A recent poll done by the International Automotive Technicians’ Network (iATN) indicates that 67 per cent of respondents expect an increase in business in 2010. Of those responding, 50.9 per cent anticipate a slight increase, while an additional 16.1 foresee a dramatic increase. Business is expected to stay the same as last year for 19 per cent of respondents, and 14 per cent predict a slight or dramatic decline. The online poll concluded in March 2010 with 4,050 votes from iATN members.
“This year’s results reflect greater optimism about business expectations than the previous year when 60 per cent of respondents indicated a slight or dramatic increase was in store for 2009,” said Brent Black, iATN founder. “While the majority of iATN members feel their business will increase in 2010, we still have shops that are struggling or do not see signs of improvement.”
iATN members were given the opportunity to add comments to the poll, with several suggesting the increases in business would be due to people keeping their cars longer, rather than buying new, and a better understanding by the motoring public about the cost-savings of properly maintaining a vehicle. Members who anticipate a decline in business attribute it to several factors, including the economy, increases in taxes and insurance, and that people continue to be cautious about spending.
Results of a subsequent iATN poll about hiring expectations also show an upward trend. In May 2010, iATN members were asked if their company is currently looking to hire an automotive technician. Of the 3,761 iATN members who voted in this poll, 29 per cent responded “yes,” up from 22 per cent when the same poll was done in 2008.
“Overall, our poll results indicate that business is moving in the right direction for the majority of iATN members and that the future of the auto repair industry looks promising,” added Black.