Although relatively new to the UK market, automotive franchise Quick Lane is already enjoying impressive growth, with plans to further grow its network throughout 2020. John Dines, UK Operations Manager at Quick Lane, explains why the UK aftermarket offers such lucrative opportunities for potential investors. 

“Speak to anyone in the UK automotive industry and they’ll tell you the same thing – change is coming. Just as retailers face a digital disruption, traditional UK automotive service outlets are also facing a threat – the oncoming sea change in mobility services.

“The rise of electric vehicles, increasing popularity of ride sharing and changes in vehicle ownership models present several opportunities for traditional dealerships and aftersales workshops. While dealers are struggling to close the gaps on supply versus demand and facing consolidation or closure from manufacturers, their other revenue source – the workshop – is struggling to access customers altogether, with motorists increasingly seeking out more cost effective and convenient servicing options.

“However, one thing is for certain; the internal combustion engine (ICE) will remain on our roads for at least the next twenty years, probably longer. There will be no overnight transition to EV, with the likelihood that future vehicles will be built on hybrid powertrains, with an element of ICE remaining. The converse is that 0-3 years warranty and service loyalty volume will contract as service schedules extend with the influx of these new powertrains.

“This presents challenges for traditional automotive service providers. Businesses operating volume-based facilities may struggle to ensure full utilisation, with volume shrinking. The sales/aftersales model will become more difficult to balance, while service absorption will also bring threats.

“Meanwhile, consumerisation is also affecting the automotive market, with motorists becoming used to the convenience they receive from online retail shopping giants. Automotive services are increasingly being expected on-demand, hence the introduction of mobile repair services.

“The physical process of booking a vehicle in for a service, driving it to a garage location and waiting for work to be done is becoming a huge inconvenience. Motorists expect services delivered around their lifestyles, delivered professionally, transparently and with a fair exchange. Too many aftermarket service providers are unable to evolve their business models to support the needs of today’s motorists and are unprepared for the myriad of market challenges that are set to impact their business.

“Quick Lane is finding rapid success in the UK and across Europe by delivering an altogether different proposition to automotive service providers in the UK. Working with automotive businesses owners who understand that diversification is a must, the Quick Lane mission is to become the UK’s favourite maintenance and light repair services, with a Quick Lane centre as a valued part of every community. With a business model designed to deliver automotive services to customers around their lifestyles, and an all-makes, all model approach, Quick Lane businesses are able to remove customer pain points, re-open lost revenue streams and broaden their appeal in a rapidly changing market.

“Quick Lane centres are built in areas of high footfall, designed very carefully to optimise space utilisation and to provide an inviting environment in which customers feel welcome and comfortable while waiting for their vehicles. The focus is on the customer and on building a long-lasting relationship built on mutual trust and respect. This personal approach is backed up by a seamless and professional online experience that enables customers to access the services they need with convenience. As a result, our franchisees are well positioned to enter the evolving aftersales market with a point of true differentiation, as part of a national brand that is growing across the UK and Europe.

“Quick Lane research has shown us that motorists are increasingly looking to receive a fairer exchange for vehicle servicing and inspection and this is precisely the aim of all Quick Lane centres. The future of the automotive services industry is not focused on vehicles or parts, but on the ever-changing demands and behaviours of automotive customers. Businesses that remain successful are those that can flex and adapt their business and service models accordingly.”

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