Have you been seeing more franchise auto body shops in your area? That’s because more and more Americans are keeping their cars for longer. Popular auto franchises are experiencing a surge of growth as people hold on to their cars for longer.
What is the automotive industry?
The automobile or automotive franchise industry does not actually involve the sale of cars. Automotive franchises are part of the auto aftermarket, such as auto body shops. These franchises sell replacement parts, tires, or appearance products. Some of these businesses also provide collision repairs. For this reason, the automobile aftermarket is comprised of numerous subdivisions, providing various car-related goods or services.
Unlike the trends observed with car sales, the automotive aftermarket often thrives in times of economic uncertainty. When the economy is not doing well, people are more reluctant to buy new cars. Additionally, older cars require more frequent service, thus benefitting the automotive franchise industry. Recent surveys estimate that there is currently more than one car for every citizen over the age of 16 years old. Additionally, the average age of vehicles in the US is roughly 12 years. All of these factors serve to benefit the automotive aftermarket.
Automotive industry going strong
Although car sales have been increasing in recent years, the aftermarket remains strong as well. It was estimated that the US auto aftermarket would top $273.4 billion in 2017, putting the aftermarket at about 1.5 percent of the US GDP, according to a report produced by Ford.
although car sales have increased in recent years, the automotive aftermarket remains strong.
The automobile franchise industry is one that will likely continue to grow, according to recent projections. As cars have become more complex and high tech, drivers have begun to rely more heavily on autobody shops for repairs. This is especially true considering the general population has begun to keep their older cars around. According Ford, the rate at which cars are scrapped (or completely tossed) is also declining. Drivers are opting to fix their older cars, rather than trade in or abandon them.
Industry growth is in the future
In recent years, people have been less willing to buy new cars, opting instead to repair and maintain their older cars. So, while people are buying more new cars, they’re opting to keep their old one, too. Cars are being built more durably, giving them a longer lifespan.
Much of the growth behind the auto franchise industry resulted from a recession in the number of independent car repair shops. As cars become more complex and durable, more high tech—and expensive—equipment and knowledge is required to fix them. With a franchise, interested business owners can gain access to the necessary equipment and education required to fix today’s vehicles. Franchisee owners are able to attend training programs and franchisee conferences to keep their business ahead of the curve in terms of technical developments.
Not to mention, the auto franchise industry has become more competitive. As more people hold on to their cars for more years, they have become less trusting of small automotive repair shops. Instead, customers have begun to prefer a more reliable and recognizable chain or brand name.
Is this industry for you?
The auto franchise industry has been around for a long time. Anyone interested in opening an auto shop should consider to franchise, as brand recognition brings reliability, which many people prefer when fixing their car. With franchise training programs, opening an auto franchise does not necessarily require extensive prior automobile knowledge however, an existing base of information is always helpful. On the other hand, opening an independent auto body shop requires much extensive prior understanding.
Diverse opportunity in the automotive business.
The automotive industry is a large and diverse pool of manufacturing and service businesses. Considering automobiles require a frequent level of maintenance and care, this industry is filled with diversity and opportunity for any interested franchisee. Potential opportunities include:
- Service or maintenance ships
- Specialty shops for transmission work or oil service
- Glass replacement
- Taxi services
- Used car dealerships
- Car washes
- Car rentals
These are just a few of the possibilities in this industry. More potential continues to open as electric and hybrid cars continue to gain traction. Auto aftermarket services are growing to accommodate these vehicles.