The automotive industry is an ever-changing industry that went through turmoil last year because of the global pandemic. Hundreds of Thousands of people lost their lives due to this fatal disease, and millions lost their jobs. As a result, the companies were forced to shut their factories and facilities to protect their employees. With fewer cars on the road and a lockdown all-around, the auto repair shops did not do well. Here are a few factors that have resulted in a significant shift in the automobile repair industry:
- Better Reliability: In the olden days, reliability was not much of a concern among the manufacturers or the customers. In the 90s and the early 2000s, the car brand “Lotus” used to be synonymous with “Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious”. It might sound hilarious, but it was actually true with most British and Italian marques, including Land Rover, Jaguar, Lotus, British Leyland, Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, and so many others. But now, almost every car brand, even the ones stated above (except for Lancia), have started taking reliability quite seriously. Most of the vehicles can go on for thousands of miles before they require even an oil change. Every aspect of a vehicle’s mechanics has made it more reliable, right from the oils to the electronics, which has not been kind to the automotive repair industry trends.
- Lower Demand For The Spare Parts: With the vehicles becoming more reliable, the chances of breakdowns are lower. It has resulted in a decline in the need for a part of the vehicle to be replaced, which has damaged the auto repair industry trends. The shares of major spare part manufacturers have gone down quite a bit in the past year. Nowadays people believe more in taking their cars to the company service than the other repair shops.
- Warranty: Every manufacturer nowadays offers at least a 3 years warranty on their cars to keep them in the best shape. Some even offer a 5 years warranty, which ensures that the customer takes the vehicle to the company’s service centre rather than outside repair shops. The higher warranties covering everything other than wear-and-tear protect the car quite thoroughly, which has dented the automobile repair industry quite hard.
- Digitization: Digitization is one of the latest aspects that has been able to help the automotive repair industry trends and would continue to do so. In this day and age, every customer expects better facilities for their vehicle’s service. That includes having a digital platform for the shop, which can ease the process of repairing and delivering the car more efficiently. Vehicles have also gotten quite hi-tech, so it is only logical that the customer would expect an equally high-quality service. So it is necessary to keep the pace up.
- Better Telematics: Every new vehicle now has advanced telematics and connected tech, ensuring that the consumer knows everything going on in the car. Even if there is a lower pressure in one of the tyres, the driver would know about it. In some of the higher range cars, with the help of sophisticated tech, you would see when the vehicle is turned on, right on your phone.
With this kind of technology, the auto repair shops would need to revolutionize themselves. Otherwise, they won’t survive for too long. This auto repair industry trend is applicable in every part of the world.
- Preference To The Dealerships: One of the factors disrupting the automobile repair industry is the growing importance of the dealerships and OEM service centres. In the olden days, people avoided going to the dealerships as they thought the company would charge them quite a lot. The manufacturers observed this trend and lowered their rates to attract people to their facilities in case of a breakdown. Unfortunately, the automotive repair industry trends have shown a decline in business due to it.
- Technicians: The most essential elements of a repair shop are its technicians. In the wake of Covid, everyone had to stay in their homes. It included the technicians who were not from the cities. They had to return to their homes. So after the lockdown and guidelines were lifted, there was quite an apparent shortage of workers in the shop, which made the shops very inefficient. But the recruitment in every industry is going on strong, and so the automobile repair industry would get going again.
- Less Ownership: With the prices of vehicles going high, more and more people are leaning towards leasing a car rather than owning it. The primary reason for that is inflation in the economy, so everything is getting expensive. Dealerships and OEMs have started introducing subscription and leasing plans for their vehicles. Unfortunately, when a customer leases a car, they are more likely to go to the OEM for a service rather than an independent repair shop, which does not bode well for the upcoming auto repair industry trends.
Aftermath Of Covid-19 On the Auto Industry
Covid had quite an effect on the automobile repair industry. There was a complete lockdown everywhere for at least 4 months. Everyone had to stay indoors, stop their work, and shut down their businesses, be it small shops or multinational conglomerates. That includes the automobile companies as well. Several manufacturers had to close their factories to either curb their losses.
Even after the lockdown was lifted, several guidelines and rules were still in place, so not many people were going out. But then the people came back to their usual ways and started becoming complacent again, which resulted in a surge of Covid cases (who were shocked, we weren’t). All it did was the Covid guidelines being put up again, and business went downhill again.
The auto repair industry trends early on in 2021 have not looked so great, but we keep hoping for a good year ahead.
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