What’s more important, your iPhone or your car?
Millennials are causing a stir within the auto industry. Whether it’s post-recession economics or a permanent cultural shift, the new American dream no longer includes owning a car. In a study commissioned by Zipcar, advances in smartphone technology within our daily lives allows us to rely less on other technologies, such as cars. The more we text, Skype, Google chat, and email, the less we need to drive for one-on-one discussions.
In 2010, adults between the ages of 21 and 34 bought just 27 percent of all new vehicles sold in America, down from the peak of 38 percent in 1985. Miles driven are down, too. Even the proportion of teenagers with a license fell, by 28 percent, between 1998 and 2008.
Because of the decrease in driving, the need for owning a vehicle has decreased. Which is why car-sharing companies like Zipcar have gained so much popularity. With the average price of a car around $30,000 and ridiculously high gas prices, the benefits of owning a car are becoming slim.
So what’s an auto mechanic to do?
While we don’t necessarily see the impact yet, as older generations hang up their car keys more and more, this may leave auto shops looking for other sources of work down the road. Here are some predictions on where auto shops will need to adapt in order to stay profitable in the future.
As cars begin to drive and park themselves, we know that the auto industry will not be disappearing but rather adapting to modern technology. Tesla, recently announced that they want to kill gasoline engines by sharing their technology with other automakers. Like Tesla, the more car companies invest in alternative technology, the more mechanics will need to know how to repair it. Future Google searches for local auto shops may be based more on repairs in infrared, solar, AR, and maybe even nuclear technology.
Certified Ride-Sharing Repair Shops
Today we have auto shops that are certified in specific automakers like Audi, BMW, Ford, etc. As car-sharing companies begin to increase in demand, we may start seeing more partnerships among auto shops and car-sharing companies like Zipcar and Uber. As more drivers make money off their cars through ride-sharing, the need for a trusted mechanic will increase. Companies like Uber can certify local auto shops as a, “recommended Repair Shop” for Uber drivers.
As Chicagoans are getting used to the new Ventra system, CMAP is seeing an increase in ridership on public transportation. A new 2015 proposal will increase services among the blue and orange line as more commuters are crammed into each train car.
An increase in transportation services means an increase in repairs. However, will it be cheaper for Chicago to invest in hiring full-time mechanics or outsource work to local repair shops? We are not sure, but I do see how adding bus repair services would benefit an auto shop.
If you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle, feel free to give us a call.
Spotlightautoservice.com specializes in European auto repairs and maintenance. We strive to keep our service cost 40% less than dealerships. Schedule an appointment for your Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, or Volkswagen with us