According to a recent post by the National Body Repair Association (NBRA), since the threat of coronavirus, there are more Bodyshop members expressing dissatisfaction regarding parts hold-up from the Far East.
The post said: Following an early tip-off from Rye Street Coachworks relating to a shortage of JCB parts, the NBRA has been monitoring and hearing more and more Bodyshop members complain about parts delays from the Far East and China.
It has already been reported that measures to stop people making unnecessary journeys and spreading the virus in China have reduced car sales in the country by 92%. It is no surprise that factories producing parts for the automotive industry have been closed, or production slowed.
Whilst it would be an easy mistake to assume that only Chinese marques would be affected, the reality is many of the brands sold in the UK have parts and components made in China. These include Ford, Land Rover, Vauxhall, BMW, Toyota, Renault and many more.
The effects on the supply chain have not been widely felt as parts arriving in the UK may now have been shipped from China as much as a month ago, but the problem will soon become apparent. Even shortages of abrasives and dust masks are possible albeit many distributors had already stocked up fearing Brexit issues.
Similar to Brexit this issue has the potential to manifest itself in an inability for bodyshops to complete and invoice work in progress or even start new work creating a hole in the already low cash reserves due to low margins at many Bodyshops.
Additionally, courtesy cars already an unreasonable Bodyshop cost are likely to be out longer as jobs await completion or un-drivable vehicles can’t be started.
The NBRA is calling on all insurers and accident management companies to be prepared to support the Bodyshop industry should this issue become pronounced. NBRA is aware that Innovation Group has already taken the highly responsible approach of working hard on this issue, communicating with its network and is in talks with its Principles in readiness for problems.
Chris Weeks, NBRA Director, added: “This is a great opportunity for NBRA and Insurers / AMCs to think as one where we have a common threat and ensure repairers remain financed and still able to look after their shared customers. We are contacting out NBRA Insurer Advisory Board in readiness.”
Editors Comment: With the Coronovirus close to being a pandemic it is difficult to predict how it may affect manufacturing and the supply chain of spare parts. Reused parts could be a solution for supplying Bodyshops. Similar to when Brexit was in the news. As we hear more about how companies within the auto industry are vulnerable it shows the importance of the role the vehicle recycling industry and the role it can play.