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Inflation out-paces labour

Scrap values, labour rates, work providers and paint supplier approvals were among the issues discussed at the ABP Club Convention.

ABP Club chairman David Cresswell said the average hourly labour rate has not kept up with inflation since 2003, according to figures from Audatex.

Although it has risen from £24.15 to £28.36, that represents a 17.4% increase against the 19.6% rise in inflation.

Bodyshops have also seen a small but steady decline in the number of hours per repair, with the average now at 16.98 hours compared to 17.61 hours in 2003.

In her presentation, Ruth Moring of Morelli Group, while pointing out that she wasn’t there to talk specifically about the company’s recent deal with Albany Assistance, did provide some background.

Moring said: “Today, 60 to 80% of bodyshops have more than one paint scheme.

"Many have more than one distributor. This affects the relationship we can build with our customers.

"The problem is in this market there is too much short-term feeling in the panic for survival.”

AM reported last month that Albany had mandated Morelli Group as paint supplier to its approved bodyshops.

Albany later backtracked, saying it was only a recommendation.

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