Cobalt launches Covid-19 response to UK parts crisis – rapid response parts sourcing solution helps repairers get key workers’ vehicles back on the road

Bodyshops struggling to complete vehicle repairs due to issues with parts supplies are being thrown a lifeline thanks to an innovative response to the Covid-19 parts crisis.

With extensive experience working within the parts supply chain sector, the team at Cobalt, the motor claims brand of Coplus, consulted with the industry to tackle issues surrounding the procurement of parts to eradicate problems that are currently preventing insurers and repairers getting vehicles marooned in bodyshops, back on the road.

The Coronavirus has devastated the vehicle repair industry, with almost half of all UK bodyshops reporting concerns about completing repairs due to supply chain problems involving aftermarket and green parts, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Body Repair Association (NBRA). That may mean NHS staff, volunteers and key workers’ vehicles being written off, rather than repaired, leaving these crucial workers struggling to get to work in these essential roles and unable to replace their means of transport.

The parts sourcing service from Cobalt, which has been developed with support from NBRA, utilises the Cobalt technology and infrastructure to connect any company facing parts supply issues; vehicle manufacturers, insurers or repairers, with parts options such as OE (‘Original Equipment’), aftermarket and green or salvaged parts.  The system searches an extensive nationwide network of Cobalt partners for any specific items on a case by case basis. It is believed to be unique in the market, in not only tackling the present parts shortages, but enabling insurers to take more customer-centric decisions, with vehicles less likely to be written off through the availability of green parts.

To utilise the system, repairers simply instruct Cobalt via email with the vehicle registration number and part(s) needed. The Cobalt network interrogates availability of OE, salvage and aftermarket parts, to locate what’s required.

Richard Taylor, Business Director at Cobalt commented: “There is an immense pressure on the whole motor insurance and repair industry at the moment. Cobalt hopes to assist many areas; bodyshops, insurance companies, accident management companies and even fleet and leasing providers. We know all of these organisations want to deliver for their customers so we’ve designed a solution that will access parts currently unavailable through usual supply chains. Our goal is to get cars repaired – in particularly for NHS and key workers making vital journeys and keeping them  mobile.”

Chris Weeks, NBRA Executive Director commented: “It is really great that in these difficult times we are seeing companies step up to support the industry, particularly the repairers.  What Richard and the team have created is a simple support tool where any one in need of a part can reach out to get the help.

Even though it’s not been launched yet we are already aware that they have helped insurers and repairers find parts to complete repairs that would otherwise be left sat in the bodyshop incomplete.  No one wants to leave repairs unfinished and by offering this service the team at Cobalt are stepping up and doing their bit for the industry.”

It is really great that in these difficult times we are seeing companies step up to support the industry, particularly the repairers.

Chris Weeks, NBRA Executive Director


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