The Opportunities and Challenges of U.S. Auto Repair Shops

Vehicles and the United States are like two peas in a pod. It’s hard to define one without the other. As the auto industry flourishes, so does the country, especially businesses that depend on it like repair shops. Nothing ever remains the same, though, so it begs to question what opportunities are available for these repair centers. What are the challenges?

Opportunity: Vehicles in the United States Are Getting Older

Like most Americans, the average age of passenger vehicles on the road is also increasing. In 1995, it was no more than nine years old. Today, cars can already still perform at almost 12 years old.

The rising age of most passenger vehicles can benefit auto repair shops. Cars and trucks will need longer checkups or maintenance to remain in great shape. Even better, businesses can already find more affordable and varied auto repair equipment in Utah. These will further improve their services and make their operations more efficient.

Opportuity: Gig Economy Is Growing As Well

Ridesharing continues to soar in the United States. According to Statista, its market share in the country is already over 54%. In Utah, around 60% of ground transportation belongs to ride-hailing companies. It’s a far cry from the 2016 survey by Pew Research that said 33% had never heard of Uber or Lyft at all.

Auto repair shops might not be part of the gig economy, but they can provide support to drivers and companies. These cars tend to accumulate the highest mileage. They are also more prone to wear and tear.

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Opportunity: More Americans Still Think Cars as Necessary

The data provided by the Zebra showed that the number of registered vehicles from 2012 to 2019 declined by over 25 million. Around 6% of the households preferred to lease cars. However, the majority of Americans still considered cars as necessary. This idea is even popular among millennials, who account for 22% of the population. In the survey, 45.5% of them said they never used public transport.

Baby boomers, who make up over 20% of the demographics, are also buying new vehicles. Only 7% of them admitted to riding public transport to reduce pollution.

Challenge: Generation Z Doesn’t Think the Same Way

The Zebra survey, though, also revealed the mindset of Generation Z: they might not want to buy vehicles. Around 30% of them claimed they used public transport for distances too far to walk. They were also the least frequent buyers of cars.

Why does this matter for auto repair shops? Generation Z will eventually compose 32% of the worldwide population. They will overtake the millennials and the baby boomers in terms of numbers.

Even though they’re young, they already have a robust buying power. They contribute more than $140 billion to the US economy, according to McKinsey. This generation thrives at a time when shared economy and ride-hailing apps are becoming a norm. In other words, the future in the United States might involve fewer vehicles.

Challenge: Vehicles Are Getting More Complicated

The likes of Tesla continue to challenge the status quo in the auto industry by churning new designs and concepts that promote efficiency and sustainability. The problem is they also make vehicles more complicated.

Traditional auto repair shops are at a higher risk of losing unless they learn to innovate and learn how these cars of the future work. Everything evolves, including the auto industry. The only way for auto repair shops to remain relevant is to maximize opportunities and anticipate the challenges.

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