Number of Car Accidents Decreasing
Due to milder weather, fewer miles driven and increased vehicle safety, auto repair shops have begun to struggle as demand has for auto repair has slowed down.
Growing Service Offerings
Shops are focusing on light repair while expanding service offerings to combat vehicle parts becoming more resistant and durable. With the growing complexity in new vehicles, customers are forced to go to the shop instead of doing the repair work they were once able to complete themselves.
Need for Certification
Auto repair shop technicians are now requiring certification from insurance companies. The most common certification is currently ASE Blue Seal of Excellence.
Changes in Driving Patterns
Due to record high gas prices, driving habits (ie. long trips) have been evolving. Total traffic volume has decreased between 2007 and 2008 after more than a decade of growth prior.
Small independent business have been losing revenue due to insurance companies ‘steering’ service to large auto repair chains. Some states have considered passing laws to prevent this behavior. Since insurance companies refuse to pay more than the prevalent rates, small shop owners believe this to be the cause of depressing rates and less generated revenue.
First Research, Inc. 2007, “Automotive Repair Shops.” Austin, TX: First Research. January 25, 2010. http://www.firstresearch.com