A Discussion on Wheel Alignment - Tyre Depot, Mechanic, Body Shop

At this stage all tyre depots should be offering wheel alignment. If they are not, then, without doubt, money is being left behind and customers dropped. Customer knowledge level on the subject of wheel alignment has increased greatly, and whether alignment is offered or not, could mean the difference between a customer entering a premises or moving on to the tyre depot up the road. Or, worse again, an existing customer not returning. To not gain a customer is one thing, but to lose an existing customer is tragic. Not only has an alignment fee not been gathered, but also the sale of four tyres lost to the competition up the road. To believe that a tyre depot can get away without offering any type of alignment in this day and age, is a business model that will only end up with one outcome. And not a very good one.

For mechanic garages, the story is slightly different. Alignment is now becoming a very useful tool in troubleshooting issues. Any suspension work now requires alignment before the car is returned to the customer, but owning an alignment tool can also mean that diagnosing a suspension problem can be made quite easily. The quicker the cause of a problem can be reached, the less the cost to the garage of arriving at that point, Everytime a vehicle leaves your garage for outside work (be that alignment, tyre fitting, etc.), the cost factor is greatly increased. Having alignment on-site is a wonderful idea, as the figures will show later. Each year brings more and more tech onboard our vehicles.

While it may not yet be at the stage that a bodyshop requires an aligner on-site, that day is coming fast. Vehicles that can reverse park themselves have been here for a while, and the technology for fully autonomous cars is here, even if the cars aren't yet. Each one of these vehicles are fully loaded with on board cameras and sensors, all which must be perfectly calibrated. It goes without saying the days of whipping off a front bumper and touching it up, before re-fitting and replacing, has become all the more complicated. Because of the technology involved, along with the insurance implications of work completed, alignment is moving into the bodyshop area at a hurry. Should anything go wrong in the autonomous world, where the outcome could have massive ramifications, there will need to be full traceability of any work completed, and the first question asked will be "was alignment completed?"

Some figures

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