In improv comedy, the general rule is whatever your partner says, you should respond: "Yes, and ... ," to keep the conversation going.
This is true for automotive repair and tire service shops as well. Tire dealers don't generally turn work down — it's bad for business. If a customer has a service request, they are going to take care of it: "Yes, and ... ."
Accordingly, if demand grows for a certain service, shop owners are going to invest in new tools and training. The same is true for electric vehicles (EVs), as it is for all "intelligent" tires and accessories that are appearing in some fashion on new cars and coming to your service shop sooner than later.
Automotive aftermarket sales are predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7% until they reach about $520 billion by 2045, according to a new study commissioned by the Auto Care Association (ACA) and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA).
The service demand that will see a significant rise is for EVs.
Repair shops need to start to invest in the future, Carlos Thimann, a PwC Strategy& partner, told attendees at the 2022 AAPEX in Las Vegas, "not only in tools and equipment but training technicians to make sure they have the ability to service the EVs."
In the U.S., auto service shops have started investing in upgrading their tools and capabilities in states mandating sales of zero-emission vehicles. About 40% of aftermarket service providers have started investing in EV capabilities, with larger shops leading the way, according to the report.
A change to EVs isn't going to be a flick of a switch. It will be gradual. A wise shop owner would pay attention, though, because knowledge is power. Having your sales staff and technicians on top of the latest service repair requests is key to creating a better educated customer. Think of it as putting on your facemask before helping others.
For shop owners, the hardest part of the tire and automotive industry's technological evolution is going to be at the point of sale — helping customers understand how their vehicle works.
How many times a week does a customer who is buying a new set of tires inquire, "What's this TPMS here on the estimate?" We bet it's enough times that most managers and salespeople have a quick and educational explanation to make a quick sale (for a necessary part and service).
One tire dealer told us he often sells two front tires to go along with an oil change on luxury vehicles that require an oil change every 7,000-10,000 miles. He said customers just don't understand that you need to get your tires rotated more often.
A vehicle's overall performance is only as good as its owner, and a key to adjusting to the new normals of automotive repair and tire service is knowing your stuff so well you can empower your customer. Empowered customers will keep coming back and invest in their vehicles through you.