Auto Body Shops

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 31,700 auto body shops in the US provide structural and interior repair, paint, and customization services for vehicles, such as passenger cars, trucks, vans, and trailer bodies. Major customers are insurers, vehicle owners, and auto dealerships. Some auto body shops are members of insurers’ Direct Repair Programs (DRP) and receive referrals from insurers whose clients have filed damage claims.

Increasing Technological Complexity

The technological complexity of modern vehicles creates operational challenges for body shops.

Collision Claims Stabilize, Severity Rises

While the incidence of collision damage insurance claims has remained steady over the last few years, the severity of claims has risen.

Industry size & Structure

The average auto body shop operates out of a single location, employs less than 9 workers, and generates $1.7 million annually.

    • The auto body shop industry consists of about 31,700 firms that employ about 261,000 workers and generate $54.4 billion annually.
    • The industry is highly fragmented; the top 50 companies account for 20% of industry revenue.
    • The industry includes multiple location operators (MLO)/multiple shop operators (MSO)/chains, franchises, and independent operators. In 2019, independent shops accounted for 54.1% of total body work sales, while chains and franchises accounted for 26.6% (car dealerships accounted for the remainder).
    • Large firms include Caliber Collision, Gerber Collision & Glass, and Service King. Large franchises include Fix Auto USA and Driven Brands (CARSTAR, Maaco).
                                Industry Forecast
                                Auto Body Shops Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Jul 10, 2024 - Sales Dip as Employment Grows
                                • Total revenue for auto repair and maintenance services was $41.9 billion in Q1 2024, a 2.5% decrease compared to a year ago and 2.2% lower than the previous quarter, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. Employment by auto body repair shops increased 5.2% in May 2024 year over year, as levels remain higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Meanwhile, average wages per hour for nonsupervisory employees at auto body and glass repair shops were 2% higher in May 2024 compared to a year ago, reflecting the tight labor market. Average wages per hour reached $26.65 in May 2024.
                                • More body shops are researching original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair procedures, according to a survey from Collision Advice and CRASH Network reported in Body Shop Business. The survey showed that 61% of shops say they research automaker repair procedures on all or most of the vehicles they repair, a nine percentage point increase since 2020. According to Collision Advice’s Mike Anderson, “It’s still not a high enough percentage, because this must be done every time, but at least awareness of this vital step is increasing.” The survey revealed that about 17% of shops said they never or only occasionally research automaker procedures when preparing an estimate or repair plan, a percentage that has been steady since 2020.
                                • US light duty aftermarket sales grew by 8.6% in 2023, reaching $392 billion, according to the 2025 Auto Care Factbook released by the Auto Care Association. The sales surpassed the previous year’s projections of 8.1% despite challenges such as persistent inflation. Light vehicle growth is expected to be 5.9% higher in 2024. The industry is expected to continue to improve, with a sales forecast of $617.3 billion in 2027 for total light, medium, and heavy duty automotive aftermarket. Consumers seeking affordable options for service and repair to keep their cars running are driving stable growth in the industry. According to Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association, “As credit card debt in the U.S. reaches an all-time high of more than $17 trillion in 2024, Americans are feeling the weight of inflation and choosing more cost-saving options when possible, including with the maintenance of their cars.”
                                • Electric vehicle (EV) total loss frequency rates were higher in Q1 2024, up 8% from Q4 2023 and up 30% from Q3 2023 in the US, according to the “Plugged-In: EV Collision Insights” report from Mitchell in Body Shop Business. EV total loss rates were 9.9% and 7.4% in the US and Canada, respectively, in Q4. According to Ryan Mandell, director of claims performance for Mitchell, “Slowing new sales, manufacturer price reductions and changing consumer sentiment are impacting the value of used EVs. As a result, the total loss frequency for collision-damaged EVs is increasing. However, it is also increasing for new gasoline-powered vehicles, which are comparable to EVs in terms of their complexity and cost to repair.” In addition, the report noted that the average number of mechanical labor hours present on estimates for repairable vehicles was nearly twice as high for EVs as for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, and EV claims frequency is steadily rising.
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