How Embracing Technology Can Help You Level the Playing Field

The future of auto repair is here, and it’s all about embracing technology that helps shop owners rise to the top. Businesses need to be quick on their feet and know what’s coming in order to tackle challenges presented by the more sophisticated vehicles coming off assembly lines today.
Times are changing—and fast! Let’s discuss how you can prepare for the technology revolution in the auto repair sector.

Impact of modern technology on auto repair shops

Every shop works with the latest tech in cars, sometimes without even realizing it. While customers may only come for an oil change or tune-up, what happens when something goes wrong with their automatic emergency braking systems? What if a customer’s plug-in hybrid has a battery charging problem? Do you give up and send them to the dealer, or do you get your hands dirty?
For now, many vehicles showing up in your shop are what we can call “dumb vehicles.” They have no advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), they aren’t electrified, and they lack connectivity to their manufacturers. But that’s rapidly changing.
As these technologies find their way into every new vehicle, the proportion of dumb cars will steadily decrease. They’ll eventually become obsolete and contribute to a small percentage of cars on the streets—much like what happened to carburetor engines.
Below are a few key technological trends that are expected to impact the auto repair industry.

Predictive maintenance is on the way

Many new cars have built-in internet hotspots. Initially developed to provide better connectivity to drivers and passengers, manufacturers like Tesla have started monitoring their vehicles’ condition remotely using predictive maintenance software.

Sensors in the car inform manufacturers about failing parts and trigger a service notification to inform the driver using automotive predictive maintenance. There are two key benefits to this:

  1. Vehicle owners know about failing parts in advance, allowing them to address issues before any real damage occurs.
  2. Service advisors at shops that have not already implemented digital vehicle inspections (DVI) would have an easier time convincing customers to get additional repair jobs.

Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) will soon be required on every vehicle

Almost every vehicle rolling off a production line has some ADAS features, but soon they’ll be universal.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Biden on November 15, 2021. It requires all newly manufactured passenger cars to include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keeping assistance technology. If you want to prepare for the next generation of vehicle technology, consider reading the auto repair shop’s guide to ADAS.

Electrification is rapidly gaining traction

The Toyota Prius was the trailblazer for electrified vehicles—it has been embraced by millions of North American drivers over the past twenty years. With the Prius having a far-from-ideal cool factor, it wasn’t long before competitors started using hybrid powertrains to capture the vehicle segment. 
Many electric vehicles on the roads are out of warranty. Ever-tightening fuel economy regulations will force vehicle manufacturers to produce and sell more hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric vehicles. They’ll all need servicing and repairs—are you prepared? 
But why is this happening? As global warming becomes an ever-increasing issue, there have been stricter efficiency and emissions guidelines from regulatory authorities.

More recently, the beloved V12 engine has also reached the end of its life, with Lamborghini pulling the plug on the large naturally aspirated motor and BMW bidding farewell to the older technology too.

It’s important to know about the impacts of electrification on independent repair shops and prepare for the change.

Addressing technological concerns at auto repair shops

Modern problems require modern solutions. The following tips can help you rise to the top and adopt technology to make the transition smoother and allow you to compete in a world with ever-evolving technology:

Tech-savvy young labor is one answer to the problem

Keeping up with technological advancements in the auto industry can be tricky. Plus, new gadgets in cars require auto shops to use the latest tools to conduct repairs. If you’re wondering how to make the most of this technology, it might come down to the people you hire. 
Younger generations have grown up around computers. They’re comfortable dealing with the technology we’re talking about here. Hire and train them to increase your shop’s standing in customers’ eyes. Not only will that attract people with the latest cars to your shop, but these techs may even be able to teach their colleagues a thing or two. 

Improve your shop’s online marketing efforts to increase revenue

Every shop needs a steady supply of new customers to drive growth. However, did you know it’s generally more profitable to build relationships with existing customers rather than target new ones?
Ideally, there should be better communication with existing customers to get them in more frequently and generate additional revenue. A strong online marketing plan, emphasizing your expertise in these advanced technologies, can accomplish both of these goals.

If you’re wondering how to take your online presence to the next level, check out our list of the most effective ways to market your auto repair shop using social media.

Business consolidation is a cost-effective solution

Many shop owners are approaching retirement age and are ready to sell out. It might help to acquire other local shops and benefit from a larger footprint. Consolidation will help spread the cost of adapting to the new technological reality across more locations. It also allows you to share resources and expertise between all your shops.

Use auto repair software to give your shop a competitive edge

From scheduling appointments to managing technicians and generating invoices, modern auto shop software like AutoLeap can streamline your business. With many business functions going digital, technology gives you an edge over shops that don’t use any. 

Using the right software, you can increase your average repair order size and cater to more customers to improve profitability.

Looking forward

If you want your shop to thrive over the next few years, adopting technology is a no-brainer. By specializing in modern car gadget repairs, you can set yourself apart from the competition.
Auto Repair Shop Management Software

AutoLeap is a powerful all-in-one auto repair shop software that helps to keep complete track of your business – from scheduling appointments to managing technicians and generating invoices.

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