CARS Executive Outlook 2023: James Channer

CARS reached out to leaders in the automotive repair and service sector of the automotive aftermarket to ask them about their thoughts about the industry over the next 12 months: How will this year be different, what will drive change and what will be the biggest challenge. We will present their answers in alphabetical order over the coming weeks…

You can view the full feature in the February 2023 issue.

James Channer, Co-founder, COO, In Motion Brands

When a business is as good as it has been for the last couple of years, a lot can go unnoticed. New business models disrupt traditional models, which will continue to pressure and challenge shop owners. Automotive repair shops that continue to rely primarily on their physical locations will have their market share disrupted. Unless they adopt a robust digital footprint to give them the required “physical” (combined physical and digital) strategy they will need to grow.

The most significant driver of change will be the potential for tightening consumer spending and, thus, shrinking the market. For most owners, there is usually little change until the pain outweighs that of the pain associated with the change itself. When shops notice their top lines trending in the wrong direction, they will be forced to react or take other actions.

We encourage you to get ahead of this now. Start to think, “Why does your business exist?” “What makes your business stand out beyond the competitors?” Don’t revert to “service” as the answer; really dig in. Are you well positioned to serve consumers where and when they want physically and digitally?

The biggest challenge could very well be continuing to do the same thing we have always done until it is too late. If you haven’t thought about the questions we are asking here or are the elements of the answers, the best resource could be to get a coach or strategic partner or join a group of highly progressive and protected peers.

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