If you see fewer auto repair shops in your area 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 could be 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 some sort of 100,000 mile warranty meaning that the independent will get little chance to handle that car for one 5-10 years it is owned.
As new car sales margins go down, VW, Chevrolet, Toyota and other manufacturers are looking to their service departments to make the difference.
Additionally many dealers such as Porsche and Saab already been adding other useful benefits such to be a loaner car while repairs are being made. Independents are now being forced to give courtesy rides to customers in hard work to keep with 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 in order to independent repair shop prices.
But it’s not just competitive pricing that is worrying the independents.
The battle for skilled labor all means being won together with dealers: the dealers constantly competed for skilled labor and already have become even more aggressive. With fewer folks entering automobile repair profession and opting instead for careers regarding example health and technology, overall talent pool of the most skilled auto technicians is shrinking.
Increasingly it becoming more difficult for independents to work with and retain these highly skilled employees. Being an automotive technician, would you rather appeal to Audi or Joe’s Garage?
The dealers are picking up the best ‘mechanics’ or as might known today, ‘technicians.’ An increased end dealer technician earns $100,000 yearly with benefits while a private shop owner would have to gross a lot more $1,000,000 twelve months to make that and have to purchase their own benefits and social protective measures.
Because from the economic realities many independent owners are usually closing their shops all night to work with GM, Nissan and other dealers.
This puts the independent auto repair center at a definite disadvantage when diagnosing and repairing difficult drivability, fuel injection, electronic and computer related health issues.
Additionally, if a diagnosis appeared and a fraction needs replacing the dealer will buy it in stock, not only verifying the identification but greatly speeding up the repair along with increasing customer care. Big advantage Cadillac and Mercedes.
But it’s not only a skilled employee conflict. Techs cannot fix cars without information and you will find a long and ongoing dispute from the dealers/manufacturers and independents over technical information access and diagnostic techniques.
The manufacturers claim that the technical information is proprietary individuals independents claim the information should be available to anybody that owns or fixes create of car.
Excel Auto Repair & Sales
94 E Falmouth Hwy, East Falmouth, MA 02536