“Our achievements lie in our willingness to take risks.”
Be Prepared for Turbulence
Like his fellow ARA members, McLeod is trying to foresee what the future holds for the industry and make his business successful in the face of inevitable change. “For the foreseeable future, there will be a need for parts, but the industry will have to reinvent itself,” he says. “I believe we will need to get into older, more costly inventory.”
He anticipates that scrap will still be a force in what he hopes will be a more recycler-friendly market. “When steel went high, it brought the nonrecyclers into the scrap market, and that has hurt us,” McLeod says. “When commodities got volatile, it drove some of the unlicensed participants out of business, like the tow truck drivers that were selling vehicles.” From McLeod’s perspective, that sequence of events should encourage recyclers to get back into the scrap business. McLeod eventually was defeated after ten years of attempting to circumnavigate the globe by flying
pole to pole. Although he knows when to cut his loss- es, McLeod definitely likes a challenge and isn’t adverse to taking risks. That may be the best expla- nation for why he decided on auto recycling as his retirement career.
A quote from McLeod in 2004 as he prepared for his failed pole-to-pole flight explains how he feels about risk-taking: “I am often asked, ‘Why?’ Why take such risk? Each of us, in our own way, push the boundaries. We strive to make our lives and our chil- dren’s lives better. Our achievements lie in our will- ingness to take risks.” Lynn Novelli is a freelance writer based in Ohio.
September-October 2016 | Automotive Recycling 61