But the sector could be ripe for growth.
The SMMT found that much of the remanufacture is done by vehicle manufacturers for warranty purposes, and by original equipment manufacturers, based overseas in more economically advantageous locations, such as eastern Europe and Asia.
Yet the cost involved means low-value components, which could be suitable for remanufacture, could be an opportunity for UK businesses, says the Report on Remanufacture in the UK Automotive Aftermarket.
Its author, waste management specialist Oakdene Hollins, makes several recommendations to the SMMT, including to promote the benefits of remanufacturing to intermediaries such as motor factors, and to encourage independent workshops and franchised dealers to reclaim used components for reconditioning.
It also suggests setting up a voluntary ‘remanufacturing rating’ system for carmakers that highlights the recoverable and reusable mass of a vehicle.