Auto And Trucking Atlantic 2020 Predictions

By Bob Greenwood

The aftermarket disruption is well underway and the shop owners that are on top of this disruption understand they must pay attention or their own business will suffer dramatically.

This disruption will continue and become dramatic in 2020 as the “new aftermarket” falls into place. There are things in 2020 that will excel and every owner must understand the topic in depth and “how” it will affect their business. 

Consider the following: 

  • Telematics will continue to grow especially in the fleet business as it gives the managers of the fleet key data on each vehicle which in turn assists them to manage the vehicle for safety, reliability and efficiency which in turn saves the company money. Are you looking after their vehicles professionally? Every shop owner should examine their relationship with their fleet clients and look for new potential fleet clients explaining to them the “values” your business brings to them. Are you on top of the Telematics topic? 
  • Ride sharing and advance vehicle service requirements will continue to grow in 2020 meaning your future client base will be different. Are you preparing now for a change in clientele such as picking up more fleet business to replace the shrinking consumer business? 
  • Who owns the vehicle data will be the key fight the aftermarket will have as it heats up in 2020. The aftermarket must do a better job educating the consumer on this topic. My clients who have started this conversation with their clients have shocked their clients as the client had no idea what the OE could read from their vehicle. The aftermarket must have access to this info as well but the consumer should be giving you “permission” to see the data so you can counsel them properly on their vehicle. Governments must be lobbied and fully educated on this issue so the consumer (who owns the vehicle) is protected. The OE wants the aftermarket locked out. Aftermarket shops must get involved with various associations to help them get to the government properly. Don’t sit on the sidelines in 2020, become an activist to insure this topic is handled properly. 
  • Shop owners are starting to understand that the Trade days are over and the aftermarket shop service business has become a Profession. This means shop owners in 2020 will continue to learn the necessity of learning “how” to become their businesses CEO. This is a new position for every shop owner as it replaces them in the business so the CEO can elevate to truly managing the business from every aspect. It also allows the CEO to study the industry and “how” the disruption is going to affect their business. The shop must stay ahead of the wave of disruption otherwise they will get buried which will affect every family that is working in the business. The owner (CEO) has more weight of responsibility than ever before on their shoulders, so everything potentially affecting must be taken seriously. 
  • Look out in 2020 as technical and business training continues to grow dramatically. Technicians now require a minimum of 100 hours of training (development) per year as the “software” and “electrical” platforms of the vehicle grows. Electrical training must be on top of the list as this vehicle development will become more prominent during the year. Watch for governments (Federal and Provincial) to implement incentives to go electric as part of their environmental promises in their past elections. Management must be up to date in their training as well with 6 to 8 days per year now required as shop measurements have changed a lot in order to address this disruption and how all this change is going to affect the business. Every CEO, shop manager and service advisor must understand this new math and selected internal processes that have now changed or you will lose clients and NET profit will disappear rapidly. 
  • Access to vehicle data, originally agreed to under Right to Repair will heat up more in 2020 as new software hits the vehicle. Where do you get the information you need? Are we up to date in when and how to reflash a vehicle? Do we clearly understand the details of the NASTF.org website and how it works to give us the information we need. Does everyone in the shop understand “when” they should be going to that website? 

2020 is going to be an exciting and very challenging year for the aftermarket. The shops that have stayed up to date on the changes entering the aftermarket will enjoy a better year than last. Shops that have to catch up due to their apathy on the disruption topic are going to experience a very stressful year to the point where some will just give up and get out of business. Watch, those owners will be over 50 years old. This new “Profession” is something they just don’t want to grasp. 

Plan your business properly for 2020 and first quarter of 2021. Put datelines to your changes and objectives to be achieved. This keeps you and the team accountable; one step at a time and one focus at a time. Keep the entire team fully up to date as to what and why things are and must change getting their input as well as you go along. 

Hold on for the 2020 ride as it will be like never before in the aftermarket. Ensure you and your shop will be or continue excelling by the end of the year.

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