With the scarcity of new and even used vehicles and the situation bordering on full employment in Quebec, the demand for automotive maintenance has the wind in its sails.
After months of lean times caused by the pandemic, motorists are back on the road. The recent vacation season, with the complexity of travel across the Atlantic, has seen an increase in mileage as tourists have flocked to North American destinations accessible by road.
The essential car
The recovery of economic activities combined with our demographics allows us to post remarkable employment statistics. And to get to that job, one must have access to a reliable vehicle, sometimes the second family vehicle. This reality means that consumers are eagerly looking for new vehicles and those who have them want to keep them, especially since new vehicles are still only being delivered in dribs and drabs.
For the independent machine shop, these converging factors contribute to filling the service bays.
You have access to a great clientele that is only up to you to retain. A customer who wants to keep their car longer, by choice or obligation, should be music to your ears. You must be true partners in his eyes. A customer who has owned a car for three to five years and is starting to look for a replacement should be well informed before making a decision.
By having the cumulative annual maintenance of an equivalent vehicle, you can show them, in black and white, how much they will save by maintaining their current vehicle instead of committing to monthly payments over the next few years for a new car. By the way, with today’s rising car prices, it will cost your customer a lot more if they just hope to get an equivalent car.
Speaking of costs, I invite the advisors at the counter to stop deciding for the client. Who says that the owner of a ten or twelve year old car necessarily wants the cheapest part or the cheapest equipment?
A customer who loves his or her vehicle, has maintained it properly and wants to keep it for a long time, deserves to have quality parts and preventive maintenance services to match. He is well placed to understand that over the life of his vehicle, the quality part is always more profitable in the long run.
Actions such as a good anti-rust treatment, cleaning the ventilation system and replacing the cabin filter to eliminate bad odours, or replacing a suspension that has reached the end of its life, will help restore the driver’s enjoyment of the vehicle that he or she experienced on the day of purchase.
Aftermarket players know that the replacement parts available today not only offer expanded coverage, but often surpass original quality or design. When it comes to suspension, steering and braking, the ability to offer more to our customers to enhance their driving experience and, most importantly, their safety and the safety of all road users, is something I feel strongly about and that you must share.
By developing a relationship of trust with your customer, especially by allocating work according to its urgency, you will take the necessary steps to keep that vehicle on the road, safely, for a long time. It’s a plus for you, a plus for your customer and also, let’s mention it, a plus for the protection of our environment and our resources.