Automotive Repair Crisis Grows as Number of Vehicles Per Service Bay Reaches Record-High in 2006 U.S. Automotive Aftermarket

Share Article

As the car and light truck population on U.S. roads soared more than 39 million vehicles between 1996 and 2006, there were 44,000 fewer service bays to repair them, creating a service bay crisis with implications for vehicle fuel efficiency and even highway safety. The number of cars and light trucks per service bay will approach 200 by 2008 forecasts Lang Marketing, deepening the service bay crisis across the vehicle repair market.

Although the car and light truck population on U.S. roads soared over 39 million vehicles between 1996 and 2006, there were 44,000 fewer service bays to maintain and repair them. The number of vehicles per service bay in the U.S. soared between 1996 and 2006, creating a service bay crisis, reports Lang Marketing in its just-released Aftermarket Annual 2006/2007. The number of cars and light trucks per service bay will approach 200 by 2008 forecasts Jim Lang, President, deepening the service bay crisis in the vehicle repair market. Here are some of the details reported in Lang Marketing’s weekly marketletter, Aftermarket Insight™.

With the number of cars and light trucks on U.S. roads dramatically increasing over the past ten years, one would expect a proportionate expansion in service bay population to accommodate this expanding market. However, the opposite occurred. Dollar volume of products installed by mechanics rocketed more than $18 billion during this period, but the car and light truck service bay count plummeted.

There were fewer than 155 light vehicles in the U.S. for every service bay during 1996. However, with nearly one in twenty service bays closing over the next ten years coupled with a 22% unit gain in light vehicles on U.S. roads, the average number of cars and light trucks per service bay grew rapidly. In 2000 there were 166 light vehicles in the U.S. for every service bay, with that number jumping to nearly 180 during 2003. At mid-year 2006, there are over 190 cars and light trucks for every service bay in the U.S. Lang Marketing’s forecast of nearly 200 vehicles per service bay by 2008 underscores the growing scope of the service bay crisis.

“The growing service bay crisis has significant consequences for vehicle fuel efficiency, highlighted by skyrocketing gas prices, as well as vehicle safety,” said Jim Lang, President of Lang Marketing. “One solution to the growing crisis,” he pointed out, “is improving service bay productivity. Better mechanic training, enhanced tools and equipment, as well as sophisticated diagnostic techniques and shop management software are force multipliers,” said Lang, “which enable service bays and mechanics to handle more vehicles.”

“How the aftermarket responds to the growing service bay crisis will play a critical role in determining the future of the light vehicle service market in the U.S.,” added Lang. The increasing number of cars and light trucks per service bay in the U.S. makes it less convenient for Americans to have vehicles serviced and reduces the relative repair capacity of the U.S. vehicle service industry. This growing service bay crisis has implications for vehicle fuel efficiency, underscored by record gas prices, and even vehicle safety.

About Lang Marketing:

Lang Marketing Resources is an independent market intelligence company focusing on the car and light truck U.S. aftermarket. The Lang Report® provides monthly analysis of the car and light truck aftermarket. In addition to Aftermarket Annual 2006/2007, Lang Marketing publishes a variety of in-depth aftermarket reports on special topics. Aftermarket Insight™ is a weekly e-mail service provided free by Lang Marketing and covers trends and developments in the car and light truck aftermarket.

Contact:

Jim Lang, President

Lang Marketing Resources, Inc.

201-652-5220

http://www.langmarketing.com

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jim Lang
Visit website