17 Apr The Future of the Industry: The Future of the Mechanic
As auto manufacturing shifts towards computerization, it’s fair to ask the question- will mechanics as we know them become obsolete? Since the first electronic control unit (ECU) was released in the 1970’s, it’s been a non-stop race towards the complete computerization of cars. Although cars today are still heavily dependant on mechanical systems, the trend keeps inching closer to replacing nuts and bolts with circuit boards and algorithms.
Understanding the impact of this trend on the auto-repair businesses and specifically, mechanics themselves, requires taking the perspective of the manufacturer. With profit as their goal, manufacturers are always looking for ways to 1) acquire more intellectual property, and 2), increase market share. Computerization plays right into these goals with algorithms replacing some tangible parts making it easier than ever for dealerships to keep repair solutions internal. The result is owners taking their car to a dealership for a fix rather than the local mom and pop repair shop, putting the money in the pocket of the dealership and ultimately the manufacturer. By taking business from repair shops unable to crack their code, manufacturers also increase market share.
This leads us to mechanics- how will they feel the impacts of this trend? Most likely many will keep their jobs but will be shifted to working for a larger dealership or manufacturer rather than a smaller shop. As the machine changes, so will the required know-how to fix it. Some think robots and mechanics will work side by side to remedy computer and mechanical issues at the same time. What do you think? How will the future car shape the future mechanic?
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