There’s always another option for a land owner when a repair shop goes away.
Growing up in SLC this corner was ALWAYS a tire store. As we have seen for the past 30 years the industry is changing, and fast. Twenty six years ago while working for Snap-on Tools in Montana as a Tech Rep I still remember a shop owner sticking $200 in my top pocket and saying “Find me a mechanic and that’s yours.” I already had been seeing the writing on the walls and knew that wasn’t going to happen so I promptly returned him his money.
Twenty six years later and it’s only gotten worse. This isn’t the “it gets worse before it gets better” this is the “it’s bad and is only going to get worse.”
Being a mechanic is tough. They need to be able to troubleshoot electrical issues and still do the back breaking work of removing and replacing an engine.
On average the mechanic today makes $41,000 a year and is required to buy their own tools, which cost tens of thousands of dollars all while the owner in this same circumstance made approximately $164,000 from this one mechanic and tens of thousands of dollars of parts margins without buying one new tool for the mechanic.
No surprise that there’s a nationwide shortage of mechanics. Each year, the automotive industry needs to add approximately 76,000 automotive technicians. Around 46,000 of those individuals are required to keep up with the growing demand. The other 30,000 are needed to fill slots vacated by employees who quit or retire.
Trade schools are only turning out 37,000 new mechanics each year. The math is pretty simple, there’s an annual shortage of around 39,000 mechanics. If America doesn’t address the shortage, keeping cars on the road is going to get harder and harder. And more and more people will have to miss work, school, and their family obligations while their car sits awaiting repair.