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Mitchell Collision Parts Index 2014 Review

—September 28, 2015
Mitchell Collision Parts Index 2014 Review

Article by Greg Horn | Vice President, Industry Relations | Originally published in Industry Trends Report, Winter 2015  

As another new year begins, I thought it an appropriate time to evaluate the Mitchell Collision Parts Price Index (MCPPI) data once more. As a reminder and for new readers, MCPPI is a market basket similar to the Consumer Price Index, which I created in 2003 to track the inflationary rates of the top 20 most replaced collision parts and enable the breakout of subsets by part type and vehicle origin. It is important to note that the index is not the average dollar amount; rather it indexes the rate of inflation for the entire basket of parts.


What affected OEM and alternate parts prices in 2014

There were a significant number of events in 2014 capable of affecting the prices of both OEM and alternate parts. Did record new vehicle sales soften demand and pricing for parts? How did currency fluctuation impact aftermarket prices? Did falling steel and oil prices impact parts prices as well? To track trends and answer these questions, our team mapped the index by vehicle country of origin and part type (i.e. salvage, remanufactured, OE and aftermarket), and noted several key changes since the 2003 index starting point. The overall index chart shows that after almost no movement from 2011 to 2012, the 2013 index gained 7.12 points—the most of any single year measured. The 2014 index moved by a more typical increase of 3.43 points.

Breaking the parts matrix out by vehicle country of origin revealed a robust increase in all vehicle types, with European vehicles experiencing the largest index increase. Also worth noting is that domestic vehicles, which had a very flat index from 2011 to 2012 attributable to the increase of parts on the OEM price matching programs, increased as well. Keep in mind, however, that the domestic index is still the lowest and the trajectory of the 2013 to 2014 domestic index has slowed compared to other vehicle origin indices.

When split out by parts type, two conflicting trends in recycled and aftermarket parts emerged. The U.S. dollar has strengthened against other key currencies used in international salvage purchasing, and the index appears to be affected by the strong dollar, which is keeping more vehicles available in the U.S. for harvesting. Interestingly, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the Taiwan New Dollar (the key currency for most aftermarket parts) did not have the same impact. In this instance, the index rose at the same time the U.S. dollar strengthened. I believe this is due to the increase in the selection of “premium” aftermarket parts by insurers and collision repairers. Several insurers I have spoken with have altered their aftermarket guidelines to specify these premium parts, which of course cost slightly more.



Collision Parts Index 2014 Summary

In summary, the European and Asian vehicles drove the index increase through 2014, and because Asian vehicles represent a much higher share of the market, the majority of movement can be traced to Asian vehicle types. When split out by part type, aftermarket parts experienced the largest index increase. Presumably, that is related more to the grade of part being selected rather than the exchange rate, which would have meant a stable or even lower price.




You can find out more about industry trends including Current Events in the Collision Industry, Total Loss Data, and Canadian Collision Summary in the Winter 2015 issue of the Auto Physical Damage Industry Trends Report.  



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