By Allison Rogers and Steve Fletcher

Automotive recyclers are a pretty cool lot. You’re known to be a passionate and tight-knit group, always seeking to introduce new practices to position themselves ahead of the curve—but never refusing to share your trade secrets in support of the betterment of our industry. That fact did not need proving—but the industry did anyway during the ‘Agents of Change’

Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) managing director Steve Fletcher said Canadians showed up in droves for the Orlando, Florida, event. “[We] were for sure the biggest audience from a country outside of the United States,” he said.

Team Canada’s passion was surely noted at the event—if not for their passion, then certainly for their big win during the Awards Banquet trivia contest. “We made sure they heard us there!”

Airbags and accreditation

eBay Motors announced a new airbag program wherein only certified auto recyclers will be allowed to list airbags. So far, the program is only in action in the United States and the virtual marketplace will cover certification and member costs.

Certification was a big conversation topic at the event. The ARA has had its certified auto recycler program in place for many years longer than the ARC–but less than 20 percent of ARA members are certified, compared to 100 percent of ARC members. With these eBay benefits in place–and more on the way–the goal is to get every ARA member certified. Canada has certainly seen the benefits of certification and look forward to sharing how to achieve this goal.

Do recyclers dream of electric parts?

Handling electric vehicles (EVs) was another heady subject. Ryan Mandell from Mitchell International was present to speak on collision industry trends around repairing EVs, where he focused on parts utilization, delivery delays and other industry trends affecting the repair or totaling of insured electric vehicles.

Numerous battery recyclers and companies exploring the reuse of EV batteries were in attendance, said Fletcher.

One audience member compared EV battery recycling with catalytic converter recycling 20 years ago. Mirrored by the current confusion around EV recycling, catalytic converters, too, were once a product avoided by many recyclers.

“Information was scarce, then,” said Fletcher. “Today there are hundreds of cat’ buyers, and the data exchange is significant such that they add very nice profit for every auto recycler.”

Stay tuned for details on the Automotive Recyclers Association’s 80th annual conference, October 11-14, 2023 in Kansas City MO

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