Over 90% of all households in the US have access to at least one personal vehicle. And about 60% of households have more than one car.
It’s clear that Americans rely on personal vehicles as the main form of transportation on a daily basis. But with so many cars on the road, it takes an entire auto repair industry to keep those cars running.
Auto repair shops are underestimated in society and often overlooked.
But auto repair is at the foundation of our modern society. Without them, our cars would break down, we wouldn’t be able to get to work and provide for our families.
But this overlooked industry often struggles to recruit new workers. This is in large part due to how outdated the overall industry has been.
Emerging auto repair trends are bringing this industry into the future, with new technology that makes everyone’s job better.
Read on below to learn about the latest auto repair industry trends that are shifting an entire industry.
1. Fewer DIY Repairs
The general public is becoming less skilled with their hands. Fewer people are performing DIY repairs, even though YouTube makes it possible for them to learn how.
People would prefer to get good at their chosen profession and leave the auto repair to the pros. They aren’t even handling the easy stuff like changing their oil, headlights, or air filters.
This is a benefit for auto shops, as handling the small tasks will build trust with customers, which will encourage them to come back when they need the big stuff.
In order for this to happen, though, customers expect a no-pressure sales process. If they just want an oil change, you need to be willing to treat them with respect for only getting an oil change.
If you try forcing a bigger service on them, they will likely find another shop to do business with.
2. Focus On Early Recruitment
The bulk of auto repair technicians is aging out and retiring. The lack of recruitment of younger technicians is causing a huge gap in the auto repair industry.
This has led the Auto Care Association to create a new division focused on addressing the auto tech shortage around the country.
Their focus is working with high schools and universities to launch STEM programs to inspire and train a new generation of qualified technicians.
3. Shop Management Technology
Advancements in auto shop management and business software are making auto repair businesses more friendly towards staff and customers.
With the right software in place, such as shop management software from Tekmetric, managing a shop becomes much easier.
With the right shop software, you can run every department of your business from one platform. No longer will you need to deal with paperwork, filing cabinets, and disjointed technology and applications.
You can manage shop inventory and handle vendor management. You can generate repair orders, create canned jobs, and print or email invoices on demand.
Your customers will be able to schedule appointments automatically, and the software will send them reminders to ensure fewer missed appointments.
It makes your shop more user-friendly for customers, which will encourage them to come back time and time again. And it also makes life easier for you as the owner, and for your employees, as every single task becomes easier.
If you want to retain good technicians, you need to be running an efficient shop. Otherwise, they’ll leave yours and find one that’s more enjoyable to work for.
4. High Tech Vehicles
The technology onboard the modern vehicle is rapidly advancing. Cars are coming equipped with smarter computers and more connectivity services.
Auto repair shops that only focus on physical auto repairs, and can’t handle technical or mechanical repairs of the computer systems, are going to struggle.
Technicians need to be trained to handle these complex systems issues in order to truly serve the modern vehicle.
5. Electric and Hybrid Vehicles
Along with smart vehicles, more and more people are buying all-electric or hybrid vehicles. And consumers know that the best place to have their vehicles serviced is the dealerships that specialize in these electric vehicles.
But not everyone lives near their dealership. Rather than drive long distances, many would prefer if their local auto shop can service their electric vehicle.
Updated shop technology and advanced training will allow you to serve this growing market segment.
6. Longer-Lasting Vehicles
With advancements in technology and more efficient manufacturing processes, cars are becoming more efficient, more durable, and much longer-lasting.
Individual parts don’t need to be replaced as frequently. And services like oil changes and tire rotations don’t need to happen as often.
This is both a pro and a con for auto shops. Initially, it serves as an inconvenience, as fewer visits to an auto shop will be required. But in the long-term, it can prove to be beneficial.
It’s estimated that more people will be keeping these vehicles on the road for much longer, over 10 years. At some point, even though the car can last a really long time, it will start to deteriorate faster and will eventually need more frequent repairs.
7. Increased Leasing
More and more people are leasing vehicles instead of buying their own. This matches other technology trends, where people would prefer to have the latest and greatest device every year or two.
They prefer not to own outdated technology and are willing to pay a premium for that convenience.
With millions of people now leasing vehicles, that means fewer people bringing cars in for repairs at their local auto repair business. If repairs are needed, they just drop it off at the dealership for hands-off service.
Most auto shops see this as a threat. But those who want to ensure plenty of work will partner with dealerships to handle leasing repairs since the trends towards leasing will only rise.
The Future of Auto Repair
It’s clear that the demands of modern society are putting pressure on the auto repair industry to embrace the future. Shops need to become more efficient, and technicians need to receive more training in order to develop a loyal client base and stay in business for decades to come.
Is your shop going to embrace the future of automobiles? Or will you remain stuck in your ways and fizzle out of business?
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