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United States Automotive Technicians’ Choice, 2017

United States Automotive Technicians’ Choice, 2017

This study covers the independent automotive aftermarket vehicle service technicians’ choice of tools. The survey was conducted using a computer-assisted telephone interview methodology during July 2017. Respondents represent automotive repair shops throughout the United States. Shop types include new-vehicle dealership service departments, franchised auto repair shops, and independent auto repair shops. In total, 476 automotive technicians were surveyed for this study. To qualify as a respondent, an automotive technician had to work at least 32 hours per week and physically work on vehicles on at least a weekly basis.

Research Scope
The various tools covered in the research include:
Power tools (tools powered by a motor)
Hand tools: Devices for doing a particular job that does not use a motor, but is powered solely by the person using it
Handheld diagnostic tools: Devices that read a vehicle's onboard diagnostic and have reporting capability, specifically provides real-time data in addition to a standardized series of diagnostic trouble codes
Pneumatic or air tools: Devices that are activated by a gas, usually compressed air supplied by a gas compressor
Tool storage devices: Tool boxes, roll cabs, cart, or other units used for storing tools

The study identifies the most commonly purchased auto tools within the last year as hand and power tools—86% of the surveyed auto technicians report purchasing them in 2016. Outcome of the survey results also establish that reliability and quality are identified as the top influential factors across all auto tools surveyed. Other critical factors include warranty, availability, order accuracy, and past experience. This research also enquires about the respondents’ choice of distributor channel for purchasing the different tools and also compares brand perception of almost all of the major brands available in the market. The global automotive aftermarket is being influenced by different trends including evolving powertrain, digitization, and eCommerce; all of these trends are also having a visible impact on the tools that are being used for vehicle servicing and repair. These segments are covered in the discussion of the various drivers and restraints pertaining to the purchase decision of the tools.

Research Highlights
Major companies highlighted and benchmarked in the research include Aircat, Autel, Blue Point, Bosch, Channellock, Chicago Pneumatics, Cornwell, Craftsmen, DeWalt, GearWrench, Husky, Ingersoll Rand, Innova, Kennedy, Launch, Mac Tools, Macto, Makita, Milwaukee, NAPA, OTC, Snap-on, and Waterloo. Among these, Snap-on has been observed to be the most prevalent brand and its dominance in the auto tools market continues.


  • Research Objectives and Methodology
    • Methodology
    • Automotive Technician Profile-Shop Type and Region
  • Executive Summary
    • Auto Tools Purchase Rate
    • Most Influential Factors in the Purchase Decision Process
    • Brand Dominance Vs. Fragmentation by Auto Tools
    • Most Prevalent Purchase Channel Trends-Mobile Tool Distributor
  • Power Tools
    • Matrix to Guide the Strategic Drivers When Selecting Auto Tools
    • Strategic Drivers of Power Tool Selection
    • Additional Insights-Strategic Drivers of Power Tools
    • 2016 Purchases of Power Tools
    • 2016 Purchases of Power Tools Among Owners of Top Brands
    • Top Ownership Brand Shares over Time-Power Tools
    • Brand Reputation Gap-Power Tools
    • Distribution Channels over Time-Power Tools
  • Hand Tools
    • Strategic Drivers of Hand Tool Selection
    • Additional Insights-Strategic Drivers of Hand Tools
    • 2016 Purchases of Hand Tools
    • 2016 Purchases of Hand Tools Among Owners of Top Brands
    • Top Ownership Brand Shares over Time-Hand Tools
    • Brand Reputation Gap-Hand Tools
    • Distribution Channels over Time-Hand Tools
  • Handheld Diagnostic Tools
    • Strategic Drivers of Handheld Diagnostic Tool Selection
    • Additional Insights-Strategic Drivers of Handheld Diagnostic Tools
    • 2016 Purchases of Handheld Diagnostic Tools
    • 2016 Purchases of Handheld Diagnostic Tools Among Owners of Top Brands
    • Top Ownership Brand Shares over Time-Handheld Diagnostic Tools
    • Brand Reputation Gap-Handheld Diagnostic Tools
    • Distribution Channels over Time-Handheld Diagnostic Tools
  • Pneumatic/Air Tools
    • Strategic Drivers of Pneumatic/Air Tool Selection
    • Additional Insights-Strategic Drivers of Pneumatic/Air Tools
    • 2016 Purchases of Pneumatic/Air Tools
    • 2016 Purchases of Pneumatic/Air Tools Among Owners of Top Brands
    • Top Ownership Brand Shares over Time-Pneumatic/Air Tools
    • Brand Reputation Gap-Pneumatic/Air Tools
    • Distribution Channels over Time-Pneumatic/Air Tools
  • Tool Storage Devices
    • Strategic Drivers of Tool Storage Device Selection
    • Additional Insights-Strategic Prioritization of Tool Storage Devices
    • 2016 Purchases of Tool Storage Devices
    • 2016 Purchases of Tool Storage Devices Among Owners of Top Brands
    • Top Ownership Brand Shares over Time-Tool Storage Devices
    • Brand Reputation Gap-Tool Storage Devices
    • Distribution Channels over Time-Tool Storage Devices
  • Overall Tool Ratings
    • Overall Impression of Auto Tool Brands
  • Profile
    • Shop and Technician Profile
      • Table Shop and Technician Profile, US, 2017
  • Purchase Decision Process by Auto Tool
  • Appendix
    • Study Definitions

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