A Whole New World: Mitchell International on the changing landscape of automotive recycling

Toronto, Ontario — Mitchell’s second-quarter Industry Trends Report (ITR) for 2021 features a podcast with Ryan Mandell, director of Claims Performance and special guest Jeff Helget, vice president of Operations at B&R Auto Wrecking about the changing automotive recycling landscape. 

In the podcast, the two discuss how the automotive recycling industry is adapting to growing vehicle complexity. 

One of the first topics they dove into was how the pandemic affected B&R Auto Wrecking and the industry as a whole. 

Helget said the pandemic had a very significant impact on the auto recycling sector. 

“We were definitely an industry that was greatly disrupted — from all facets, from the human capital side to just the overall disruption in the supply chain.”

Helget explained that throughout the pandemic there was a significant drop off in the number of miles driven which equated to fewer accidents and less inventory for recyclers. 

He did note, however, that the “severity” and “complexity” of the accidents seemed to rise because many of the people driving were not following the speed limit. 

“That’s been an interesting sidebar to the disruption.”

Mandell and Helget then discussed the new technology that’s been making its way into the automotive landscape. 

The amount of capital going into electric and autonomous vehicles is “mind-boggling,” said Helget. 

Adding that these advancements are “absolutely changing our business beyond words.”

He also explained that microchips and ADAS sensors are in high demand right now. 

“As soon as we bring [those] to market effectively we see an instant gain in that segment.”

Helget says we still are only seeing the tip of the iceberg right now when it comes to new technology. 

“The plane hasn’t even got onto the runway yet,” he said. “There’s so much out there in front of us, it’s a really exciting time to be in this space.”


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