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Leading bodyshop cuts staff by fifth

Deejay Accident Repair Centres, a regular award winner at industry events, has made 24 of its 129 staff redundant in a bid to cut costs and stay competitive.

The company blames industry overcapacity for its action. No bodyshops will close but most of the redundancies – to include admin staff, technicians and senior management – will come from the Broxbourne centre in Herts, with surplus work re-directed to North London sites at Finchley, Wood Green and Tottenham. Deejay hopes to save £750,000 a year.

Dave Shepherd, Deejay's highly respected managing director, restructured the business after earlier gearing up for high volumes of work that did not materialise.

“Across the industry, claims are down by up to 25 per cent while the low cost of vehicles is increasing the number of write-offs,” he says. “This coupled with simpler vehicle construction and reduced labour time means we have had to take action.”

Shepherd says the industry is going through a tough period and predicts many bodyshops will close over the next 18 months because of an estimated 20 per cent over-capacity in the industry.

The news dismayed many rival bodyshops who called for the industry to stick together in a bid to raise work provider labour rates.

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