This is a difficult moment for the US automotive industry, but an exclusive franchise study by Franchise Direct (www.franchisedirect.com) has shown that automotive franchises are doing well regardless. Franchise Direct examined the Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD’s) of 30 automotive franchises and discovered that drivers are relying on franchises to keep their old cars motoring.
We all know about the endemic problems in Detroit, but Franchise Direct has learned that despite this crisis, entrepreneurs have been enjoying success with aftermarket and car rental and sales franchises.
The truth is Americans are not buying new cars as often as they once did. The Franchise Direct automotive franchise study states that the projected new car sales for 2009 are 9.7 million units. This represents a 40% decline over the last 3 years. But American society, from the suburbs to the highways, is still built around the automobile. Because of the recession, more drivers are turning to automotive franchises as they try to get more miles out of their vehicle.
Aftermarket automotive franchises are most likely to profit from this trend, as consumers seek essential maintenance and repairs with greater need. And they will most certainly turn to a company with a trusted reputation. Used car and rental franchises will also thrive from this new era of frugality.
Exciting markets are also emerging for franchised businesses to profit from. Recently, drivers have embraced automobiles with elaborate technology. This might mean evolved engine control, microprocessors and high-tech safety and entertainment equipment. There has also been a switch towards ‘green’ technology in automotive manufacturing. With these technologies become more and more prevalent, a new franchise niche is forming to suit this tastes. Many drivers lack the know-how to perform such high-tech automotive work and instead turn to trusted franchise brands.
It is ironic that the global recession and the collapse of Detroit’s auto industry have paved the way for the success of automotive franchises. America’s love affair with the automobile is still strong, but American attitudes towards car buying have radically altered. Franchise Direct’s research shows that consumers are relying on automotive franchises to keep their cars on the road. With economic optimism slowly picking up, Franchise Direct believes that this is an excellent time to consider franchise opportunities in the automotive sector.