All the information you need at your finger tips

Running a workshop is a lot more complicated than just servicing cars. Operators need to keep up to date with the latest innovations in vehicle technology, while also staying on top of all other aspects of running a business. A typical day might see them juggling business administration, human resources, financial planning, sales, and marketing, all on top of their ‘day job.’
Their biggest challenge is that resources are limited, regardless of whether we’re talking hours in the day or dollars in the bank account. Making smart decisions is therefore critical, meaning workshops need to tap into the best possible data to support their business activities. The updated AAAA Workshop Car Parc Tool (available in the member area of the AAAA website) is a valuable resource when it comes to improving or optimising their service offering, staffing needs, marketing strategy, or training and development requirements.
To help us understand the value the tool can offer, let’s approach it from the perspective of a workshop in Keysborough VIC, within the Greater Dandenong LGA. Firstly, we can see that the local car parc has grown over the past five years, with about 15,000 more cars in 2020 than 2015. Importantly though, the vast majority of these are more than eight years old, putting them right in the sweet spot for an independent workshop.

Breaking this down, it’s no surprise that there are four Toyotas in the top 10 models, but two others that do stand out are the Commodore and Falcon in 3rd and 4th place respectively.
They might no longer be manufactured in Australia (or at all), but there’s still plenty of them on local roads.
A rough estimate based on the local car parc suggests that one in ten cars turning up on the garage forecourt will be one of those two, so our workshop will need the tools and training to accommodate them.

That is the here and now, but we do need to also recognise that the times are changing. Looking to the future, our workshop is very aware of the growth of Euro brands. While they’re interested in the opportunity, it’s clear that there aren’t enough VWs at the moment to justify a significant investment. Off the back of this, our workshop can decide that it probably makes more sense right now to hire a technician who used to work in a Holden dealership to one with Euro expertise. One to watch for the future!

In addition to the vehicle insights, recent updates have seen more information added about the local community. Building on 2020’s household demographics, the 2021 update saw the introduction of local business information. Greater Dandenong has a large number of Transport and Construction businesses, so our hypothetical workshop is planning Facebook ads to see if they can pick up business from local tradies.
While this might be one fairly typical use case, we need to remember that this is not how the data has to be used. When it comes down to it, its purpose is to support better decision making, whatever that might be. The AAAA also provides additional support with customised data analysis for questions that push beyond the limits of the tool.

If you have questions about the data that’s available, or other analysis, contact the AAAA on or visit

This column was prepared for AAA Magazine by ACA Research, our partners in the AAAA Aftermarket Dashboard that is delivered to AAAA members each quarter.

For more information, visit or contact Ben Selwyn on