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

If you see fewer auto repair shops in your town 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 as well as the ‘backyarders’ creating shrinking margins and putting many auto repair independents out of business.

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 the latest 100,000 mile warranty meaning that the independent will get little chance to work with that car for the first 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 in the difference.

Additionally many dealers such as Porsche and Saab in order to adding other value added benefits such as being a loaner car while repairs are being made. Independents are increasingly being forced to give courtesy rides to customers in a feat to keep plan 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 to be able to independent repair shop prices.

But it’s and not just competitive pricing is actually worrying the independents.

The battle for skilled labor all means being won from dealers: the dealers constantly competed for skilled labor and already have got become significantly more aggressive. With fewer right now entering significantly repair profession and opting instead for careers such as health and technology, fundamental talent pool of the most skilled auto technicians is shrinking.

Increasingly appeared becoming harder for independents to work with and retain these highly skilled employees. Being an automotive technician, would you rather work for Audi or Joe’s Garage?

The dealers are discovering the best ‘mechanics’ or as might known today, ‘technicians.’ A premier end dealer technician may well make $100,000 a whole year with benefits while a self-employed shop owner would ought to gross within a $1,000,000 one year to make that as well as have to afford their own benefits and social security.

Because of these 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 shop at a distinct disadvantage when diagnosing and repairing difficult drivability, fuel injection, electronic and computer related problems.

Additionally, is not diagnosis is made and an area needs replacing the dealer will buy it in stock, not only verifying the diagnosis but greatly speeding up the repair as well as increasing service delivery. Big advantage Cadillac and Bmw.

But it’s not only a skilled employee world war. Techs cannot fix cars without information and there’s a long and ongoing dispute with the dealers/manufacturers and independents over technical information access and diagnostic solutions.

The manufacturers claim their technical information is proprietary everybody is making independents claim the information should build up to anyone who owns or fixes help to make of motor.

Excel Auto Repair & Sales

94 E Falmouth Hwy, East Falmouth, MA 02536

(508) 444-2777