Survey reveals profit margins on auto services

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What is an average independent tire dealer's profit margin on a specific automotive service? And how closely does the average compare to the median percentage?

The numbers vary, according to the respondents to the 2009-2010 Modern Tire Dealer Automotive Service Survey. Here are the average and median profit margins for the following automotive services:

Automotive service                         Average    Median

Air conditioning                                     53%          50%

Batteries/electrical                               34%          33%

Bearings/seals                                     50%          50%

Brakes                                                    52%          50%

Chassis/suspension                           53%          50%

Cooling systems                                   56%          50%

Engine diagnostics/tune-ups             55%          50%

Exhaust systems                                   54%          50%

Oil/lubrication                                         32%          25%

Shocks/struts                                          48%          49%

Tire pressure monitoring systems     45%          40%

Automotive service accounts for 41% of the average tire dealer's sales volume. The MTD Automotive Service Survey breaks down service bay usage even further so that you have a benchmark to which you can compare your own dealership's performance.

It covers everything from the average number of bays and technicians per dealership to what services are being perfomed in those bays -- even the types of equipment dealers intend to buy or lease this year.

We already have addressed engine diagnostics, exhaust service, brake service, battery/electrical service, air conditioning, chassis/suspension, shocks/struts, cooling system and oil and lubrication service on our Web site,, and in our bi-weekly "Auto Service News & Best Practices" e-newsletters.

For more survey information, check out January's Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue online as well!

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