A look back, a look ahead

Interesting year, huh? From the recession to the bankruptcies in Detroit to all of the repairable cars lost to the Cash for Clunkers program, did anything have a positive impact on your business?

At first, it looked like the troubles in Detroit would be a boon for the repair market as consumers were holding onto their cars longer. But it seemed they still weren’t spending on maintenance, and only repaired vehicles when they hit catastrophic repair time (or just traded them in through Cash for Clunkers).

I’ve talked with shops this year where business was so far down, they reduced their tech force by 80 percent.

That’s where 2009 was. It started in guarded optimism, at least for this business, and went down from there.

Now, what about 2010?

Fortunately, as I continue to meet with techs and shop owners, that guarded optimism is back. Several have said they expect things to even out a few months into the new year (provided there’s no Cash for Clunkers II).

The fact that you’re reading PTEN at this very moment gives me hope for your shop, as you are apparently still researching and evaluating new tools and equipment. That means you’re expecting an uptick in customers to justify the expense, or at least looking for new tools that will save you time and energy on the vehicles that will be coming in.

Keep up the good work.