Motor Trade Association of South Australia gets real about the true costs and charges of motor vehicle body repair

Public news

Media Release

A new cost calculator tool that will assist motor body repair businesses across South Australia transparently identify their costs and a charge out hourly rate for their business, was launched today by the MTA of SA, and its Motor Body Repair Division, as a Member of the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) and the Australian Motor Body Repairers Association (AMBRA).

The tool, which has been independently analysed by national business advisory and accountancy firm BDO, and examined by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), enables all motor body repair business owners / management to capture all of the costs associated in running their businesses. The tool also includes helpful worksheets for Profit and Loss, Tradespersons costs, and has the added potential of highlighting areas of business operations where further efficiencies can be made and/ or improvements to productivity.

MTA-SA CEO, Paul Unerkov, said the cost calculator would help South Australian motor body repair businesses not only identify their actual costs of doing business, but assist in determining a fair, reasonable and transparent ‘shop’ or business charge out hourly rate that was verifiable, defendable and in accordance with sound business and accounting practice.

‘Too many motor body repair businesses, who have heavily invested in training, equipment, tooling, and in meeting the demands of a rapidly changing automotive industry, are being forced to accept rates and charges demanded by work providers that simply do not reflect the costs of their business and placing them at a significant disadvantage or even jeopardizing their future’ Mr Unerkov said.

‘Most work providers to the motor body repair industry have their own calculators or processes that are required to be applied in order to secure work. These tools or processes rarely capture the complete picture and contain elements or parameters designed to produce a pre-determined charge rate outcome. This leads to different motor body repair businesses, with different capabilities or services, differing levels of staff and costs, being subjected to a rate for their services which are not reflective of their actual costs – even though they may have already made significant improvements, generated efficiencies and productivity enhancements to be competitive,’ he added.

MTA SA Motor Body Repair Division Chairman, MTA SA Board Director, and Chairman of AMBRA, Mr Jeff Williams said MTA SA had worked with its motor body repair members, its national association, the MTAA, AMBRA and other stakeholders including prominent accountancy firms in developing the Cost Calculator.

‘We expect that use of the Cost Calculator will improve transparency over costs and charges and help MTA-SA to defend its members rights to fair and reasonable compensation reflective of the input costs and not some determined rate by a work provider,’ Mr Williams said.

This is one of a range of initiatives being progressively rolled out by MTA-SA to not only improve business acumen during a period of unprecedented change, and sustained pressure from dominant market participants, but also ensure consumer confidence, and consumer choice of repairer,’ Mr Williams added.

The calculator will be distributed and be available to MTA-SA motor body repair member businesses from this Friday morning, 2 February 2018.