The Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) reports that diminishing capacity in the refurbishment sector is creating significant delays in preparing cars and vans for sale. This issue is causing substantial bottlenecks in the remarketing process.

The VRA’s Industry Trends Committee is investigating the problem, which is attributed to several factors including the consolidation of refurbishment providers, skills shortages, parts availability, and limited resources for electric vehicles (EVs).

Marcus Blakemore, chair of the committee, highlighted the increasing complaints from VRA members about refurbishment delays. “These delays directly impact the speed at which vehicles can be turned around, tying up money in assets waiting to be made ready for sale,” Blakemore stated. “Vehicles with damage or faults are losing value because dealers know they will take longer to process, sometimes taking months longer than expected to reach retail sales channels.”

Blakemore noted that resolving the issue is complex due to multiple contributing factors. “The primary cause is the reduced number of refurbishment facilities available to the general remarketing sector, worsened by recent consolidations and business sales. Additionally, there is a notable shortfall of skilled workers, which requires a renewed commitment to training across the sector and will take time to address.”

He also pointed out that parts shortages continue to be a significant problem. “Although there have been improvements since the pandemic, vehicles are still waiting for months for necessary parts to make them saleable.”

The challenge is particularly acute for the growing number of EVs entering the used market. “The industry is not yet fully equipped to handle the volume of EVs expected to reach the market. For example, only about one in three body shops can repair electric cars and vans,” Blakemore added.

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While there are no easy solutions, Blakemore assured that the committee will continue to work to raise awareness and foster dialogue among stakeholders. “This situation cannot be resolved quickly, but the VRA can help by increasing awareness and creating momentum for potential solutions,” he concluded.