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The Future of Car Care

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In this time of rapid technology change, in both vehicles end everything else in our lives, it’s interesting to consider what the auto care industry of tomorrow will look like. 

We are just starting to understand telematics and grapple with the many questions the technology raises about vehicle communication. Tesla has demonstrated that “over-the-air” fixes are possible—to an extent. Manufacturers and technology companies are in a race to launch autonomous vehicles. Social media has created a connected culture that communicates more rapidly than ever before. And more and more, consumers expect their needs to be met with the click of a button. (Side note: I bought a piece of audio equipment at an actual store for the first time in several years last month, and it was kind of a surreal, nostalgic experience.)        

So what does all of this mean for you? Will customers press a button and send their autonomous vehicles to your shop for maintenance? That day may be a ways off, but shops need to start looking now at what will make them relevant now and in the years ahead. 

Will some of the old staples of business, like communication with customers, still be important? Oh, yes, more so than ever. It’ll just be done in a different way. 

 In some shops, like 405 Auto in Santa Monica, Calif., it already is. “The Shop of Tomorrow,” our feature on Martin Kruszelnicki’s business, takes a look at some technology-driven features that may be commonplace in future auto care facilities. Kruszelnicki believes strongly in embracing technology rather than resisting it, which is why he made investments in things like an electronic check-in system.

“This is the way it was going. If you don’t go with it, you will lose the business, you will lose the battle,” he says in the story. 

We know there are other forward-thinking shops out their that share this view. If you’re one of them, send me an email and share what makes your business stand out. We might showcase some of your shop’s features and processes in a future issue. 

Jake Weyer
jweyer@ratchetandwrench.com

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