The future of the automotive world is growing and advancing quickly, causing a disruption in the production of gasoline-powered vehicles. But that doesn’t necessarily mean more people will turn toward electric vehicles for their next purchase.

As more vehicle brands work toward offering economic and more energy-efficient electric vehicle models, we wonder how our trusted auto shop owners handle repairs on these vehicles and how they are responding to current trends and planning for the future automotive world. We conducted a survey of auto shop owners to find out more from the experts themselves.

Auto Repair and Electric Vehicles

We surveyed 209 respondents, 89 of which are current UpSwell clients. Our survey revealed only 4% consider themselves EV experts, while 49% of auto shop owners are not worried about broadening their services to include electric vehicles, or only cater to hybrid vehicles. Twenty percent of these respondents said that EVs still have a long way to go for them to make those changes to their services.

Based on these results, we can safely say that many auto shops do not plan to make changes in favor of EV repairs, and after further evaluation of our survey, we have found that many have experienced growth over the last year despite some of the challenges they face. 

Challenges and Growth of Auto Shops in 2021

In our survey, we asked what are the biggest challenges auto shop owners face today, and the number one issue from 60% of auto shop owners — believe it or not — is finding good quality technicians. Forty-two percent are finding most of these mechanics through referrals, although 29% are also being found through online job boards.

Despite the challenge of finding the best technicians to work for their auto shop, 68% have seen a revenue increase in 2021. The average repair order (ARO) from our respondents is $562.08, and 70% have seen an increase in their ARO from 2019.

Americans are also keeping their cars longer, giving auto shops more opportunities to create meaningful relationships with their customers to be their continued auto shop of choice for the life of their vehicle. We found in our survey that 71% of customers are actually spending more on higher-quality care to keep their vehicle running longer, rather than purchasing a new one or looking for more budget-friendly options.

The Future of Auto Shop Marketing

We also asked auto shop owners about their marketing plans and how they are attracting more customers. The top marketing channels from our respondents were Google and Paid Search at 42%, and 29% stated Direct Mail was the top channel.

We also noticed a slight difference in these results when comparing UpSwell clients with non-clients. Fifty-two percent of our clients stated that Direct Mail was their top marketing channel, bringing them the most customers, while 18% of non-clients said the same. Both marketing tactics, when used strategically together, have shown powerful results for attracting new customers.

The future of automotive looks bright for auto shop owners, and we discovered that 38% of UpSwell clients are planning to expand their business in the next three to five years compared to the 17% of non-clients.

Our goal is to help auto repair shops find ways to experience that growth, optimizing their marketing budgets and attracting more loyal customers. If you’d like to get the full survey results, email, or if you are looking for some guidance, talk to one of our industry experts today!

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