Collaboration was a word that seemed to resonate throughout the Advanced Propulsion Centre on Thursday, 9th June, as ATF Professional hosted its UK vehicle recycling conference. Speakers from the USA, Sweden and Germany joined those from the UK to highlight the many issues facing the industry at present and also how they are being tackled.
The conference brought together major stakeholders involved with vehicle recycling, from manufacturers to recyclers of ELVs. By having such a variety of speakers and also delegates representing the vehicle recycling community, the event provided insight and food for thought for all of those who attended.
Jim Loughran, CEO of e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management, kicked off the first session by discussing how the benefits of using reclaimed parts could be maximised if all parties involved in the claim, including insurer, policyholder, repairer and vehicle recycler, were to collaborate. Following Jim was Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars, Owain Griffiths. He talked about where Volvo Cars was headed regarding sustainability and how Volvo Cars are keen to speak to and learn from vehicle recyclers.
After a brief break and networking period, Professor Paul Christensen from Newcastle University and Director of Lithiumionsafety Limited opened the next session with a highly impactful presentation on the dangers of lithium-ion batteries. He commented that the vehicle recycling industry is critical for the green transition and that there will be no revolution without the recycling of these batteries.
Sonja Nehls, Principal Analyst at Autovista24, based in Germany, discussed the residual value and how new and used car prices are in turmoil, with the immediate impacts being COVID-19 and the Ukraine War. She advised recyclers not to be blinded by surging used car prices because of the current supply issues. And although it won’t go away quickly to prepare for residual value risks seen with electrification with increasing remarketing volumes, and be ready to handle these vehicles.
Before lunch, Marty Hollingshead, the current President of the Automotive Recyclers Association and Owner of Northlake AutoRecyclers, provided delegates with his view of the vehicle recycling industry from the perspective of the US, and again, collaboration was very much emphasised in his speech. He said that although they are competitors in the US, vehicle recyclers are happy to share ideas, something he said should be adopted in the UK. Finally, he mentioned how at a recent meeting between recyclers and OEMs, a person from General Motors compared vehicle recycler’s to ‘Superheroes’, adding that they need to work together.
The afternoon’s session included SYNETIQ’s green parts director, Sarah Hirst, who discussed the green parts market after COVID, how the market has adapted along with the needs of the customer and what is being done to ensure customers’ needs are met, and only by working together, can we continue to shift the perception of ‘used’ parts.
Many delegates were intrigued to know why a credit hire company was at this conference. Kirsty Cogent, Managing Director of Cogent Hire, answered this and discussed some of the insights the company have gained and the initiatives that have been put in place regarding green parts and EVs. She also emphasised how collaboration within the industry can effect change.
The last session of the day was provided by Howard Bluck, Technical Director at the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA). He discussed waste classifications and the challenges in the end-of-life vehicle and metals recycling sectors. Finally, the afternoon’s session was concluded by Andrew Marsh, CEO of Ezi Methods, who discussed the lifecycle of electric vehicles, the current state of vehicle manufacturing and what part ATFs will have to play in this.
The day was full of information on the current and future trends in vehicle recycling. Within the room, there was very much a buzz about the world of vehicle recycling, and with the networking involved, it very much seemed that the message of collaboration was having an effect.
With much positive feedback, plans are already underway for ATF Professional’s next conference and making this event the most important date in the calendar for those involved in the recycling of vehicles.
Finally, ATF Professional would like to thank not only the speakers who took the time to present at the conference but also great thanks goes to all the sponsors who helped make such a successful event.
Keep an eye out for more reports from the conference in the next couple of weeks.