WASHINGTON-With automotive service continuing to increase in importance for members of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, many are planning to significantly expand their service operations and make them more professional. In fact, more than half the NTDRA members participating in the association's annual Who's Who Directory survey voiced confidence going into 1995.
Among those dealers taking part in the survey, 55.7 percent said they are ``optimistic'' and 21 percent are ``very optimistic'' about business prospects in 1995.
Tires continue to make up the majority of retail sales for the average NTDRA member, according to the association. The survey noted that tires account for 59.9 percent of dealerships' total retail sales, with the 40.1 percent derived from automotive service.
However, more than 62 percent of the respondents-up from 43 percent in 1984-reported that auto service contributes more than a quarter of their gross retail sales.
More than 74 percent of the participants expect auto service to increase as a percent of gross retail sales in 1995, and more than 22 percent said they expect to add new auto services this year.
Hand-in-hand with that expansion, 52.3 percent of the members reported they are employing more ASE-certified technicians, up from 37 percent in 1989.
The NTDRA said 28 percent of respondents expect to spend an average of $23,000 on new auto service equipment in 1995, up from $20,000 a year ago.
Projected to include the association's entire membership, those purchases could hit $50 million this year, the NTDRA said.
The survey found that the NTDRA's average dealer member operates three retail outlets and has total annual sales of about $2.41 million, or an average of $804,259 per outlet.
Ninety-seven percent of respondents said they sell new passenger tires, 76 percent light truck tires, 79 percent medium truck tires, 52 percent off-road tires, and 58 percent industrial tires.
As for retreaded tires, 38 percent said they sell passenger retreads, 45 percent light truck, 91 percent medium truck, 10 percent farm, 28 percent OTR, and 24 percent industrial retreads.