CarmCast 086 – Roadmap to the Future of Auto Repair

The Panel:

  • Colleen Yarger
    • New Shop Owner January 2021
    • Owns Marks Independent Service, Chatsworth, CA
    • The youngest member of this panel
  • Carolyn Coquillette
    • Luscious Garage, San Fransico
    • CEO Shop-Ware
  • Esteban Gonzales
    • Proshop Automotive, Colton, CA
  • Matthew Lachowitzer
    • Matt’s Automotive Service Center, North Dakota, Minnesota
    • Multi-Shop Operator, 5 Locations includes Collision Shop
  • Greg Buckley
    • Buckley’s Auto Care
    • Grooming the third generation of family
  • Scott Brown
    • Shop Owner, Connie and Dicks, Claremont, CA
    • CEO Diagnostic Network
  • Frank Leutz
    • Desert Car Care, Chandler, AZ
    • Wrench Nation Radio show and podcast
  • Seth Thorson
    • Euro-Tech Auto Service, New Brighton, MN, Multi-Shop Owner
    • LMV Bavarian, BMW Tech Support Company

Thanks to ASCCA – Automotive Service Councils of California
Link to Youtube:



Talking Points:

Greg Buckley

  • Are we as a profession proactive or reactive to change? Some are miles ahead while others won’t get out of the gate. Why? Is it a mindset? Opportunity? or do some think it’s time for a sunset. 
  • It’s not so much what we do has changed, but how we do it certainly has. 
  • Are there collaborations or partnerships that will be needed for our success that we don’t even know yet? 
  • Less shops / more cars / lower ARO?
  • And again – Miles Driven Per Capita vs Volume Of Miles Driven. Miles driven won’t necessarily decrease in the future, in fact, they’ll probably increase. But who will be driving them? Individuals, fleets, autonomous?   

Colleen Yarger

  • Technician training internal and external for ADAS and Electric Cars. 
    • I’m working on hosting ADAS classes at the shop along with purchasing a connecting shop to support the parameters for calibrating these cars.
  • Creating a more ‘on-demand’ guest experience. 
    • Text message capability with after-hour support. A web portal that will allow people to speak directly to me. And of course, using Shopware!
  • Setting clear defined goals for my team and hiring like-minded individuals. 
    • We all want multiple shop locations 🙂 

Matt Lachowitzer

  • Small shops will have the biggest challenge to keep up. Most of these won’t be able to afford to and as you stated, there will ultimately be way fewer shops in the future.
  • The technician shortage continues to grow, how are we going to be able to staff our stores with the top talent?
  • More and more people are leasing than ever before, how do we adapt?
  • How do we continue to move away from just fixing cars and making ourselves stand out and be an experience and a destination for our guests so we aren’t a commodity?
  • How do we as an industry continue to grow and keep up with the constant change?
  • How do we continue to provide the best training available to our teams?

Scott Brown

  • Technical challenges – If you’re a multi-carline shop I can only see it becoming extremely difficult to maintain the technical competencies required to deliver professional-grade service.
  • One of the drivers of the 1st bullet is the lack of highly qualified technicians. Some OEM’s provide the framework for growth, on the independent side not so much. NASTF’s vision for Road to Great Technicians is a great starting point.
  • Consumers – The automobile is one of the most complex devices most humans interact with daily and most don’t understand the technical competencies a service provider must possess in order to properly service their vehicle. 

 Frank Leutz

The Future Concept. Every Service Experience Point We Thought we Knew Changes Completely

  • The future will entail a much more consumer based experience with themes leading away from the actual service work and more towards “Charge & Chill” “Vibe & Drive” , “Pit & Lit” , “Volt & Jolt”,   –I
    • Investment and Training in Hospitality Critical (aside from the normal TECH Training)
    • Partnerships with Restaurants Concepts 
  •  Increasing Value in The Marketplace 
    • Replacing the Oil Service With Family Fun Based Experiences
    • Battery Disposal Services 
    • Vehicle-Based Subscription Partnerships 

Carolyn Coquillette

  • The pace of technical innovation is not going to slow.  We must adapt or die.
  • Good news is that we are the technologists.  That’s good job security.  
  • As we figure out how to adapt, health care is a good potential reference point: how it is facing this challenge in a similar way, enabling humans to make sound decisions based on their own priorities.
  • Additionally, jumping onto what Greg and Matt mentioned, participation in networks is going to be essential, both for car count (future fleets) and technical support (avoiding isolation, esp. for smaller shops).  Enter cloud-based shop management, technician forums, industry advocacy, and associations, all of which are represented here on this panel.