For an industry that has led the country on recycling for more than four decades it could be argued that the dismantling sector has taken its time presenting the benefits of re-using parts to consumers and the trade.
But no more.
Public acceptance of warrantied, re-usable parts is reaching a tipping point and, with it, insurers’ and body shops’ willingness to use and endorse the concept.
The notion of ‘green parts’, of course, has its roots in thrifty consumers and canny body shop owners but with smarter branding and a wider public move towards recycling, energy efficiency and re-use – dubbed up-cycling by hipsters – green parts have ‘found their time.’
That’s the view of Ian Hill of Hills, the huge Lancashire-based dismantler. And he points to his own steady sales growth in warrantied used parts via his Green Parts Specialists platform as evidence of the shift in public mood and buying habits.
“We launched GPS under the radar to allow us to test out our systems and gauge the market’s reaction,” says Hill. “But it’s taking off rapidly and the trade is getting right behind it.”
GPS now has more than 20 other dismantlers sharing his advanced technology platform, which includes a web site, app and call centre, to log parts for sales to consumers and the trade.
In tandem, more than 200 body shops and repairers nationwide now regularly purchase via its portal, enjoying guaranteed next day delivery and Hills’ own warranty on all parts. Exact matches to OEM parts are made via VIN.
And now that insurer Ageas has trialled GPS’s performance Hill says that the concept of green parts has reached a tipping point.
“Now that a leading insurer has gone to its roster of body shops and demonstrated the benefits of our approach the whole thing will go mainstream and become the accepted way to source lower cost, OEM parts,” predicts Hill.
Robin Challand, Claims Director at Ageas, points to the environmental benefits as a key attraction.
“These parts have been named green parts because not only do they save a car from being written off, using this type of part saves a new part from having to be manufactured. It is better than recycling, it is reducing demand for precious resources and giving new purpose to good parts that would otherwise be discarded,” he says.
“The most commonly replaced parts are front and rear plastic bumpers and headlamps. These are replaced on average in 25 per cent of repairs and so we can see a real opportunity to use this environmentally friendly solution in more than 15 per cent of repairs each year, keeping our customers on the road in their cherished vehicles,” added Robin.
Insurers also benefit from making repairs economical, reducing the customer churn that comes with a total loss, and they can share the savings with their repair shops, boosting their margins. Everyone wins, including the end-consumer, who gets a repair done more economically and has the satisfaction of knowing they’ve done their bit for the environment.
The Green Parts Specialists currently ship hundreds of parts per week through their platform and Ian Hill says the whole industry wins.
“We’ve made the technological investment on behalf of the industry and are delighted that so many other dismantlers are now using it. The trick now will be to promote it in a way that matches growth in demand with this growth in supply.”
With insurers now making a move to drive demand via their nominated repairers and body shops that looks more likely to happen than not.
To find out more about The Green Parts Specialists visit their website at www.thegreenpartsspecialists.co.uk or call them on 01695 551969.
Issued on behalf of Hills by Dougal Paver of Merrion Strategy