How do you know which training you and your team will need now, to ensure your workshop will be successful and profitable long into the future?
The good news is you no longer need to rely on a best guess, based on the kinds of vehicles you see on the road in the local area, to make these critical (and expensive) investment decisions.
The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association’s Car Parc tool can help workshop owners and managers pinpoint exactly which equipment and training their businesses need today, tomorrow and well into the future – eliminating wasteful spending and helping futureproof their businesses.
Meet Ricky Monserrat from Blackwood Dyno Tune & Service
One Capricorn Member leveraging the potential of the Car Parc tool is Ricky Monserrat from Blackwood Dyno Tune & Service in South Australia. It’s a Repco-authorised service centre and a European and luxury car specialist workshop.
Ricky said studying Car Parc data is an essential part of his business planning, informing everything from advertising decisions to buying spare parts. But for Ricky, it’s training and equipment investment decisions where the information from the tool really comes into its own.
“It’s giving you a snapshot of what cars were sold years ago that are coming out of dealership service warranties and, if they’re in your area, obviously it’s good to know the potential customers who are out there for you if you attract them to come to you,” he said.
“If all of a sudden you get a spike in European cars, for example, you want to know so you can gear up for it. You can make sure you’ve got the right tools and the right training.”
So, what is Car Parc and what is the data Ricky is analysing to make his investment decisions?
How Car Parc works and the data available
AAAA’s Car Parc is a simple, interactive tool that uses real-world data to help you find out what vehicles are the most popular in your area.
The tool generates a customised report, specific to your locality, using actual statewide and national demographic data. At a click of a button you can get information about the cars being used in any local government area in the country. You simply choose a postcode and Car Parc generates a series of graphical reports with detailed and useful data.
Let’s look at an example of the data available, using the postcode for Ricky’s Blackwood Dyno Tune & Service — 5051.
The first screen tells Ricky how many vehicles there are in his local government area. It provides two snapshots — one from 2014 and one from 2019.
Importantly, it also tells him how old the vehicles are, which gives him a very clear picture of how many vehicles likely to be out of the manufacturer’s service warranty are driving around his neighbourhood and whose owners, therefore, are more likely to consider using an independent workshop.
Ricky can also work out the long-term trend. By looking at the number of vehicles less than five years old, he can get an idea of the mix of vehicles coming down the pipeline.
Already the data has been really useful. But from here, Ricky can really drill down into the data. The second screen shows Ricky a breakdown of the makes. Again, it shows him both the number and the age of the vehicles, and comparing 2014 to 2019 gives him the trend.
Ricky can then compare the data for Mitcham (the local government area for Blackwood) to the data from any of his other local areas. For example, Ricky can see that Volkswagen’s are far more popular in his area than they are in the neighbouring council area, Marion, where they’re not even among the top 10 makes.
From that information, Ricky may want to invest in some Volkswagen training for his team, while his competitors in nearby Marion council might not. Using this information, business owners with more than one workshop, across various local government areas, can work out which teams might need which tools and which training.
Next, Car Parc presents users with a breakdown of the most popular models, across all makes, in the local area.
This tells Ricky that the Toyota Corolla is the most popular vehicle on the road in his area. Car Parc also allows Ricky to see the data without newer vehicles that are still within their service warranty. This gives him a clearer picture of his current pool of vehicles in his local market.
In Ricky’s case, Corollas are still the most common car, followed closely by Commodores. But that’s not always the case. The data could easily have shown, for example, that there were more Commodores that are five-plus years old on the road than Corollas.
But who are Ricky’s customers? Car Parc gives him access to data on that, too — including income levels, age, family size and the number of cars they’re likely to have in their household. That’s very handy information that’s particularly useful when it comes to advertising and targeting your messaging.
Next is a detailed breakdown of vehicles in your local area by make and model.
We’re showing Toyotas here because they’re the most popular car manufacturer in Ricky’s area, but Car Parc also provides data for all the other most popular vehicles. Ricky’s a European vehicle specialist, so here’s the Volkswagen data.
If you look at the number of Volkswagens less than five years old, you can see a healthy pipeline of potential customers for Ricky in the coming years.
Deploying Car Parc Data to futureproof your business
While it’s handy to know what kinds of cars are on the road in your local market, it’s how you leverage that information that makes all the difference.
“It has saved me money,” Ricky said. “After referring to Car Parc I’ve hesitated on buying a scan tool that I would otherwise have bought, and everything has been absolutely fine. We didn’t need it.
“Toyota is the biggest make here, and they’re generally old, so we’ve invested in scan tools that are strong in that area. Any training that comes up with those cars, especially the hybrid Camry and Prius, we’ve sent the boys out to do.
“It means we can make sure we’re up to scratch and not have to second-guess or say ‘no we haven’t been trained, so we don’t want to take that job on’. We’re ready to go.”
Taking the potential of Car Parc data even further
Director of Government Relations & Advocacy, Lesley Yates said Car Parc data was a valuable tool to help any workshop owner make a variety of investment decisions.
“What we’ve got in that Car Parc data is the pipeline,” she said.
“You can see the new vehicles that are being sold. You can see vehicles under four years of age that are likely to still be going into the dealership at the moment, but that are coming down the line. Those vehicles will be yours, progressively, over the next three to four years.
“If you discover that you’ve got a lot of hybrids or the hybrid rate is growing, that’s an opportunity to say, ‘well, it might be good to invest in sending a couple of our technicians to a hybrid-specific course’.
“That’s what we mean by futureproofing.”
Lesley said many workshop owners are also leveraging Car Parc data to make advertising and marketing decisions, and to work out what spare parts to stock.
She urges Capricorn Members to take a closer look at Car Parc and the data available to supercharge the efficiency of their businesses.
A last word on advertising and the Car Parc tool
Ricky said he checks the data in Car Parc every six months, to help him make both near and long-term investment decisions. It’s an essential tool for his business.
“It’d be silly not to look at it, just for the advantage of knowing what cars are on the road,” he said. “You want to try to have the right training for the right equipment, and the right timing for the training.”
Want to try AAAA’s Car Parc tool? AAAA members can click here.
This article was published 18/08/21 and the content was current as at the date of publication.