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how Covid is affecting Car counts


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Not much to do here so I've been studying last years numbers. January and February 2020 were on the level with 2019. Car counts around 195-210. March 2020 - 45. April 2020 - 31. The rest of last year followed the pattern. No activity.  It went up some in the fall but we are down 70% as far as car counts go last year.  A bonus if you want to call it that was the cars we did see needed a lot of help. The average RO was up almost 35%.  Overall we will survive but we aren't swimming in gravy. Over the past 11 years our sales charts looked like a right triangle. Up every year. Very linear. Then came 2020 that sent us back to 2014 sales levels. This year so far is looking positive but we are still way off our goals. Car counts are at an all time low. And that's with a lot of our competition closed down permanently. Get ready folks it's going to be another tough year.  

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I relay this out of appreciation for our good fortune. I would also not want their to be a false impression that the industry was down everywhere. We were up again in 2020 after several years of increases, with only one blip in 2017. Of the 1200 or so stores that I can see increase/decrease numbers for, over 50% were flat or up in 2020. 

We were down in January 2021 by 20%, over 2020, but only down in Jan 2021 3% over 2018/2019. Things definitely felt tighter this last 30 days. 

 

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On 1/31/2021 at 12:21 PM, HarrytheCarGeek said:

Yes. Don't expect lots of replies, the large majority of business owners I have spoken to are not willing to discuss this particular issue.

 

It's no secret when shops are advertising $17.99 oil changes they are hurting for customers bad. 

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We see the opposite. We were up only 5% over 2019 but 2019 was a rocking year and 2020 was even better. We did 1.7 mil with only 5 techs. Car count around 400 per month. This year we are 15% bottom line to date over last year. I see a bright future this year too as long as our government does not screw us all. 

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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