How to stand out in a tough automotive market

If you work in the aftersales department of a commercial dealership, whether it be cars, trucks or motor bikes, chances are you know your managers are feeling the pinch at the moment. As a result, you might be too!

It’s no secret that the Australian automotive industry is not performing as well lately as it had been over the past half a dozen years or so, and this mostly comes down to large changes in the national economy that businesses can’t control. The bulk of this has been felt in sales, and to compensate for lower numbers of sold vehicles, there’s a greater focus now than ever before on extracting maximum value from aftersales. It’s a big adjustment for Aussie businesses to make, but one that other markets like the UK have long since figured out.

What does this mean for technicians now though? All around the country, we’re hearing of changes to shift structures, bonus programs, and overtime patterns, all normally aimed at increasing the workshop’s profitability. It’s easy sometimes as a technician to feel challenged by these changes, as not only does it often mean a shift in the way the job is done, but it can remove some earning potential too, and no one likes that!

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. If anything, whilst some dealers are doing it tough, now might be the ideal time to step up and push your career forward. Our clients around the country tell us that their most valued team members are those that are using this period of change as an opportunity to show everyone around them what they’re made of, and lead from the front.

They’re not just talking about foremen, master techs or their most experienced people either. It could be someone just out of their apprenticeship, going out of their way to push for efficiency targets or to inspire the technician next to them to smash a team goal; it could be a great tech that’s putting effort into better communication with their service advisors, delivering better customer service and boosting CSI outcomes. That’s the beauty of acting as a leader – anyone can do it, it tends to rub off, and the right people notice.

And, importantly, when the pressure on aftersales eases, or a manager needs to select a tech for promotion or training, who do you think they’ll be rewarding?

If you are seizing the chance to drive yourself forward and you’re looking for the next challenge, or you’re looking for a role where you can show what you’re made of, we’d love to chat about it: