The practices in the collision repair industry have often served as a bellwether of things to come in the auto glass repair and replacement industry, and three collision trends have been getting a lot of attention lately:
1. Getting paid for finding instructions. A recent survey of body shops entitled “Who Pays for What?” by Repair Driven News reported that approximately 11 percent are them are being paid administrative fees to research and find the proper OE procedures for a repair. It’s too soon to know if this trend will continue and eventually reach the AGRR industry, but anyone who has spent hours trying to find installation instructions for very old or very new vehicles would find it welcome. Maybe someday, there will even be a NAGS number for looking up a NAGS number …
2. Enhanced rights to repair. The cost to repair the batteries in the iPhone may lead to legislation that eventually affects the auto glass industry. This “Right to Repair” legislation is in direct response to the lack of choices in repairing batteries in the Apple product. And the recent admissions by Apple that the batteries are slowed as they age has added momentum to the cause. “Right to Repair” laws give consumers, and independents who service their products legal access to service manuals, parts and other options.
This legislation is advancing in 17 states this year and, if passed, could become a logical jump-off point for additional right-to-repair laws around the collision repair and glass industries. Look for activity in Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont and Washington State.
3. Car selfies. Not only will cars take photos of themselves, but they will utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) to recognize and assess vehicle damage and decide on how the damage should be remedied. NAGS parent company Mitchell has already launched one such initiative. The Mitchell Assisted Review project began in October 2016. “By utilizing millions of damaged vehicle photos, computers are ‘trained’ to recognize damage and use computer vision to double-check repair vs. replace decisions,” said Mitchell’s “Industry Trend Report” for the third quarter of 2017.