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The Auto-Repair Crystal Ball: Car-Buying Trends

The Auto-Repair Crystal Ball: Car-Buying Trends

The future of any business relies in part on an accurate reading of today’s trends. Just as farmers’ futures depend on current meteorological trends, the future of the auto repair industry depends on today’s consumer car-buying trends. Those trends have big implications for the mix of services offered by auto repair shops, and shop owners must adjust their business plans and workflow management to fit the future.

Automotive marketing consultant compiled four major car-buying trends at the end of 2018. Each one contains a future challenge for shop owners, and each one has a smart management solution.

  1. Car sales continue to slow down.This means people are keeping their old cars longer. For the auto repair industry, that’s a growth opportunity. But with growth comes the challenge of meeting the demand with increased parts inventory and increased productivity. Prepare for growth with space efficient inventory storage and supportive workstations.
  2. Ride sharing continues to expand.Particularly in urban areas, Lyft and Uber are taking private cars off the streets. But even though there may be fewer cars, the number of car-trip miles (errands, commuting, etc.) has not decreased, and owners of ride-share vehicles are putting a lot of those miles on their cars. Ride-share owners represent a strong sub-market for automotive maintenance and tire sales. Target this niche market, and make sure you have an adequate inventory of the parts these late-model vehicles are likely to need.
  3. More electric vehicles than ever are being sold.The early EV and hybrid models are showing their age, and the new models will need specialized maintenance. Like the ride-sharing market, the EV market is a niche that can be targeted successfully, provided you have the capacity to meet the growing demand.
  4. Customer-service expectations are higher than ever. Eighty-seven percent of consumers dislike car shopping at dealerships, because they feel taken advantage of. Tesla and Carvana are leading the way in the customer-centric buying experience. The takeaway: Customer loyalty relies on a high level of service, including fast repairs. Well-designed workbenches keep your techs productive, keep your output high and your turn-around time low, and keep your customers happy and loyal.

Overall, these trends point to excellent opportunities for growth in the auto repair industry. Get your shop ready for future growth, and you’ll be ready for success.