Recent research with Smash Repair businesses offers some key insights regarding how the automotive repair industry is faring over the past 6 months. The research specifically covered the confidence in the market, the key challenges that smash repairers face, the best insurance companies that they deal with, and brand preferences across a number of key products used.
Smash Repair Market Outlook
On balance sentiment in the sector appears to have worsened over the last 6 months. While almost half the market mention that the number of vehicles repaired has not changed, fewer repairers claim that they are seeing increased numbers relative to September 2012. On balance, almost 23% of the market mention fewer vehicles are being repaired, up from 11% 6 months ago.
Overall the median number of vehicles repaired by Smash Repair businesses is 30 vehicles per month.
Smash Repairers Key Challenges
When prompted with a list of challenges facing their business, the overwhelming majority of smash repairers indicated that insurance companies driving down profitability is a key challenge facing their organisation. Beneath this, investment in technology and the ability to retain and pay skilled staff were the most prevalent challenges indicated. Relatively few businesses inficated that differentiating their business from other repairers was a challenge.
Best Car Insurance Companies to Deal With
Almost a third of smash repairers interviewed indicated that Allianz was the best insurance company that they deal with, significantly ahead of the competition. The RAC (in its various state guises) ranked second, with just short of one fifth of the vote. CGU, Suncorp, NRMA and Shannons were also mentioned, albiet by a smaller number of repairers.
Smash Repair Brand Preferences
3M products feature strongly among smash repairers. The brand claims top spot with smash repairers, with the highest level of preference for both abrasive and filler product categories. U-Pol also features as a prominent filler product, with just less than one third of repairers claiming they prefer it, just being 3M.
In the paint category, no single brand stands out as the most preferred. PPG gains the highest share, with just over one fifth of repairers preferring the brand. They are closely followed by DuPont, Glasurit, De Beer and Spies & Hecker. When it comes to Windscreens, O'Brien was mentioned the most often, though almost half indicated the prefer to use a local supplier.
A total of 211 decision makers from Smash Repair Workshops across Australia participated in the this study. Data has been weighted to ensure the sample represents workshops in Australia. Interviews were completed between 28th March and 9th April 2013.
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