How Independent Shops Have Fared Since 1990Posted 7/9/2004
By Denise Caspersen
In last month's issue, we looked at the growth of independent shops in the 1970s and 1980s. In this issue, we look at their growth from the 1990s to present day. The 1990s continued to see a reduction in dealerships and gasoline service stations to 26,100 and 104,800, respectively. Registered vehicles increased another 33 million vehicles to 188.7 million traveling an average of 11,358 miles annually. General repair businesses increased nearly 15,000 to 54,800 facilities. Collision businesses also grew substantially, to 30,500. Annual sales more than doubled for all sectors except gasoline stations. Dealerships went to $316 billion, general repair grew to $19.6 billion, collision businesses climbed to $13.5 billion and gasoline moved up to $138.5 billion.
In 2000, 213.3 million vehicles were registered in the United States and traveled an average of 12,575 miles. Repair and maintenance of these vehicles was accomplished by 26,200 new and used franchised dealerships, 77,751 general repair businesses, 36,500 collision repair businesses and 80,000 gas stations (with convenience stores) and 30,000 (without convenience stores). Annual sales again doubled or nearly doubled in all areas with $638.8 billion for dealers, $246.8 billion for gasoline service stations, $37.2 billion for general repair and $25 billion in collision annual sales. By the numbers, independent auto repair is a growing business.
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