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Automotive recyclers embrace self-service salvage yards

December 20, 2012

by Mark Henricks

It takes a lot for an industry with more than 8,000 businesses and $22 billion in annual sales to change direction. That’s what’s happening now in automotive recycling, where self-serve salvage yards that permit customers to remove their own parts from scrapped vehicles are beginning to supplant traditional full-service operations.

Thus far, there are only about 200 pure self-service yards, estimated Dimitri Gerontis, principal at S3 Software Solutions, a Salt Lake City provider of software for self-service auto salvage operators. “But there are probably upwards of 400 to 500 of what would be considered a hybrid yard, bordering between self-service and full-service,” Gerontis said. “And everyone’s looking in that direction.”

Gerontis thinks the number of self-service yards is increasing by 20 percent to 25 percent per year. About half of those are new salvage yards opened up specifically to be self-service. The balance are full-service yards converting to self-service operation. …read more

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