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The skills auto technicians need to make them uniquely qualified for future roles

On the latest episode of Service Drive, host Don Reed takes a deep dive into how future automotive industry trends will affect auto technicians in the service drive. Reed has helped thousands of dealers boost their service gross profits as CEO of DealerPro Training.

Reed says vehicle technology is evolving at an accelerated pace, which is giving new car dealers the advantage over independent shops and market competitors. Some of the technology to consider is hybrid electric vehicles and all-electric vehicles. While evolving vehicle technology gives car dealers the advantage, auto technicians will need to have a different skill set in order to maintain these vehicles.

Reed says the reality is that the industry will have code-powered cars. Auto technicians must learn to understand code. There will be less work with their hands and more computer software skills. He says many standalone workshops will be wiped out. Customers prefer car dealerships versus independent shops, especially when software or technology on their vehicles needs attention.

Reed poses the question, “Where do you spend your time? Management should spend time in both variable operations and fixed operations. What you don’t assess and measure, you can’t manage. Car dealers also need personal evaluations in every department, for both variable and fixed.

Reed goes on to recommend finding millennials who are tech-savvy and comfortable sending texts and email. Additionally, he would like to see more women come into the service drive as non-technical advisors. Ask your employees, if there was just one thing I could do for you that would make your job more productive and more enjoyable, what would it be? You will be surprised at the answers you will get. The most common response he says, is equipment and training.

Reed wraps up the show by discussing buy-ins. Buy-in on company policy is not optional. Remember, you’re not running a democracy, you’re running a car dealership. Provide your customer with the highest level of service each visit. Make this the best year you’ve ever had in fixed operations.

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Don Reed
Don Reed
After 26 years in the automobile business as a dealer, GM, sales manager, service manager, service advisor and salesperson, Don began a new career as a consultant and trainer. As CEO of DealerPro Training and founder of The Don Reed PRO Training Network, he has worked with hundreds of dealerships and major dealer groups across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. to increase profits in their fixed operations. He was rated a Top 10 Speaker at the NADA convention for four consecutive years. Visit the firm’s website at

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