Auto Service World
News   April 4, 2024   by Adam Malik

CARS Executive Outlook 2024: Jason Herle

CARS reached out to leaders in the automotive repair and service sector of the automotive aftermarket to ask them about their thoughts about the industry over the next 12 months. We wanted to know how things will change this year, what’s the biggest challenge and how they can seize the biggest opportunity. We will present their answers in alphabetical order over the coming weeks…

You can view the full feature in the February 2024 issue.

Jason Herle, CEO  |  Fountain Tire

Like 2023, technology will be the biggest driver of change and we expect it will continue to come at a faster pace. On the customer service side, integrated CRM software, digital vehicle inspections and our ability to leverage big data will allow us to deliver an improved customer experience while growing sales. From advanced driver assistance systems to connected cars and EVs, technology within vehicles and the equipment we use to service them is quickly evolving. We need to be prepared with adequate training to ensure our teams remain knowledgeable, efficient and safe.

Attracting and retaining skilled labour will continue to be key to capitalize on the opportunities in the aftermarket space. Beyond attracting new talent, upskilling or retraining the existing workforce to work on newer vehicles is critical. To tackle it, shops will need to identify the required training, where to obtain it (in person or online) and manage associated costs. Partnering with national part suppliers or working with aftermarket associations can help.

I see two major opportunities to grow aftermarket business this year. One is capitalizing on the aging car count (an average of 12.5 years for cars and light trucks in the US). The longer vehicles are on the road, the longer they require our maintenance and repair services. On the flip side, new car sales are catching up to pre-pandemic levels, but still lag the demand for them. As sales increase, we can gain market share from OEMs by servicing new technology including EVs and everything ADAS presents.

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