycled “green parts” effect the resilience and flexibility of the repair industry supply chain?
This year has seen an unprecedented change for car & van sales. The supply of new vehicles has suffered more this year than any period since the war. A perfect storm combining production issues from closed factories due to Covid, and a world wide shortage of parts; mainly chips – semiconductors used in over 100 components on most vehicles plus plastics, foam & even LCD screens. Even when parts are produced the supply chain has been interrupted by everything from lockdowns to Brexit.
The lack of availability of new cars has caused an exceptional upturn in used car prices. The majority of used cars diminish in value the minute they’re driven out of the showroom, yet the last few months has seen that trend reverse with some used cars attracting 30% uplift on this time last year.
The benefit of bypassing this mess by using green parts for body repairs is clear. Most recyclers can supply within 24 hours & with advancements in technology, VIN based identification systems ensure the correct part is supplied. Many also quality control and offer a warranty on the green parts now.
There are other big advantages, namely reduced costs, both directly for parts replacement but also the quick supply often expedites key-to-key times, thus reducing hire, storage or loss of use costs. Total loss avoidance schemes often rely heavily upon green parts to reduce costs enough to flip repairs to an economical proposition.
From a sustainability viewpoint, not having to manufacture parts afresh from raw materials & transport them around the globe makes green parts important for responsible progress within the body repair industry.
Engineers & Insurers View
For many years our engineers have seen green parts in a positive light, but they are not without issues or indeed critiques. Availability can be a concern and clearly high volume marques are more readily available than low production models (one could argue OEM parts are not always available). Many green parts suppliers work together to increase the chance of available.
Some insurers have been more open minded than others historically, although rapid deliveries & warranties alleviate some worries. Finally drivers have voiced concerns about having used parts fitted to their cars, so education about the type of parts used or more importantly safety related items that aren’t used, has helped. Drivers are out inclined to accept recycled parts to avoid a total loss situation.
A growing trend within the body repair ecosystem, with the infrastructure, technology, warranties, quality control & supply becoming increasingly better as industry realises the significant benefits of this sustainable system. We have no doubt that the green parts industry will continue to grow & improve in the future.