There Are Many Different Shops That Are Classified As Auto Repair
According to the Small Business Development Center of the University of Georgia, over 175,000 businesses in the United states are classified as mechanical auto repair shops. These include service stations, independently-owned auto repair shops, specialty shops (those dealing only in mufflers, transmissions, engines, brakes, etc.), auto parts stores like NAPA and Advanced Auto Parts, and car dealers who offer auto repair services. Over two thirds of these are general automotive repair shops that do not specialize in any one vehicle.
The Number of Employees Is Steadily Rising
The estimated number of people employed in automotive service of some kind is between 670,000 and 740,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number has risen steadily since 2001 as is expected to grow by at least 5%. Most of these individuals handle services such as inspections, maintenance like oil changes and brake replacement, and tackle repairs on cars and trucks.
Shops Are Fairly Small
Most auto repair shops are small, family-owned businesses that serve their local neighborhood. The typical auto repair shops has fewer than 5 employees on average. Over half of these are usually technicians of some sort. The total number of bays is between 4 and 5, so the amount of cars that can be services or repaired at any given time is small. Most shop owners started off in the automotive industry at an early age. Over two thirds of mechanical shops in the US are family-owned.
Shop Owners Are Struggling With Technology and Information
The average age of an auto repair shop owner is 46 years old. Many do not understand digital marketing and what it takes for businesses to succeed in the online space. A survey by Autoinc Magazine found that owners are having the most issues keeping up with changing technology trends and staying relevant in the age of the internet. The nest most pressing issue for owners was finding appropriate information for repairs, whether online or otherwise. Aside from technology, they also struggle with finding good technicians to hire.
Auto Shop Owners Still Rely On Old-School Advertising And Marketing Methods
According to Automotive Marketing, the vast majority of auto repair shop owners still rely on word-of-mouth referrals for promoting their business in a positive way. Many do not invest in any sort of online marketing efforts like social media advertising. Shop owners also rely heavily on local referrals during the hiring process. Few utilize online recruitment options such as websites, instead opting to hire individuals they know or are introduced by others they trust.
The Demand For Auto Repair Increases Each Year
With the amount of old cars still on the road, each year the average number of repairs sought out increases. With the economic troubles of the past few years, Americans have opted to drive their old cars for longer, and thus are spending more on repairs as the years go on. In 1990 alone, there were over 20 million cars and trucks on the road that were over 15 years old. This number has risen steadily over the years.
The Number of Women in the Automotive Industry Is Rising
The amount of female automotive technicians has risen dramatically in recent years, with some areas seeing spikes of as much as 3x. However impressive this growth may be, women still make up a very small percentage of the total number of technicians in this field.