The Board Sounds Off: The Changing Landscape
Ratchet+Wrench is fortunate to have an Editorial Advisory Board made up of some of the most successful shop owners in the nation. That being said, even the best-of-the-best are looking for ways to improve and have questions. Here, we provide a platform for them to ask one another for feedback, tips and answers.
Andy Bizub, owner of Midwest Performance Cars in Chicago, asks Dave Toole, owner of Toole’s Garage in San Carlos, Calif., how Toole believes the landscape of the industry will change in the next 5–10 years.
Here’s what Toole had to say:
“My speculations for the next 5 years is that we will see more shops starting to re-image and re-tool to attract capable talent. We will be seeing the 2018 Models that currently are still under warranty (with issues or client misinformation...still) or service maintenance contracts. These vehicles are still very serviceable and have advanced tech on them that may be possibly outdated by this time and need to be diagnosed and/or improved.
We must require the educational system to have automotive technical training, a STEM course for example, encouraged as much as coding. This is the only way we will be able to stay within or ahead of the curve. We will need to constantly continue to learn how things come together and build our advanced technicians now.
We are already seeing a supply demand increase in the tire market, and this will likely continue due to drivers using vehicles for rideshare, putting 60,000–80,000 per year on them, as well as EV’s with the extra battery weight and motor torque. It will also be important to come up with a more efficient way to get tires installed quickly and cost effectively, as new technician talent will not be interested in an industry if installing tires is the highlight or majority of their day.
The 10-year speculation is a stretch with the speed of change. I feel that it will be much more difficult to be a single-shop owner due to tooling costs and talent requirements and competition for both. Everyone needs to work much more in-depth on hybrid and electric vehicles, especially if you are in a metro type area. We should, by this time, have a better understanding of how battery E-waste will be managed to determine EVs true viability/sustainability.”