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MVDA agm
MVDA's annual general meeting was held during the CARS show
The Motor Vehicle Dismantlers’ Association took advantage of the CARS show to hold their Annual General Meeting during the event. After the formalities of the association’s accounts and any issues from previous minutes, MVDA Chairman, Chas Ambrose took the opportunity to review briefly the current state of the industry.

He explained that total loss volumes overall remain low, with accident rates down, claims down, and insurers repairing many vehicles which might otherwise have been total lossed, in order to keep their bodyshops busy. Many bodyshops are themselves undertaking a lot more retail repairs, probably as a result of high excesses and this presents golden opportunities for the use of green parts - see the separate article covering the green parts forum at CARS.

Auctions continued to deliver small margins on reduced volumes of salvage. He felt that categorisation of vehicles remains a concern, particularly over the control of the falling proportion of category B vehicles, and the growing proportion of category C vehicles. He said “If I were of a cynical nature I might be tempted to suggest that this reflects the financial returns of the categories”.

On the issue of scrap, he told members that prices have remained buoyant, certainly far too high to keep out all the ‘undesirables’. Metal theft has continued to become more and more prominent, to the point where even Government couldn’t ignore it. Illegal export of metal is now a major issue. It’s only in recent weeks that the market has significantly weakened. This may not necessarily be a bad thing, if margins can be maintained. It may discourage itinerants & illegal operators.

There have been changes a foot in the industry for many years, with more and more yards ‘closing’ to the public, moving to over-the-counter or call-centre sales. Chas feels that on-line sales is currently ‘where it’s at’ – most notably E-bay. “I don’t believe this market has ever been so buoyant” he said. His own view being that this is down to the state of the economy, but also e-commerce, particularly companies such as E-bay and Amazon which have made ‘distance selling’ a safe proposition for the consumer. This has resulted in intense competition for ‘parts vehicles’ sadly, it’s not a level playing field here.

When it comes to regulators, Chas explained that the take home message here is not a happy one. “Being blunt”, he said, “You cannot rely on Government/regulators to ensure that there is a level playing field. They do not have the time, money or resources, the knowledge or expertise or perhaps even the desire to tackle the issues”. Your best way of coping with this is to ensure that you make the most of your business opportunities.

However, it’s not something members can ignore. “We have to continue making our point of view heard, being challenging & yet constructive, fighting our corner. Care must be taken to ensure contracting only by with legal operators".

The above is a brief resume of what is happening with the MVDA and a full report will be in their quarterly magazine, Automotive Recycling and Dismantling which is distributed to members. I would recommend anyone involved in the industry who is not a member to consider joining as we, as an industry have much more ‘clout’ in greater numbers.

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