Quality and Productivity: An Answer to the Question

Paper #:
  • 920797

Published:
  • 1992-02-01
Citation:
Corrigan, G., "Quality and Productivity: An Answer to the Question," SAE Technical Paper 920797, 1992, https://doi.org/10.4271/920797.
Author(s):
Affiliated:
Pages:
7
Abstract:
Who will repair the cars of the future? By the year 2001 there will be over 200 million vehicles registered in the United States. The closing of many new car dealerships and the reduction of service bays at oil companies are contributing to the decline of traditional service outlets to repair vehicles. Certain trends, however, are emerging that indicate that a shortage of auto repair technicians will not exist. Vehicles have been improved and maintenance schedules and warranties have been extended. The quality of the modern vehicle has impacted some traditional types of auto repair that used to be done. Rustproofing and engine tune-ups are just two such businesses. Factory rustproofing and the use of rust resistant materials have forced muffler shops and rustproofing businesses to change their repair focus. Tune-up services have changed to engine performance services because of the change in vehicle technology. Fuel injection, no-lead gas, and computerized ignition have made the typical 12,000 mile tune-up a thing of the past.Vehicle repair may become similar to appliance repair. Think of a vehicle with a sealed engine and a computer program that predicts wear and notifies the driver of the current condition. A message flashes that a repair is necessary to prevent a breakdown or to meet certain environmental specifications. The driver schedules the repair and avoids the inevitable breakdown. Those vehicles that have the best service records will outsell their competition and auto repair like television repair will become a non-issue for the future. This may mean that the need will be for fewer but better skilled and more productive technicians.The opportunities for those in the vehicle repair business are significant. There will be a need for more productive technicians in the future. Those who are investing in the vehicle repair business will succeed if they remember that customers buy convenience. It is inconvenient to wait, to bring the car back for rework, or to have an unscheduled part failure. It is also unprofitable.
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