The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) conducted a comprehensive survey last month to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the automotive service industry and its workforce.
A key takeaway from the survey is that while 19 percent of those surveyed have seen an increase in business since the start of the pandemic, 56 percent reported a decrease in business.
The survey found that 34 percent of service facilities have reduced business hours, and the effect on technicians has come in the form of reduction of hours (34 percent), temporary furloughs (14 percent) and terminations (8 percent).
According to the survey, shops have been proactive in instituting safety measures for their employees and customers. Results show that nearly 70 percent of those surveyed are using protective equipment, while 63 percent have implemented social distancing measures and 62 percent have added supplemental sanitizing measures.
Participants were asked if they have been pursuing service training and credentialing since the start of the pandemic. Over 65 percent of those surveyed said they have done some type of self-study or enhanced training, while 46 percent participated in a webinar or online training course.
The use of social media by professional service providers also increased over the past several months. Over 42 percent of respondents said they have increased their usage of social media somewhat or significantly, with Facebook and YouTube named as the top platforms utilized.
“During these challenging times, we wanted to learn from service professionals about how their businesses have been affected, and what ASE can do to best respond to their needs,” said Tim Zilke, ASE president and CEO. “We were very pleased to learn how well they are adapting to the changing business climate and appreciate the positive feedback about ASE communications, weekly webinars and the extension of certifications until the end of the year.”
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