As the automotive industry continues to evolve, body repair shops across Europe are facing a multitude of challenges and opportunities. As Fixico works with over 3,000 repairers across 10 countries, we decided to reach out to a few and gain insights into the industry trends they believe will have the most impact in the next 5 years. Additionally, we asked how they are preparing for the future and what role digital solutions, such as Fixico, play in supporting their endeavors. Here’s what they had to say:
Electrification and Specialization
Body repairers unanimously identified electrification as the most impactful trend, which has already taken shape and will increase exponentially in the next 5 years. New vehicles are more electric and complex, leading to more complex repairs as well.
Carbon fiber, glass and aluminum, have more costs and absorb more energy during a collision, increasing the size of the damage and leading to repairers having to replace an entire part rather than hammering the damage out. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which are designed to improve the safety and convenience of driving, also add complexity to the repair as BRS’ now need to obtain the necessary equipment, facilities, training, and skills to repair or replace ADAS-equipped parts.
“Currently, about 10% of the vehicles coming into our shop require high-tech equipment. In a few years, it’ll be 60-70%. The repair shops who don’t have a vision and don’t make these investments will disappear,” said Menno Walinga, owner of AutoFirst Walinga in the Netherlands.
Labor Shortage and Reskilling
The scarcity of skilled technicians is also a pressing concern for bodyshops. In a survey conducted by Fixico last year, 52% of repair shops indicated that labor shortages were their top concern for the future.
The industry has long foreseen significant labor shortages, mainly due to the retirement of long-standing mechanics and a waning interest in younger generations to pursue careers in this field. What traditionally has been perceived as a stable and lucrative profession is gradually losing its appeal amidst the increasing allure of high-tech industries and digital careers for younger people.
“Obviously electrification is a challenge, but changing the entire concept of body shops will be the real challenge. The type of profile of workers in the future will be different from current needs, so we have 100% commitment to retraining and training of existing staff as well as active recruitment of the necessary profiles for the future,” said Bram Eeckhout, owner of Smart Car Repair in Belgium.
Rising Customer Expectations
Customers now expect a seamless, digital journey when it comes to auto repairs. They desire constant updates on repair progress and prompt notifications. Repairers recognize the need to enhance their service offerings to meet these expectations. The digital integration of repair status updates streamlines the customer experience, ensuring transparency and building trust.
“Customers nowadays like to keep track of their car repairs and know when they can expect their car to be ready. Getting their car back quickly is important to them, and providing personal service and high-quality repairs is what makes a good repairer stand out from the rest,” said Dennis Peeters, owner of Carrosserie Autocenter A12 in Belgium.
How Fixico Supports Body Repair Shops
At Fixico, we understand the challenges faced by repairers and have designed our platform to cater to their unique needs. With increasingly complex vehicles and labor shortages, it’s more important than ever to maximize operational efficiency and have a clear and seamless way to schedule repairs and coordinate with customers. Our smart matchmaking technology connects specific damages and vehicles to the repairers which are best suited (based on certifications, distance, prices, etc), meaning we only send damages to repairers which best fit their business. Also via our platform, repairers can seamlessly accept damages, make quotes and update customers on the status of repairs.
“In my opinion, the operation of the Fixico platform is very well oriented towards the future. It gives me the feeling that this is a basis for good cooperation in the many years to come. Only qualified repairers are connected to the network. Customers can follow up on the repair and it is up to the repairer to ensure that lead times are respected. Based on good photos we can already order parts in advance. Depending on their work schedule for the coming weeks, repairers may not be able to make a quote for certain damages if this would not fit into the schedule,” said Carrosserie Eeckhout Aalst.
“Fixico has helped us expand our customer base. They regularly bring us new customers which allows us to focus more on the repairs,” said Salvatore Bomparola, owner of Dovi Car in Italy.
Ultimately, as the partnership between repairers and platforms like Fixico strengthens, it becomes evident that collaboration is the key to shaping the future of automotive body repair. By embracing technology, upskilling, and meeting customer expectations head-on, these repair shops are not only preparing themselves for the challenges ahead but also carving out a path for the success of the entire automotive industry.
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