Future trends in the auto-service industry

With every new trend in the automotive industry, the auto service industry undergoes changes too. Here’s looking at a few trends that may change the game.
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Introduction

The Indian automobile industry is highly competitive and the fourth largest in the world. This large industry set in motion an equally enormous auto service industry which is presently worth Rs. 34,000 crore.

Trends are part of every industry, and it affects the decision-making process of every person connected to that industry, i.e. customers, dealers, manufacturers, etc.

In the auto sector, trends significantly impact the decisions of consumers, such as buying an EV or ICE car, going for an automatic or manual transmission, and these decisions in result affect the work to be done on the cars.

Therefore, with every new trend in the automotive industry, the auto service industry undergoes changes too. Here’s looking at a few trends that may change the game -

Multi-brand service centres

The entire auto-service industry is segregated into three parts; Authorised service centres, unauthorised service centres (local garages) and multi-brand service centres.

Authorised service centres are known for repairing and working on single brand vehicles. These service centres are either company-owned or franchisees. Dealing with expertise and using genuine spare parts, these service centres tend to be expensive. On the other hand, there are cheap local garages that fulfil the needs of those car owners who do not want to spend a heavy amount on the maintenance of their vehicle.

These garages use traditional equipment and tools, prefer local spare parts and lack acute expertise. Then comes the latest vertical and popular trend; multi-brand service centres. These service centres have found their spot between expensive authorised service centres and cheap unreliable local garages.

Multi-brand service centres are the newest entrant in the auto service. In the near future, these centres will outsell the other two verticals of the auto service industry; authorised and unauthorised service centres. These service centres deal in a huge assortment of car brands.

Multi-brand car workshops offer the same quality of work, same authenticity of OEM spare parts and same service standard but at a relatively low cost to authorised service centres. Quality assurance, along with the saved cost factor, is what pulls an average car owner from authorised dealerships to multi-brand car workshops.

Electric vehicles

Due to the increasing environmental pollution and decreasing fossil fuel reserves, automobile manufacturers have come up with the concept of electrification of vehicles. The usefulness and popularity of EVs have increased dramatically in the last few years.

With more EVs in the market, the auto service industry needs to undergo several changes. In the auto service industry, mechanics and technicians are specialised in working on ICE run cars. In unauthorised service centres, mechanics use traditional and basic equipment to operate on the cars.

With the lapse of time, the share of ICE cars will decrease, and EVs will increase in the auto industry. Therefore, in the coming years, the auto service shops, both organised and unorganised centres, will be required to retrain their candidates to make them capable of working on electric vehicles.

Not only this, many traditional tools and equipment will need to be replaced, with new equipment based on cutting-edge technology. Otherwise, it will be a big loss for the auto service and repair industry in the form of decreased workload and loss of jobs.  

Vehicle leasing

Last but not the least, the leasing of vehicles. This trend is well seen in the auto industry and impacting the way auto service centres work. These days many people are preferring leasing vehicles rather than owning them.

The number of increasing leasing agreements indicate that this trend is likely to continue and grow in future, especially at a time, when the pandemic has resulted in financial loss for innumerable people, and this method proves to be cost-efficient.

Moreover, the leasing company takes care of the maintenance and repair charges. That will reduce the workload on auto service workshops (both authorised and unauthorised) because the leasing companies will be responsible for carrying out all the maintenance work, which they will get done by their technicians and mechanics.

Therefore, auto service centres will only have the option of tying up with the leasing companies.

Conclusion

The future of the automotive industry and car repair sector is full of technological advancements and innovations. Trends are part of every industry and cannot be avoided. Therefore, the best way is to adapt to these trends.

In this technological era, the auto service industry will have to adopt technological and modern ways of doing operational work. Multi-brand service stores, trained technicians, equipment based on cutting- edge technology will help in increasing the work many folds.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)