Auto repair garage gaining popularity

Russian motorists are increasingly abandoning the service from authorized dealers and trust their cars to the “masters of all trades”

Photo: TASS/Anton vergun

After many years of decline in new car sales has forced the Russian car dealers to focus on the provision of services. But soon they could lose this source of income. The reason will be the growing demand of car owners for cheap services by unauthorized workshops. According to the forecasts of the Vice-President of the Association of Russian automobile dealers (ROAD), Vyacheslav Zhigalov, fully this trend will manifest in 2017.

Now monthly sales of new cars in the Russian market does not exceed 126 thousand (below the figure was only in 2009). However, according to the study of the magazine “Autobusinessreview”, prepared at the end of October, the monthly average sales of one dealer center fell to the lowest level in the last ten years and are in the range of 355 cars (compared to 413 a year earlier).

Against this background, for dealerships in some cases, service and sales of spare parts began to bring to 70% of revenues. The market average, this figure was 13% of revenues in 2012-2013 increased to 14.1% in 2014 and at the end of last year reached 18.5%.

However, according to research by industry publication, this year the share of services in total revenue of dealers fell to 15.7%. Due to the reduction, in particular, the cost of spare parts increased due to fluctuations in the exchange rate. According to experts, depending on the brand of car policies and car manufacturer price lists of spare parts increased by 10-50%. As a result of spend for maintenance services in dealerships can be many times more than in unauthorized garages.

The first response of the motorists, identified in the study of the analytical Agency “AUTOSTAT”, suddenly became reduce the size of the average receipts for the car service (excluding body repair). In the mass segment of cars in 2015, the figure was 4.2 thousand rubles, while a year earlier was 5.2 thousand rubles. To save car owners managed primarily by reducing the number ordered car services, experts say.

In 2016, trend is the refusal of owners from dealerships.

— People become more active to search for cheap services with cheap spare parts and low cost. Serious manifest it became from the second half of this year. The second wave, which we will have the full deal will be within the next year, — has told “news” Vyacheslav Zhigalov. According to him, this trend will increase pressure and tension in the community of car dealers for whom the service is often now the only profitable segment.

In addition to the cost of spare parts, the cost of the services of dealers affect the obligation to producers to comply with certain service standards. This requires significant investment in staff training, purchase of special diagnostic equipment and licensed software products for service. Moreover, according to Zhigalov, now without such electronics to perform high-quality repair is almost impossible.

— Because of this investment load the prices from dealers are higher, but they are justified a much higher level of quality and the provision of guarantees, — the interlocutor noted.

From independent service stations, no commitment and no standards. To enter the market is enough to rent a room and get to work.

— Every new players is accompanied by the offer of low prices. Those who have resources come to an end, pass away and their places are taken by new ones. This process is endless, said Zhigalov.

According to him, the total number of independent market participants remains constant is of the order of 200 thousand That is 50 times more than the official authorized dealers.

Low cost services is provided primarily by the low quality of spare parts and technologies in the ROAD. This introduces additional risks of breakage, which can lead to more significant damage to the life and health of the consumer. Moreover, in such cases, the most independent of the services are not able to compensate for the damage to their clients, since they often do not have sufficient assets and funds.

— We can not restrict the freedom of entrepreneurship. Our organization advocates that the client clearly understood the difference between the price and quality of the dealer and the price and quality of independent unauthorized centers, — said Zhigalov.

At the same time, Director for brands of GC “Autospeccentre” Alexander Zinoviev is sure that the demand reduction services from official dealers will not occur.

For auto dealers services remain a priority for development, so the significant rise in prices in 2017 is not expected. On price impact rather imported consumables, the cost of which will increase proportionally to the exchange rate, — says Zinoviev.

According to his forecasts, in 2017 the volume of auto services will increase by 15-20%.

— Services market is rapidly growing. So, in 2012, the volume of automotive services in the country was 300 billion. By the beginning of 2016 increased by almost 67% and exceeded 500 billion rubles, he said.

However, this indicator has not yet reached considerable sums, recorded at the end of 2014. So, according to “AUTOSTAT”, the volume of provided car services in 2014 amounted to little less than 570 billion rubles.

Despite the positive trend for the sale of services, the number of dealerships continues to decline annually.

— Since the beginning of year in Russia was 260 dealerships less. By the end of the year their number could be reduced from 3.8 thousand to 3.4 thousand enterprises. The main reason is the decline in demand for new cars, said Zinoviev.

According to the top Manager GK “the auto world” Alexey Ponomarev, a further reduction of dealer centres, including due to the closure of the centres have large multi-brand market operators.

I would suggest that the number of dealerships in 2017 will be reduced by 10% relative to 2016. The turn cuts dealerships of premium brands, he said.

Auto business for a significant role now can play the extension or cancellation of the programs of state support and stimulation of demand.

— First of all it is necessary to stimulate effective demand. The buyer will choose the he hopes will vote for a quality product, — said Ponomarev.

Dealer business because investment becomes less competitive, and it is important to provide for him some preference, I think in the ROAD.

In the end, we can obtain a wild pitch garages, which there are hundreds to appear and disappear, and the consumer won’t be able to get quality services, concluded Zhigalov.

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