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How car dealers can navigate the ongoing auto tech shortage

With all of the focus on attracting new auto techs, you don’t want to overlook the importance of maintaining good relationships with your current mechanics.

As the year continues to progress, it’s time to do an update on the auto tech shortage in the United States. As we discussed earlier in the year, the numbers continue to grow month after month, so what are things looking like now?

In this guide, we take a closer look at some newer statistics. We also give you a few tips to help with retention and recruiting.

2022 automotive tech shortage update

WrenchWay has released some incredible statistics surrounding the auto tech shortage in America. Here are a few that caught are worthy of attention.

  • By 2024, the industry will be short approximately 642,000 technicians, spread out among automotive, diesel, and collision.
  • 79% of technicians have thought about leaving the field.
  • 69% of technicians think they have reached some level of job burnout.

These statistics should cause alarm in the heart of any dealership or service manager. While things might be tough now, it doesn’t look like anything is getting better soon. No one wants to be the voice of doom, but nothing can be changed if attention isn’t brought to the forefront. 

What should be done now?

There’s no way to turn this around quickly. The industry needs to invest a lot of time and money to shift what’s happening. Ideally, there would be more training and better sign-on bonuses to encourage a new generation to join the field. 

You want new technicians joining the team that can take the place of those who are retiring. So, what can be done to appeal to newer workers in a different industry? These are thoughts that must be considered. 

If your dealership isn’t taking advantage of the apprenticeship opportunities in your area, we must continue pushing this point. Try getting into the local auto tech centers and schools to work with newer mechanics. As you work alongside this group of mechanics, you will set your dealership up as the place to join when the time comes to choose. 

With all of the focus on attracting new auto techs, you don’t want to overlook the importance of maintaining good relationships with your current mechanics. You likely have tons of great workers in the shop, and they need to know how much you value them. If you haven’t reevaluated your pay scale since inflation has taken off, now is the time. It would help if you also looked at implementing some new perks. 

Talk with your auto techs to see what would make them happier when in doubt. While you can’t give in to every demand, some things make sense to improve relations.

Can this be turned around?

There’s no question that you have a long, hard road ahead of you. The dealership will hit some hard times as mechanics leave the field and recruiting becomes more difficult. However, all is not lost. With the right attitude and practical steps, you can make a difference in what’s coming. Put a plan into action and get moving sooner than later. 

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Brian Jones
Brian Jones
Brian Jones is a contributing writer for CBT News. He has worked in the automotive industry for decades as an ASE Certified Master Tech. He lives outside of Dallas, Texas with his family where he enjoys motorsports, pickup trucks, and traveling.

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