By Mary DellaValle
While sightings of gas prices under $4 a gallon may bring a (little) sigh of relief, consumers are still distraught over what it costs to fill their tank these days. Some are realizing the benefits of preventive maintenance in improving vehicle performance, increasing fuel efficiency and maximizing gas mileage, while others are looking for long-term relief by purchasing smaller vehicles.
Either way, you win.
Consumers want to stretch their vehicle’s mph potential and your repair and diagnostic expertise can boost those numbers by keeping their vehicles operating at peak performance.
Likewise, more sales of smaller vehicles will also positively affect your bottom line because they’ll add more units to the vehicle repair pool. Small vehicle sales increased 11.4% during the first six months of this year, according to a report in a recent edition of SEMA eNews, with total small-car units projected to be 2,424,500 by year’s end.
But the even better news is that 15 of the top-20 best selling small cars are imports!
More demand for smaller import models means there will be more on the road, and more opportunity for you to repair them as they rack up miles and need service.
Here’s a listing of those top sellers in descending order:
Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cobalt, Toyota Prius, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, Dodge Caliber, Nissan Sentra, Volkswagen Jetta, Nissan Versa, Kia Spectra, Honda Fit, Chevrolet Aveo, Hyundai Accent, MINI Cooper, Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe and Kia Rio.
The aforementioned SEMA report also indicated that nearly one in 10 enthusiasts said they drive a small car, and outlined the top-selling specialty-equipment purchases for this group, including performance tires, exhaust kits, air intakes, chassis parts, performance fluids, custom wheels, ignition wires/spark plugs, shifter knobs, exhaust headers, battery wraps and brake caliper/rotor kits.
So, in addition to repair and service opportunities provided by those customers seeking more fuel economy, you can also cater to enthusiasts who want to boost performance, handling and vehicle exterior appearance.
Economic, fuel efficiency and market trends will continue to spell good news for the import automotive scene and all those serving this dynamic, evolving marketplace from the manufacturers who make parts for import applications, to the suppliers who distribute them, to the import specialists who keep them on the road.
Gear up for repair and service opportunities galore they’ll be yours for the taking.