For all the talk about automotive entities that might permanently disrupt the automotive industry, only a few have taken hold. Uber and Lyft only gained a foothold because taxi service in America was broken. Neither company produces sustainable profits and their business model is fundamentally flawed. Car subscriptions haven’t really caught on either, although not for lack of effort. Car sharing also imploded recently.
But there is one upcoming service that could gain traction. RepairSmith, which launched last year, aims to bring a substantial amount of car repair to customers. It can be a pain to get a car to a shop and Americans have a tendency to be lazy, so there is some potential here.
At-home car service isn’t exactly new or revolutionary. Companies like Safelite replace auto glass using that very business model. But car repair is a bit more complex and prices can vary. Still, there is an undeniable convenience in having a repair accomplished without ever leaving your home, or having something like an oil change performed in your office parking lot. There are a lot of issues with something like RepairSmith. For example, the website seems to assume customers already know what they need repaired. Most people don’t have that ability. And there’s a reason why initial markets are limited to California and Nevada. Do you really think a technician wants to work outside when it’s 20 degrees out?
And it appears RepairSmith isn’t as disruptive as it makes itself out to be. There will be physical locations. And the website has a section devoted to “Partner Shops,” meaning they’re looking to collaborate with local service facilities. That’s not exactly revolutionary. But shifting some aspects of car repair to an app sounds reasonably convenient. Basic tire related repairs, oil and fluid changes, and brake or suspension work could conceivably be done at the customers house, provided everything goes right. I don’t know if I’d use it, but I’m open to the idea. And for now, RepairSmith is here to stay, as it’s fully backed by Daimler.
Does something like RepairSmith sound good to you? Or are you fine with how you currently get your vehicle serviced?