The third edition 2008 Plimsoll Analysis, which looks at the top 850 companies in the UK, claimed repairers should aim for £216,000 of sales per employee to remain competitive.
At present, almost 25% were operating at a loss, and 75% needed to reduce their workforce to save costs.
Those at the highest risk of going bust, 176 of the companies surveyed, may need to shed up to 30% of their employees to stay in the market; one of the top companies could see 193 jobs lost alone.
The remaining 674 companies are split almost equally, with 327 needing minor tweaks to stay afloat, and 347 reporting sales of £266,000 per employee leaving them well-equipped to see out the next 12 months without problems.
Senior analyst, David Pattison, said: “The 176 companies we have identified as in danger need to act now if they are to survive.
“It very important they review their entire business cost base and take action now to significantly reduce their outgoings.
“Whilst job losses are undoubtedly bad news for any company, such decisive action may be called for to guarantee the ultimate survival of the business- even if this means the business is 30 or 50% smaller than it was.”