Like any industry, the automotive world is continually growing, expanding, and innovating. And with that growth comes transformative trends that alter both the type of service auto shops must provide, as well as the products and repairs they must offer.

While many traditional auto care services will still be necessary for decades to come, auto shops looking to thrive in a shifting service landscape must stay ahead of emerging trends. AutoCenter Sales is here to share tips for helping your auto shop stay current and increase sales

Let’s discuss a few of the trends that are poised to transform the auto repair and service industry.

Collision Repair Diagnostics

The use of diagnostics in collision repair shops throughout the US has been increasing at a steady rate for the last few years. In 2018, just 10% of collision-damaged vehicles were scanned for error codes before and after repairs. In 2020, that number jumped to nearly 50%.

With rapid, ongoing advancements in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), experts assert that pre- and post-repair diagnostic scanning will be essential to ensure safe and complete repair of collision-damaged automobiles. If you own an auto body repair shop that’s not currently performing diagnostic scanning, now is the time to start seriously thinking about upgrading your shop technology.

As we see increasing numbers of ADAS-equipped vehicles on the road, the demand for comprehensive repair and recalibration of these systems will also grow. The ability to provide safe and complete repairs will be a major selling point should it ever come time to sell your auto body shop. 

Telematics & Connectivity Becoming More Common

Telematics and advanced connectivity are becoming increasingly commonplace in new vehicles. According to the Auto Care Association, comprehensive training in telematics will be essential to meet growing consumer demand for repair of these technologically advanced systems.

As more of these vehicles find their way onto the road, auto repair shops that have the ability to service telematics and sophisticated computer systems will see an uptick in demand.

To keep your automotive business ahead of the curve, start thinking about:

●        The advanced services your competitors are offering, how you stack up, and what you can do to improve.

●        Implementing staff training in technologically advanced auto repair services.

●        How to market your services and your shop’s competency in servicing and repairing cutting-edge vehicle systems.

Electric Automobiles, Automation, & Digitization

Everyone knows electric vehicles are becoming more ubiquitous by the day. If your shop doesn’t currently service electric, automated, and digitized vehicles, now is the time to start thinking about how you can change that.

Upgrading your shop technology, getting your techs advanced training, and determining how you’ll market new services are all essential if you want to stay on top of the trend. Should you ever decide to sell your automotive business in the future, the ability to service electric and automated vehicles will be a major selling point.

Shortage of Auto Shop Technicians

According to TechForce Foundation, the United States will see a shortage of approximately 642,000 collision repair, diesel, and automotive technicians by 2024 if current trends hold. Both a decline in the number of new techs entering the industry and increasing demand for professional techs is fueling the growing supply-demand gap.

Currently, and throughout the next few years, auto shops everywhere will likely experience growing difficulties finding and hiring highly qualified techs. But that doesn’t mean your shop has to struggle to find quality help.

Sustainable solutions for increasing interest in local employment in the automotive industry include:

●        Partnering with local high schools and post-secondary training programs to offer mentorships and/or apprenticeships for interested students.

●        Offering guaranteed employment for graduates of an apprenticeship program.

●        Retaining quality service techs with competitive pay, excellent company culture, and an attractive benefits package.

If it ever comes time to sell your auto shop, you’ll have a well-trained and loyal tech team on staff. Given the critical importance of precision workmanship and quality service in the auto care industry, a solid and dedicated staff is an incredibly attractive selling point.

Physical Inspections Are Going Digital

The days of getting an inspection done in person are slowly dwindling. Technologies like computer vision and AI allows non-professionals to complete the assessments with guidance from the systems. This results in a cheaper, more objective, and faster inspection.

And if you consider any time a car changes owners, whether through being sold, shipped, insured, or repaired, each interaction requires a new examination. Most are currently done manually with paper and pen making a digital inspection a more efficient and cost-effective option for businesses.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles On the Rise

In 2023, fuel-cell electric vehicles are primed to emerge on the horizon. This alternative to traditional electric cars is growing in popularity because they charge five times faster than conventional electric vehicles, and their only tailpipe emission is water.

The technology is backed by South Korea, Germany, China, Japan, and the United States, putting them in the spotlight for 2023.

Increased Autonomous Driving Vehicles

There is no doubt that self-driving vehicles are being streamlined to hit the roads in 2023. They are not only proven to reduce driver fatigue and downtime, but they can also improve fuel efficiency by 10%, are safer, and reduce emissions by 42 million metric tons annually.

Trucking companies are also making an investment in this technology and have begun testing at various locations around the nation, so don't be surprised if you see one next to you on the road in 2023.

Online Sales Increasing

With digital advancements, consumers can avoid car dealerships and go straight to the vehicle they want through online platforms. The process can be easily completed with a smartphone or computer and allows them to not only select the features they want but explore the vehicle while at the same time getting financing for it.

In addition, some dealers are offering at-home test drives and will come to the consumer, giving this option an undeniable appeal for 2023 and beyond.

Thinking About Selling Your Auto Shop? Speak With a Broker

Are you ready to sell your automotive business? Let our team at AutoCenter Sales help you secure the best deal possible. For over 25 years, we’ve been facilitating automotive business sales and purchases throughout the United States, and our experience and network of industry connections is unmatched.

To learn more about how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today at 1-800-874-5793, or contact us online, and we’ll be in touch.