Page 30 - Australian Paint & Panel Magazine May-June 2019
P. 30

Business Matters
didn’t happen and dealerships can charge over £100 per hour. There’s been a huge gap between collision and other parts of the servicing network – that will rebalance.
“The current outlook may seem grim but the trend is very positive,” he said.
arsh gave a fascinating presentation at the Collision Repair Expo outlining the opportunities that diagnostics and re- calibration offer to the enterprising re- pairer. He spent some time proving that fully autonomous cars aren’t coming any time soon given the huge number of obstacles from lack of standardisation of wireless networks (autonomous cars will need a minimum of 5G which comes with its own implementation issues) and many other factors from infrastructure, technology and legislation.
He pointed out that while of the one
hand manufacturers have simplified their builds by having fewer platforms, they’ve complicated this supply chain by having so many more body shapes. For instance, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW increased the number of models from an average of 10 in 2010 to an aver- age of 17 by 2018. The number of body shapes within each model range has proliferated, climbing from an average of 16 model body shape variations in 2010 to around 27 by 2018. However, in most developed markets the volume of new car sales has remained relatively static, so all those extra body shapes are chasing the same market share.
This trend is right across the automo- tive market - there’s no significant vol- ume increase per model, just fewer of each derivative. On the platform front Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have slimmed down from five or six platforms in 2010 to, essentially, just two in 2018.
While this is some ways simplifies the hands on repair process, it complicates parts supply.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) which require cameras, radars or LIDAR have been entering the repair sphere in significant numbers since 2000 and demand different types of cal- ibration – broadly speaking:
• From 2000 onwards: Static calibration • From 2009 onwards: Dynamic cali-
• From 2017 onwards: Self calibration
Marsh's argument is that if a car has a service life of 10-15 years then there will be a huge legacy of vehicles which will need recalibrating in the future. Given the space and conditions needed to carry out these calibrations, dealer- ships are unlikely to be able to keep up with calibration demands, especially for older models. It's also unlikely that remote calibration by the manufactur- er will become commonplace before 2030, which makes the opportunity even greater.
Marsh argues that autobody repairers can know more about vehicles than the franchised dealer as they have to per- form more complex interactions with the car. If repairers are prepared to em- brace the opportunities that digital technology offers then they will both raise the profile of the industry and in- crease profits and cycle time.
“We need to be awake and ready for change,” he said.
ABOVE: Recalibrating vehicles offers many great profit opportunities
LEFT: Tesla says its cars come standard with advanced hardware capable of providing Autopilot features.

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