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Joe Marconi

Positive indicators for Independent Auto Repair Shops

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There are a lot of positive indicators for the future of the independent automotive repair shops. (See below). As shop owners, we need to be proud of the fact that we are still the number one choice of the motoring public. But positive indicators are not enough. Plan now for your future. Be proactive when it comes to your business. Understand your numbers and determine what you need to be profitable. Take care of your employees. Continue to provide the necessary training and above all, provide the absolute best possible customer service.

 

From the Auto Care Associations 24th edition of the Auto Care Aftermarket Factbook:

*In 2014, more than 840,000 technicians were employed - a 3.4% increase over the previous year.

*The light vehicle scrappage rate in 2015 was 4.4%, the lowest level in 13 years.

*In 2014, the number of general repair shops actually increased slightly over the previous year.

*The number of licensed drivers in the United States continues to climb steadily and sat at just over 212 million at the end of 2013

*Vehicle maintenance costs are second only to gasoline when it comes to total vehicle operating costs.

*The independent aftermarket share of the total market has been 70% for the last four years and is expected to remain steady through 2018.

 

Source: Motor Magazine, John Lypen Editors Report, February 2016. To read the complete article, click the link below:

https://www.motor.com/magazine-summary/editors-report-feb-2016/

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    • By Joe Marconi
      Each year at this time I advise shop owners to set aside time to look back at the current year and start planning for the year ahead.  The more due diligence you perform, the more successful you will be.  Below is a short list of things you need to do.  Remember, the time you spend now, will pay off next year.
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      This is not new topic for me, but I need to revisit it again. And I will keep revisiting this topic for the sake of our industry. 
      For independent repair shops to "thrive" today, you must take a proactive approach with regard to business.  If you only want to "survive" you can stop reading now.
      Waiting for the phone to ring, or for cars to breakdown, or for a customer to drive into your shop asking for a repair or service is business suicide. The days of broken cars lining up in front of your bays are over.  Sure, cars still breakdown, but you cannot thrive with a wait-and-see strategy.
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      Well, those days are gone.  Cars today are build better, last longer (thankfully), and have ever-increasing service intervals. Consumers are also conditioned to think that their cars don't need maintenance.  It wasn't that long ago when your customers were coming to you 4 to 5 times a year for service. Now, you are lucky to see those customer twice a year for their routine LOF service. 
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      If there is one thing I have learned in my 36 years in business, it’s that people make the biggest difference in terms of success. No matter what equipment you have, or tools or information system. It’s the quality of your employees that will determine your success.
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