Car recycling: the new vibrant reconditioned market

Written October 7, 2022 at 11:34Updated October 7, 2022 at 11:46 a.m

Our core business is recycling of used parts » explains Laurent Hérail, president of the Surplus Recycling Group (GSR), at the head of a 30-hectare complex that looks like an industrial plant that processes 24,000 vehicles a year and offers 750,000 used parts on its website.

In the company’s parking lots on the outskirts of the town of Gaillac, charred combines, dented trucks, motorcycles and damaged cars await to be transported to the adjacent sheds, where they will be deboned, emptied of their usable parts and, for some, returned. able to drive.

The company deals with all types of vehicles, from diggers to Porsches, and is one of the largest Approved Excluded Vehicle (VHU) treatment centers in the area.

They are responsible for taking back any end-of-life vehicle free of charge and carrying out both their complete pollution and their recycling, respecting a recycling, recycling and energy recovery of the vehicle of around 95% of the weight of the machine.

This rate, set in 2015 at European level, and the remaining 5% is buried because it is the ultimate waste “says Patrick Poincelet, chairman of the recycling division of Mobilians, the trade union of automotive professionals.

France late

However, there are ways to improve because France is still “behind” compared to some of its neighbours, especially in the Nordics, in the used parts market.

Today, only one ELV center manufactures out of two spare parts », assesses Jean-Pierre Labonne, responsible for the theme of car dismantling for the professional association of recycling companies (Federec).

Such is the case for Surplus Recyclage Group, which has even sought to “industrialize” this market, offering thousands of engines, doors, cylinder head gaskets, etc. on its website. of all brands “and” guaranteed for two years », Details of its president, Laurent Hérail.

To do this, the company has partnered with insurance companies to buy damaged vehicles from them at a lower price, which may be nearly new but discarded because they are financially or technically beyond repair.

In the brand new warehouses, the mechanics slip under cars with broken windows, sometimes completely embedded, lifted several centimeters off the ground, to get the parts out.

We recover 15 to 20 coins per car and 30 to 35 on motorcycles “, explains the boss, ” but we could do much more “. Other countries in Europe recover more than forty pieces, and the United States more than a hundred, he points out.

Ecological interest

But in France the demand is lacking. Until then, private individuals, repairers and insurance adjusters were reluctant to use used parts. But for economic and ecological reasons, it changes “, he rejoices.

At the start we were 100% sales to private individuals and now we are exactly 50-50 with professionals ” says Laurent Hérail. This development is particularly linked to the entry into force in 2017 of the obligation for car maintenance or repair professionals to offer users recyclable parts.

Or else, ” the market is now interesting for insurance companies », adds Jean-Pierre Labonne from Federec. ” This allows policyholders who have a vehicle that cannot be repaired economically (with new parts, ed note) to repair it “, confirms Nuno Borges, national expert consultant at Generali France, partner in the GSR group.

Used parts are sold between 50 and 70% of the price of the new part “, the interest is to lower the cost of repairs and” immobilize the vehicle for a shorter time “because” lack of materials and the fact that we have parts that come from the other side of the planet”has made the repair market more complex.

The company goes even further and offers for sale since this year refurbished vehicles from the used parts they have.

Start writing with AFP

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