Have you ever wondered what the auto body business looks like in other countries? Our Tucson body shop decided to look into some around the world and found that in one sub-Saharan African country, vehicle use has started growing. In fact, they are now starting to encounter some of the same vehicle issues as our Tucson body shop has seen over the years here in the US.
Once wrought with the same post-colonial and economic issues as its neighboring countries, Zambia is a developing nation showing signs of a good economic recovery. The land-locked country, which sits between the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo and underdeveloped Malawi, is known for being highly-urbanized though still economically poor. Its national GDP per capita rate is approximately $1400, which is slightly higher than that for Afghanistan and Uganda.
One way our Tucson body shop has learned to estimate economic growth in developing nations is through increased sales, although auto sales is of greater interest to us. Zambia has seen increased sales in recent years, which compliments one of the better transportation infrastructure models in sub-Saharan Africa and is slowly improving with time. However, according to one news site, the country has also started to experience a growth markets associated with vehicle sales: repair and washing. Since more vehicles are on the road, consumers are starting to see an increase in shops offering vehicle and collision repair. This includes a number of growing street operations that go unregulated by local authorities.
As the author in the linked article notes these street shops are actually illegal operations and, while they may appear to be affordable options as compared to legitimate shops, there are plenty of risks associated. The primary one: the lack of insurance and accountability these unlicensed auto body shops have in case the vehicle is damaged by this service. The author also noted that Zambia has not quite started imposing regulations to prevent these businesses from operating.
COMPARISON TO OTHER DEVELOPING NATIONS
How does Zambia’s growth in the auto sales and repair realm compare to other developing nations? India, one of the largest developing nations, has seen its transportation infrastructure grow rapidly in the past twenty years and is the second-fastest car market. China has seen even greater increases with 62 million registered cars. However, both still suffer from lacking sufficient services. China, for example, has seen nearly 10% growth in vehicle repair service but, like Zambia, most are unlicensed and illegal.
BACK TO TUCSON
So how does this information relate back to your local Tucson body shop? Considering that most developing nations are still–in terms of technology and policy–a few decades behind more economically developed countries, you can probably imagine that much of what Zambia is currently experiencing is what US companies experienced earlier in the 20th century. In fact, to some degree, unlicensed collision repair services are still an issue to this day. If you’re looking for a Tucson body shop with quality, licensed service, be sure to give Right Choice a call!