If you see fewer auto repair shops near 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 along with 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 some sort of 100,000 mile warranty relating to this the independent will get little chance to work on that car for their early 5-10 years it is owned.
As new car sales margins have gone down, VW, Chevrolet, Toyota and other manufacturers are seeking to their service departments to make the difference.
Additionally many dealers such as Porsche and Saab are adding other useful benefits such as the loaner car while repairs are being made. Independents are now being forced to give courtesy rides to customers in a feat to keep up with 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 comparable to independent repair shop prices.
But it’s as well as competitive pricing naturally worrying the independents.
The battle for skilled labor may also be won by the dealers: the dealers have always competed for skilled labor and will have become significantly more aggressive. With fewer right now entering the auto repair profession and opting instead for careers such as health and technology, fundamental talent pool of the superior skilled auto technicians is shrinking.
Increasingly around the globe becoming more difficult for independents to work with and retain these competent employees. The automotive technician, would you rather work in Audi or Joe’s Rummage?
The dealers are selecting the best ‘mechanics’ or as might known today, ‘technicians.’ An excellent end dealer technician actually make $100,000 a year with benefits while wages shop owner would require gross a lot more $1,000,000 twelve months to make that as well as have to obtain their own benefits and social security.
Because the hands down economic realities many independent owners are currently closing their shops and going to work with GM, Nissan and other dealers.
This puts the independent auto mechanic at a distinct disadvantage when diagnosing and repairing difficult drivability, fuel injection, electronic and computer related injuries.
Additionally, is not diagnosis created from and a part needs replacing the dealer will buy it in stock, not only verifying the verification but greatly speeding in the repair along with increasing customer satisfaction. Big advantage Cadillac and Mercedes.
But it isn’t just a skilled employee war. Techs cannot fix cars without information and you will find a long and ongoing dispute between the dealers/manufacturers and independents over technical information access and diagnostic applications.
The manufacturers claim that the technical information is proprietary in terms of independents claim the information should accumulate to anybody that owns or fixes that make of motor.
Excel Auto Repair & Sales
94 E Falmouth Hwy, East Falmouth, MA 02536