BEDFORD, Texas — A majority of U.S. auto repair shops enjoyed increased sales and profits in 2010, according to the 18th annual “How's Your Business?” survey conducted by the Automotive Service Association (ASA) of member businesses.
About 62 percent of survey participants said they had experienced at least a 10-percent increase in sales over 2009. Most attributed their improved sales to customer service, while others pointed to advertising efforts and economic conditions.
Fourteen percent expected no change in 2010 sales, down 2 percentage points from last year. Another 24 percent experienced a drop in sales of more than 10 percent, largely due to economic conditions.
The ASA predicts sales for general mechanical repair facilities in 2010 will reach $39.9 billion, based on U.S. Census Bureau data.
When including specialty repair facilities, oil change facilities and transmission shops, the estimate increases to $57 billion.
For 2010, there are an estimated 80,050 independent general mechanical service businesses in the U.S., employing about 332,200 individuals and serving an estimated 248 million vehicles, about 70 percent of which, or 173 million, are considered out-of-warranty.
Sixty percent of respondents noted an increase in profits this year, another 59 percent said they saw growth in their customer base, and 51 percent had an increase in monthly repair orders compared with last year.
About 27 percent suffered lower profits, 19 percent had fewer customers, and 25 percent experienced a drop in the number of monthly repair orders.
Collectively, 20 percent said they saw no change in customers, profits or repair orders in contrast to 2009.
The average number of vehicles serviced per month in 2010 topped 200, with an average of $200 to $300 per ticket, according to the survey. Members reported that most of the tickets were for repair, about 57 percent, followed by maintenance at 38 percent and other services at 12 percent.