The number of service bays in American repair and service shops has dropped but that hasn’t stopped an overall rise in the amount of auto repair work that’s taken place.
According to Lang Marketing, the do-it-for-me aftermarket segment of light trucks is growing. But the number of service bays is falling across the U.S.
Overall, repair shops have installed US$7 billion more in product between 2016-2021. That’s an increase of 2 per cent on average every year. And that comes, as Lang pointed out, despite a double-digit drop in 2020 as the global COVID-19 pandemic hit this sector.
And during that same five-year period, bays to service passenger cars and light trucks fell by 44,000. That means fewer bays have been bringing in more business.
“The average number of cars and light trucks per bay in the U.S. climbed between 2016 and 2021, along with the annual dollar volume of light vehicle products installed per bay,” the report said. “Lang Marketing estimates that the average number of vehicles per bay increased nearly 10 per cent between 2016 and 2021, with product sales per bay up even more sharply.”
The report noted that gains in product sales per bay were achieved by the two major types of specialty repair outlets in the U.S.: Foreign specialists and repair specialists.
“Product volume per bay rose approximately 16 per cent among foreign specialists (outlets that focus on foreign nameplates) between 2016 and 2021, and repair specialists (outlets performing a limited array of repairs) achieved over a 14 per cent gain in product sales per bay,” Lang said.