Supply Chain Sidestep: How Refurbished Auto Electronics Are Helping Motorists
If expensive or backordered replacement parts are stressing you out, repair the parts you have...
Demand for refurbished auto electronics is on the rise. Thanks to the double whammy of semiconductor shortages and inflation, supply chain disruptions are affecting auto repair and body shops nationwide. Fortunately, an easy fix is at hand. Instead of waiting for replacement parts, savvy shops and DIY enthusiasts are servicing their original parts. The list of electronics is long and includes airbag modules, transmission control modules, Instrument clusters, TIPMs, and ABS brake modules. As cars and trucks are increasingly dependent on electronics, the range of hi-tech parts in need of service is expanding. In the long run, refurbishing parts saves time and money and can even help the environment.
The Automotive Electronics Supply Chain Is In Flux
With 278,000 repair shops and 110,000 body shops in the United States the service industry is big and it's growing. Obviously, the demand for parts is increasing, as well. With respect to electronics, new car makers are buying every chip in the pipeline. With a limited supply of chips for replacement electronics, vehicles in need of repair can wait weeks for replacement parts.
In the near term, parts manufacturers and wholesalers are building up inventories to avoid future shortages. Instead of "Just In Time" we're stocking up "just in case". Meanwhile, shipping costs are climbing substantially. Ocean freight, for example, has gone up five-fold which is causing manufacturers to rethink offshore production. Taiwan Semiconductor, for example, is building a factory in Arizona, but shifting and expanding production centers takes time.
Record Prices For Automotive Replacement Parts
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the inflation rate for motor vehicle parts is 12.59%. That's the highest rate on record with 2022 beating the old 12% milestone set in 1980. Of course, many in the industry argue that the actual inflation rate is more like 25%.
Though prices are eye-popping, they're quickly forgotten if the parts themselves are backordered. Nothing is worse than finding out that your car may be down for days or weeks because parts are delayed or unavailable.
The Average Vehicle Age Is Up
Sounds gloomy but there is lots of good news for shops. With the average new car price approaching $50,000, drivers are keeping vehicles longer. According to S&P Global Mobility, the average age for a car or light truck is 12.2 years old. As these older vehicles age, the need for repairs increases. Paying off a car loan feels great and frees up funds. Qualified, trustworthy shops are in high demand. Since drivers are increasingly attached to their electronic conveniences and driver aids, savvy techs are working with shops like MyAirbags and UpFix to service advanced technology such as multi-function displays with navigation.
Refurbishing As a Service vs Reconditioned Replacement Parts
Together, we have a real opportunity to help people keep their cars on the road. Strike up a conversation about refurbished parts. Make it clear to customers that you're fixing their parts. Predictably, repaired existing parts cost less than replacement parts. Repair time is quick and the process eliminates expensive core charges and VIN encoding.
As quick turnaround is critical, we service almost all electronics in 1-2 days. That's fast. If you're in the Atlanta metro area feel free to drop off parts in person. For everyone else, we have perfected your online ordering experience by generating a shipping label at checkout. Just print your shipping label, tape it to the package, and drop it off at any Walgreens or FedEx branch. We do backflips to minimize delay and deliver great service. When your parts arrive at MyAirbags - UpFix, we even email you pictures of your received parts for peace of mind.
While supply chain woes are likely to ease in 2023, high prices are here to stay. That said, repaired and reset electronics are a great alternative to replacement parts. Whether it’s an airbag module, a BMW M5 instrument cluster, or futuristic ADAS autonomous technology when automotive electronics fail, repairing and resetting the parts makes great sense. Just pull the parts, ship them to us and we'll take care of the hard part.