The old saying of work time expands to fill the time available must surely ring true as the previous year’s toil and strife disappears into the rearview mirror. The industry from the view of your collision repair front door won’t always display a rapid increase in business. The facts are strangely different.

This year will see a number of major developments with by my estimation even more levels of consolidation by some major players in the South African market place. There is no doubt that with a host of new systems to be launched and different improved abrasive and refinishing methods that are due to hit these shores soon, owner operators had at best, sleep with one eye open to keep pace and not lose sight of what the connected car will bring to the repair table.

Global car makers are developing ever more advanced driven adaptive systems that include a multitude of features like a 360 degree view from the cars interior, a mobile-eye resonance backed-up by eight cameras and twelve ultrasonic sensors as well as new computer package system tips and black box systems that run on phenomenal power ratings. All this safety focus will ultimately deliver a large decline in major and minor accident frequency. In some European nations these levels are already 25% down for road accidents.

On the insurance front this ability to instantly determine who was at fault will compound the accident blame game.  Sadly our local major insurers, despite saying that they are in some ways reformed from their business model of profit persecution for lower margins that trade has been used to working for, seem to be continuing their deadly game of rigging the accident repair market for their own short term company business profit prospects.

One area of repair activity, in my opinion, for an extra rvenue stream would be to chase some of the lightly damaged cars to salvage vehicles that have become much more available and perhaps get into selling and repairing these units.

Appearance reconditioning and smart repair is another avenue away from low profit insurance repairs and the current hassle that it all brings to a local body shop.

New online push

Take a look at our recently overhauled website at www.autoref.co.za. We are now able to offer a comprehensive online media marketing plan that will incorporate social media too and create great brand awareness on the digital platform too. Contact us if you want to discuss further options or to disucss how we can help you grow your bottom line.

Dates to diarise

As always, we’re planning well ahead to keep abreast of all the latest news to bring our readers on a global scale. Autompromotec Bologna, Italy, kicks off things for Europe on 24 May followed shortly by IBIS which will be held in Madrid, Spain 12-13 June. NACE Automechanika is 26-28 July this year and will be held in Chicago, USA. The big event locally is Automechanika Johannesburg which will be held on 27-30 September.

We will be covering these events and more, so watch this space.

Hard work recognised

The Guild of Motoring Journalists Awards Ceremony which was held recently awarded this magazine’s key contributors some major accolades. Roger Houghton received the award for magazine motor sport writer.

Jay Groat ran off with the Top Motorcycle Photographer of the Year, while Roger McCleery, magazine contributor and President of SAGM presented the final award to Ian Groat, publisher and magazine founder. Ian received an award in the category Photojournalist of the Year.

“ We always thought we were good, but now we know for sure.” said Ian. I suppose the saying of the harder you work the luckier you get is absolutely true.