If you see fewer auto repair shops in your community 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 business.
The global problem is the auto repair and service market has been shrinking in the last ten or fifteen years. Technology has made cars much more reliable with fewer breakdowns, repairs and scheduled maintenances.
Many manufacturers offer getting 100,000 mile warranty which means that the independent will get little chance to work on that car for one 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 along the difference.
Additionally many dealers such as Porsche and Saab already been adding other value added benefits such to be a loaner car while repairs are being made. Independents think you are forced to give courtesy rides to customers in a shot to keep plan the dealers since customers now expect this service.
Furthermore dealers for Mercedes and Ford are now directly offering specials on services making their dealer prices to be able to independent repair shop prices.
But it’s as well as competitive pricing that’s the worrying the independents.
The battle for skilled labor may also be won from dealers: the dealers have been competed for skilled labor and will have become even more aggressive. With fewer right now entering business repair profession and opting instead for careers regarding example health and technology, overall talent pool of the top skilled auto technicians is shrinking.
Increasingly it becoming harder for independents to work with and retain these competent employees. Regarding automotive technician, would you rather improve Audi or Joe’s Drive way?
The dealers are discovering the best ‘mechanics’ or as they may be known today, ‘technicians.’ A top end dealer technician earns $100,000 twelve months with benefits while an independent shop owner would have to gross during a $1,000,000 every year to make that and get to pay for their own benefits and social security.
Because from the economic realities many independent owners are usually closing their shops and going to work with GM, Nissan and other dealers.
This puts the independent auto repair shop at a definite disadvantage when diagnosing and repairing difficult drivability, fuel injection, electronic and computer related injuries.
Additionally, each time a diagnosis is made and a fraction needs replacing the dealer will achieve it in stock, not only verifying the verification but greatly speeding increase the repair and also increasing customer support. Big advantage Cadillac and Bmw.
But it isn’t just a skilled employee showdown. Techs cannot fix cars without information and there has been a long and ongoing dispute from the dealers/manufacturers and independents over technical information access and diagnostic solutions.
The manufacturers claim that the technical facts are proprietary in terms of independents claim the information should be around to anyone that owns or fixes build of car.
Excel Auto Repair & Sales
94 E Falmouth Hwy, East Falmouth, MA 02536