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Wish list: Electronic diagnostic equipment—AAIA

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BETHESDA, Md.—Warranty coverage, made in the U.S. and recommendations by other shop owners/technicians are the three most important criteria for making new shop equipment purchases, according to a new study by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).

The study, “2013 Digital Tool & Equipment Purchasing Trends,” was conducted to help subscribers gain insight into the purchasing decisions—particularly online vs. traditional shopping habits—of professionals who use shop tools and equipment for automotive repairs.

Other factors rated highly by the respondents to the survey were fast delivery and availability, strong brand name and availability from primary source.

Less important were price, recommendations by the equipment's seller and advertising or promotion.

The Bethesda-based trade association surveyed more than 7,800 selected auto repair industry participants—shop owners, technicians, parts managers and service managers—and achieved a 2.4-percent response rate. The AAIA's Tool and Equipment Committee was instrumental in drafting the survey questions.

Of those responding to the equipment portion of the survey, the overwhelming majority—nearly two-thirds—qualified themselves as working at a general repair/service business. Tire dealers represented less than 2 percent of respondents.

Electronic diagnostic equipment was No. 1 on the survey respondents' list of planned equipment purchases for 2013, followed by lifting equipment; fluid-handling/air-conditioning equipment; and brake/wheel-servicing equiment.

As for the influence of the Web on equipment buying habits, the survey showed nearly three-fourths of respondents strongly preferred to buy equipment from a vendor. The share of respondents who said they bought more than half of their equipment online was in the single digits.

The report is available for purchase on the AAIA's website—www.aftermarket.org.
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