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 and the ‘backyarders’ creating shrinking margins and putting many auto repair independents out of business.
The global problem may 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 getting 100,000 mile warranty so that you can the independent will get little chance to work with that car for site to website 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 up 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 are forced to give courtesy rides to customers in hard work to keep up with the dealers since customers now expect this service.
Furthermore dealers regarding example Mercedes and Ford are now directly offering specials on services making their dealer prices similar to independent repair shop prices.
But it’s not just competitive pricing is actually not worrying the independents.
The battle for skilled labor is also being won from dealers: the dealers have always competed for skilled labor and now have become a great deal 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 top skilled auto technicians is shrinking.
Increasingly is certainly becoming harder for independents to utilize and retain these competent employees. Being an automotive technician, would you rather work for Audi or Joe’s Garage?
The dealers are selecting the best ‘mechanics’ or as yet known today, ‘technicians.’ A premier end dealer technician may well $100,000 a year with benefits while a self-employed shop owner would require gross within the $1,000,000 one year to make that as well as have to pay for their own benefits and social safe practices.
Because the hands down economic realities many independent owners are at this moment 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 problems.
Additionally, in the event the diagnosis created from and a part of needs replacing the dealer will achieve it in stock, not only verifying the diagnosis but greatly speeding within the repair period and increasing customer care. Big advantage Cadillac and Bmw.
But it’s not just a skilled employee war. Techs cannot fix cars without information and there has been a long and ongoing dispute amongst the dealers/manufacturers and independents over technical information access and diagnostic equipment.
The manufacturers claim that the technical data is proprietary everybody is making independents claim the information should build up to anyone that owns or fixes help to make of car.
Excel Auto Repair & Sales
94 E Falmouth Hwy, East Falmouth, MA 02536