Dealership service activity decreased by nearly six percent in July 2022, according to a study conducted by Cox Automotive, with parts and labor shortages contributing to long wait times for consumers to get their vehicles serviced.
According to Cox’s Repair Order Volume Index, which is designed to provide a glimpse into service department performance at franchised dealerships in the U.S., was down six percent month over month from June and 9.8 percent year-over-year from July 2021. The average revenue generated per repair order also decreased by $4, reaching its lowest level since February, while Cox’s Repair Order Revenue Index for measuring service revenue was also down 0.7 percent from June and 10.7 percent year-over-year.
Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said the decline in dealership service appointments is due to parts shortages and increased wait times. These less-than-ideal conditions are also leading some consumers to delay service appointments as long as possible.
“In speaking with dealers, I am hearing that this unexpected decline in service appointments observed in July Xtime data is likely related to their own capacity and labor challenges,” said Smoke. “This situation is creating wait times for consumers to get cars serviced.”
“Technician shortages limit capacity, and at the same time ongoing supply chain issues are impacting the delivery of some parts,” he added. “It is also a difficult time to get loaner or rental cars, and that may be creating an additional inconvenience. Consumers may be delaying service and repair appointments, hoping the situation will improve in the future.”
Cox is able to calculate dealership service data as its Xtime subsidiary provides software that helps auto dealers schedule service appointments, facilitating more than 10 million service appointments in the U.S. annually.