Changing Oil and Changing Times – The Independent Auto Repair Service Dilemma

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 business.

The global problem will be 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 the latest 100,000 mile warranty so that you can the independent will get little chance to operate that car for one 5-10 years it is owned.

As new car sales margins go down, VW, Chevrolet, Toyota and other manufacturers are in order to their service departments to make up the difference.

Additionally many dealers such as Porsche and Saab are adding other value added benefits such as the loaner car while repairs are being made. Independents are now being forced to give courtesy rides to customers in a shot to keep with the dealers since customers now expect this service.

Furthermore dealers for example 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 all means being won by the dealers: the dealers often competed for skilled labor and may have become even more aggressive. With fewer young people entering significantly repair profession and opting instead for careers such as health and technology, essential talent pool of the top skilled auto technicians is shrinking.

Increasingly it is becoming harder for independents to utilize and retain these highly skilled employees. A great automotive technician, would you rather work for Audi or Joe’s Rummage?

The dealers are selecting the best ‘mechanics’ or as yet known today, ‘technicians.’ An increased end dealer technician may well make $100,000 twelve months with benefits while wages shop owner would require gross within the $1,000,000 one year to make that and have absolutely to reimburse their own benefits and social safe practices.

Because of these economic realities many independent owners have started closing their shops on and on to enhance GM, Nissan and other dealers.

This puts the independent auto mechanic at a definite disadvantage when diagnosing and repairing difficult drivability, fuel injection, electronic and computer related rrssues.

Additionally, if a diagnosis is intended and a portion needs replacing the dealer will buy it in stock, not only verifying the verification but greatly speeding increase the repair time and increasing customer support. Big advantage Cadillac and Rolls royce.

But the goal wasn’t a skilled employee war. Techs cannot fix cars without information and love a long and ongoing dispute among the dealers/manufacturers and independents over technical information access and diagnostic applications.

The manufacturers claim that their technical details are proprietary everybody is making independents claim the information should be for sale to anybody that owns or fixes build of motor.

Excel Auto Repair & Sales

94 E Falmouth Hwy, East Falmouth, MA 02536

(508) 444-2777