THE CHANGING GARAGE
We are well into 2024, and workshops should be reviewing their plans for the year ahead – in this article, Fifth Quadrant provides insights into the latest data to assist
For those who are doing well, this review might be the opportunity to drive further growth or expand into new areas, while those who found 2023 more challenging need to understand why that is, and what they might be able to do about it.
While this should start with business information, car parc data should also be a critical input, particularly around how it is changing as different vehicle makes and models move out of warranty and onto aftermarket forecourts.
The reason for this is that while we may not expect that much variation (with trends taking longer to pass through), looking at the models purchased three to five years ago uncovers some pretty clear differences to their older counterparts.
Key takeaways at an overall level according to Fifth Quadrant are as follows:
- Continue investing in Japanese tools, training and equipment: eight of the top 10 models (including most of the big improvers) are from Japanese brands, with Toyota (four models) and Mazda (two models) both well positioned.
- Ford focused on Ranger: Ford has expanded its range and is doing very well in today’s sales rankings, but the Ranger stands out as its sole entrant on this list.
- Passenger cars are hot: While we spend a lot of time talking about the shift to SUVs, the presence of the Corolla and i30 in the top five means we can’t forget about their smaller cousins for a while yet.
Some workshops might find themselves servicing more fleet than privately-owned vehicles, and that is a very different world. Here are the top three takeaways for a fleet-focused workshop operator, according to Fifth Quadrant:
- Toyota is your focus: there is no question about this says Fifth Quadrant, with six of the top 10 models made by the Japanese behemoth.
- Working on workhorses: utes need to be high on the list for training and investment – this can however be slightly more complicated, depending on the specific fit-out and modifications, and how these impact servicing processes and labour requirements.
- Hybrids at the ready: three of Toyota’s six entrants on the list (Corolla, Camry and Rav4) have been extremely successful with fleets in their hybrid variants. While the EVs will flow through in the future, hybrids are today’s fleet tech.
Ultimately, workshops need to recognise that the car parc is changing. While it may take time for major trends like the shift to electric vehicles to flow through, smaller changes within an area can have a significant impact on local businesses.
Given the significant investment in time and money that might be required for changes, it is also important to plan these out well ahead of time.
Want to do some more digging into the data for your area? The AAAA car parc tool (available in the member area of the website) is a great starting point.
This column was prepared for AAAA Magazine by Fifth Quadrant, the AAAA’s partners in the AAAA Aftermarket Dashboard which is delivered to AAAA members each quarter.