Auto Service World
Feature   May 12, 2020   by Allan Janssen

What are you listening to?


By Allan Janssen

Podcasts are not a new thing. Streaming radio shows directly to your phone or MP3 player, or downloading them to your computer has been a thing since 2004.

But it seems the first decade of podcasting went virtually unnoticed by the vast majority of computer users. Early adapters who tried to recommend a show to a friend often had to start by explaining what a podcast is.

Nowadays, podcasting is big business and a staple source of news and entertainment for millions of people around the world. It is also increasingly siloed, as more and more industries embrace its power to inform and educate.

The automotive aftermarket has been represented in podcasts feeds for a few years now, as jobbers, shop owners, and technicians alike started to make podcasts a part of their commute or lunch break.

This is a great way for jobbers and counter staff to keep up to date with the concerns their wholesale customers have.


The ASA Podcast

Recently, when the Automotive Service Association considered new ways to keep members abreast of the latest news, the idea of starting a podcast seemed like a no-brainer.

Executive director Ray Fisher said the association polled its members about how they’d like to hear about industry initiatives and reports.

“The podcast format was quickly identified as the way many liked to receive this type of information,” he said. Not long after, a new podcast was born – one of approximately 150,000 that were started in the last 12 months. The first episode features an interview with Jeff Buckley of My Father’s Shop in Midlothian, Texas, and Frank Leutz, of Desert Car Care in Chandler, Ariz., two ASA member-shops owners who have embraced some of the latest communication technology to engage the industry and consumers.



Remarkable Results

Carm Capriotto, a former broadcaster turned aftermarket watcher, has one of the more prominent aftermarket podcasts. It is called Remarkable Results, with nearly 500 episodes and counting. Carm keeps himself busy traveling to conferences to gather new subjects and show topics.

“The podcast is your own personal network,” he said in a recent trailer for the show, recalling that one listener even referred to it as his own “40-minute personal 20-group.”

He is arguably one of the best informed people in the industry, spending much of his time interviewing manufacturers, associations, jobbers, WD executives, business analysts, shop owners, service writers and technicians.


Carm Capriotto records a podcast live at AAPEX 2019.

The Humble Mechanic

Want to understand the world of auto repair? Charles Sanville, host of ‘The Humble Mechanic’ Podcast, is back after a hiatus. He has hundreds of episodes in the archives but due to some technical difficulties this summer, some of them are not available through typical podcast platforms. You can download them directly to his website to access them. A blogger since 2011, he covers a wide range of topics, and is refreshingly open about the joys and challenges of the job.



Write Service & Write Your Own Paycheck

Jeff Cowan is arguably best known for his ProTalk Series of videos and lectures, but his podcast is an especially popular resource in the dealership service world. Having said that, he also covers the independent side of the automotive parts and service industry, and he has a particular message for service writers. A true motivational speaker, he often fields listener questions with a mixture of humour, patience, and common sense advice.



The Automotive Hour

Fast-talking Louis Altazan, owner of AGCO Automotive in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has plenty of charm and experience on offer in his weekly podcast. Co-hosting with his lead technician, Brian Terry, he has made a name for himself as an entertaining and smart industry watcher. Often speaking to consumers, he explains the automotive world in clear terms. He has also tackled some controversial topics over the years. Generally a booster of OEM parts, he discusses part quality frequently. It’s always fun and educational.



Service Drive Revolution

Chris Collins bills himself as a business fixer, trainer, and coach. He specializes in business performance and helping companies find new streams of revenue. The author of three books, including the Amazon bestseller, Gamification: Playing For Profits. He’s also the host of the business podcast, Chris Collins Unleashed. On Service Drive Revolution, Collins and Gary “G-Man” Daniel discuss little known strategies to help pull service departments ahead of the pack. Topics are wide ranging and comprehensive, including hiring technicians, increasing CSI, building relationships for long-term customer retention, and increasing sales.