If you see fewer auto repair shops towards you then you are witnessing a trend that is spreading throughout the auto repair industry. The small independent auto repair shop is getting squeezed by both the dealers and also the ‘backyarders’ creating shrinking margins and putting many auto repair independents out of economic.
The global problem is the auto repair and service market has been shrinking in the last 10 or 15 years. Technology has made cars much more reliable with fewer breakdowns, repairs and scheduled maintenances.
Many manufacturers offer getting 100,000 mile warranty relating to this the independent will get little chance to work on that car for the most important 5-10 years it is owned.
As new car sales margins have gone down, VW, Chevrolet, Toyota and other manufacturers are in order to their service departments to make along the difference.
Additionally many dealers such as Porsche and Saab have been adding other value added benefits such as being a loaner car while repairs are being made. Independents think you are forced to give courtesy rides to customers in trying to keep plan the dealers since customers now expect this service.
Furthermore dealers such as Mercedes and Ford are now directly offering specials on services making their dealer prices similar to independent repair shop prices.
But it’s simply competitive pricing that’s the worrying the independents.
The battle for skilled labor is also being won through dealers: the dealers generally competed for skilled labor and will have become a lot aggressive. With fewer right now entering significantly repair profession and opting instead for careers with regard to health and technology, the total talent pool of the top skilled auto technicians is shrinking.
Increasingly it is becoming harder for independents to utilize and retain these competent employees. A great automotive technician, would you rather improve Audi or Joe’s Rummage?
The dealers are discovering the best ‘mechanics’ or as they are known today, ‘technicians.’ A top end dealer technician can make $100,000 twelve months with benefits while a self-employed shop owner would require gross within the $1,000,000 every year to make that as well as have to afford their own benefits and social basic safety.
Because of this economic realities many independent owners are now closing their shops and going to be employed by GM, Nissan and other dealers.
This puts the independent auto mechanic shop at a distinct disadvantage when diagnosing and repairing difficult drivability, fuel injection, electronic and computer related rrssues.
Additionally, is not diagnosis is made and a portion needs replacing the dealer will achieve it in stock, not only verifying the diagnosis but greatly speeding in the repair time and increasing service delivery. Big advantage Cadillac and Rolls royce.
But it isn’t just a skilled employee struggle. Techs cannot fix cars without information and there has been a long and ongoing dispute between the dealers/manufacturers and independents over technical information access and diagnostic solutions.
The manufacturers claim that their technical results are proprietary while the independents claim the information should build up to anyone who owns or fixes build of automobile.
Excel Auto Repair & Sales
94 E Falmouth Hwy, East Falmouth, MA 02536