Electric carsPosted by Wesley Guin on December 9, 2018 at 9:07 pm
So I’m in the planning stages of opening a shop and as i perform my research I am finding that there is a gap in EV repair. I know that there is not quite a large market in my area at the time but I’ve heard by 2030 over 25% of all cars will be EV. So what will shop owners do? EVs do not require your typical maintenance items that get that first time customer in the door. Also there are very very few Technicains that have this training (which will drive their salary up). I am wanting to get ahead of the game and attempt to send a technician into training. This way I can build a rapport with the current EV owners in my area and attempt to gain their trust and business. Let me know what you all think about the near future of electric cars.
MemberJanuary 19, 2019 at 10:02 pm
Here’s something that may help shed some light on the subject…
People are going to be buying electric vehicles because they will be much less of an investment, dollar-wise. Forget saving the planet, it’s going to be money driven. When a new F-350 SuperDuty Powerstroke is $100K, it makes a Rivian R1T truck look like the bargain it is. https://www.autonews.com/article/20181203/OEM03/181209964/a-throwback-and-an-upstart-meet-in-l-a
Moreover, like everything else electrical/technology driven, prices will come down over time to where they are really cheap; but not in the immediate future. Not to mention, we’ll be replacing them every 4 years, not 15 years like they are now. Read the article and you’ll see why.
J. Larry Bloodworth, CMAT
MemberJanuary 22, 2019 at 2:26 am
Thats a good idea. Keep going. Though I don’t think EV will be that popular, but there are very few competitors. And that is a huge reason to go ahead.
MemberJanuary 24, 2019 at 10:35 am
Here’s what I’ve done with the last 2 shops I built, BEFORE, I opened up…
First, determine the market. The best way I’ve found is to build a “vehiclegraphic profile”. It’s like demographics, but it’s for vehicles. Contact your state’s DMV and buy a list of every registered vehicle in every county you’ll draw customers from. In most states, this is protected information. However, if you ask them to delete the columns that have personally identifiable information such as name, street address, and plate number, they will be more than happy to sell you a list. The last list I purchased for all of Salt Lake County cost me $400 bucks.
Import the database into something like MS Access or some other database program. From there, you can create a query (or queries) to see how many vehicles of the type you want to target are actually in your area. For us, we were targeting 10-year old and newer vehicles for a transmission shop.
Very few shops do this. Don’t be surprised if you’re shocked at what you find. I was. For example, I learned that all European vehicle makes COMBINED only make up 6% of the registered vehicles in our county. “That can’t be right.” I thought. Maybe it’s just our area. Well, it was right.
Moreover, upon further research, I also discovered that all European makes combined, nationwide, make up only 10% of the vehicle population. I had many doubters, but it’s true.
What about VW specialty shops? What about any European specialty shop? Stop and let that sink in. By default, they are targeting a very narrow segment. If you do your research on electric vehicles this same way, you’ll find there’s simply not enough EVs on the road in any one market area to support a business specializing in EVs at the present time. Later, yes. Today, no.
MemberJanuary 29, 2019 at 12:07 pm
I just purchased (1/28/19) a file from the Texas DMV that has every registered car and light truck (up to 1-ton) in the state for $186 bucks. I did it online and didn’t even have to make a phone call. Try it for the town, county, or state that you’re in. I promise it to be a real eye-opener.
Secondly, I have attached a file that has all of Texas’ demographics sorted by county and then the counties are sorted by zip code, according to household income. Check out the info that’s available as each record is a mega-wide row.
MemberJanuary 30, 2019 at 4:12 pm
I had an uncle many years ago that decided to do antique lamp restorations, including oil lamps. Problem was, there wasn’t enough market to sustain a full time business… and he summarily went broke.
MemberJanuary 31, 2019 at 7:54 am
Not being able to research a market before you go into business should have been his first clue. 🙂
Reminds me of the buggy whip story.
MemberJanuary 31, 2019 at 8:43 am
Thank you for the responses I am definitely taking this all into consideration. I will contact Oklahoma to see if I can get that demographic. Also I should have probably been clearer, I plan to open as a domestic primary and work at training technicians on EVs as soon as possible due to market projections for EV sales. At this time I know there I not a huge EV following in my area. However with Tesla’s older models starting to drop out of warranty I will assume that there will be a large influx of secondhand buyers, and with Tesla having a high non warranty repair cost, consumers will be looking for an alternative. So that being said the sooner I can get into market and start making a profit, the sooner I can start paying to train technicians and running marketing campaigns for EV repairs. I want to make EV an additional flow of income with to possibility to evolve into my main source I’d the market can stand it.
MemberJanuary 31, 2019 at 10:09 am
Unfortunately for your epiphany about cars and consumers seeking an alternative source to fix a very minor brand, and very expensive brand EV….. People will generally buy cars based upon what they can afford per month. They seem to fail to see the 40 year big picture, thus costing themselves into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in a working career lifetime with such myopic financial thinking. In other words, cars are generally considered in the same realm as a dishwasher or other household appliance. Spend 3000 dollars on a 10 year old, paid for car? Heavens no! They spend north of $40K in primary debt to avoid that because all they can see is how much per month a car note is and they have been bombarded by Madison Avenue Ad agencies to buy that new car/truck because it has the latest toys. In an analysis done by the late finance coach, Jonathon Pond, the difference in how much money a person can realistically put into their retirement portfolio by buying a car every 10 years as opposed to every 3 just to keep warranty is that the guy who bought 4 cars in 40 years as opposed to the one who bought 13 put $365,000 more into his portfolio. Getting consumers to see this is step one. But that new car smell? Well…
MemberJanuary 31, 2019 at 11:03 am
I definitely understand where you are coming from about payments and new cars. However the customers we target are people who tend to keep cars longer and repair them. We hardly ever see the 3yr swap customer because they have warranties and depending on your local dealers they attempt to scare customers into thinking they have to service thier vehicles at the dealer to keep the warranty. With new car prices on the rise I would imagine people that are smart will keep cars longer. Also according to NADA new car sales are way down from where they should be, which tells you people are keeping their cars. Hopefully this trend stays like this to help independent shops prosper
MemberJanuary 31, 2019 at 1:03 pm
What I’ve learned during the course of my career I have made a part of the SOP of my business. What works for us is to target 10-year old and newer non-Euro vehicles. I could extoll all the mechanical advantages of working on them, but won’t. However, dead jobs and people with no money all but evaporate, and that’s the business reason we’ve been doing it for almost 20 years.
Higher AROs, fewer vehicles, everybody paid, & I made more money. I figured that out when I worked in a dealership a long time ago.
MemberJanuary 31, 2019 at 3:25 pm
The unfortunate occurrence of Hurricane Harvey has forced the average age of cars down in Harris County (Houston). The destruction of over a million cars has really hurt our aftermarket position. All of my network pals are crying blues over severely reduced revenues since.
MemberJanuary 31, 2019 at 3:34 pm
When you say the average age DOWN, as in the average age is NEWER?
Insurance won’t buy you a new car unless you lost a new car. If the vehicle was 5 years old, that’s all they’ll cover, the cost of a 5-year old vehicle. If somebody wants to pay the difference and get a new vehicle, then that’s on them.
I’m a transmission guy. I was born and raised in Houston and never left until the age of 33 when I moved to Utah. I sure miss the flood (no pun) of business we would get following every hurricane. I actually really looked forward to it.
But that was before ‘electronification’, too.
MemberJanuary 31, 2019 at 5:04 pm