Workshops set for business boom as drivers hold on to cars longer - SUV VEHICLE

Workshops set for business boom as drivers hold on to cars longer


The high cost of living is going to lead to more people putting off servicing and repairs, industry experts warn.

Mechanics may be about to see a boom in business as cost of living pressures cause car owners to put off getting their vehicles serviced or repaired.

Recent research by the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) has shown that more and more people are holding on to their existing vehicles due to tough times financially, with industry bodies concerned that, while the bump in custom might be good for small businesses, it comes at the cost of safety.

Speaking to Drive at Auto Aftermarket and Collision Repair Expo last week in Melbourne, Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) CEO Stuart Charity said that the new-car sales industry is likely to hit a downturn in the coming months after a successful two years post-COVID-19, and the age of the national fleet will get higher.

“The industry has never been busier than it has in the last three years, but in four or five months I think we’re likely to see a bit of a downturn due to cost of living pressures causing people to put off servicing their car and so on,” Charity said.

“We are seeing the new-car market holding up, but think it’ll go down a bit and we’ll start to see the age of vehicles get a bit higher. It’s good for our industry, which will see that upswing if owners delay their car service. But if they do it for too long it’s going to turn into a repair rather than a service and then they’re going to be risking breakdown and so on which is a safety concern of course, we’re in some very interesting times.”

One Melbourne-based car owner told Drive they had been putting off their service for several months because their family was starting to feel the pinch and it wasn’t a high priority.

According to the owner, the 2015 Nissan Juke was months overdue for its service, based on the recommended intervals.

“I had it serviced yesterday finally, but I only take it in when I think it really needs it – not what the sticker tells me. That’s probably not a great thing but you gotta [sic] do what you gotta do,” said dad-of-one Philip.

In recent years repairers have been battling to stabilise business following the COVID-19 pandemic, with life finally beginning to settle in the last 12 months after a series of supply chain shocks hit the industry – including semiconductor shortages, shipping delays and long wait times for popular models.

According to Charity, had it not been for COVID-19, independent workshops would’ve seen a boom in business before now.

“Under normal circumstances you’d think that would be the case, but because of the influence COVID-19 had on the market, the balance shifted and demand for new cars continued for maybe 12 months after the lockdowns and has only just started to taper off. Used car prices have also gone through the roof for two years but have now levelled out. Things are starting to change a bit.”

Deliveries of new motor vehicles increased for the 11th consecutive month in March 2024 – and set another record – with the number of cars leaving showrooms seeming to buck industry warnings of a slowdown being around the corner.

As has been the industry norm in recent years, most motor vehicles reported as sold in any given month were in fact ordered months – and in some cases years – prior.

A number of major metropolitan new-car showrooms canvassed by Drive last year reported a drop in the number of customers signing up for in-dealer finance, as buyers dip into their savings or are becoming more cautious when it comes to money.

The data published by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) each month reflects the number of new vehicles delivered – rather than how many customers placed a deposit.

Last month 109,647 new vehicles were reported as sold by the FCAI, up 12.7 per cent compared to March 2023 – and up 2.5 per cent on the all-time record, set in 2018 with 106,988 sales.

The current high cost of living is also reportedly causing potential electric car buyers to hold back on making the switch, with high sticker prices pegged as the most common reason car owners are put off.

The post Workshops set for business boom as drivers hold on to cars longer appeared first on Drive.


Source link

Leave a Comment

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
100% Free SEO Tools - Tool Kits PRO