The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) conducted a comprehensive survey in Aug. 2020 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% of those surveyed have seen an increase in business since the start of the pandemic, 56% reported a decrease in business.
The survey found that 34% of service facilities have reduced business hours, and the effect on technicians has come in the form of reduction of hours (34%), temporary furloughs (14%) and terminations (8%).
According to the survey, shops have been proactive in instituting safety measures for their employees and customers. Results show that nearly 70% of those surveyed are using protective equipment, while 63% have implemented social distancing measures and 62% 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% of those surveyed said they have done some type of self-study or enhanced training, while 46% 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% of respondents said they have increased their usage of social media somewhat or significantly, with Facebook and YouTube named as the top platforms utilized.