After two years of innovating the auto repair industry, Kiwi Marketplace My Auto Shop has just launched another new service to bring mechanics to Kiwis.
“You’ll soon see our remote technicians, in bright yellow, black and white vans, bringing automotive repairs to customers’ homes and offices,” says co-founder Andy Bowie. “Covid has made Kiwis want more than just clothes and groceries delivered to their doorstep, so we’re adapting some of our business to meet that need.”
Since launching in early 2020, the firm, which took over investments from Trade Me early last year, has had to adjust its model a few times as Covid impacted the industry. Currently, My Auto Shop has more than 300 partner shops and car care providers onboard the platform, all easily bookable for customers through an online tool, “similar to AirBnB, but for your car,” says Bowie. .
“Our new remote technician service beautifully complements our existing booking platform. We will be able to carry out basic repairs, maintenance and inspections at customers’ homes, while more complex jobs, which take longer or require specialized tools, will continue to be carried out in our workshops. »
Bowie says the rapidly changing demands of customers in these unprecedented times led to the introduction of the service. “With Covid looking to be with us for the foreseeable future, many Kiwis don’t want to put themselves in unnecessary danger. We already see them avoiding supermarkets, restaurants and retail outlets, so we want to make sure they have a safe option while keeping their car safe to drive. This service will also help people who need to self-isolate.
Naturally, the My Auto Shop team paired the service with even more tech, like the ability to track your mechanic like you would an Uber, and deliver interactive online job reports straight to your inbox. . This would complement the existing initial pricing algorithm and online booking application.
Overseas, similar services are becoming more common, with Tesla and Rivian offering mobile service options and leading the way. “We know the future of car maintenance is very different than it is today. Cars require different jobs, more electronic diagnostics, and of course customers demand more convenience. We believe may our remote technicians make that future more accessible to all Kiwi car owners.”
Already, customers see the new offer solving a real logistics problem. Hundreds of pre-purchase inspections are already pouring in for remote technicians, eliminating the tedious need to coordinate with a salesperson to get a potential vehicle to a test station, especially when it’s in another city.
My Auto Shop’s experienced technicians are armed with full PPE, as well as foggers to sanitize vehicles before and after work. Standard social distancing and contact tracing protocols are also in place to keep customers and mechanics safe.
Unfortunately, My Auto Shop’s remote technicians will not fulfill any aptitude warrants. “Due to rather outdated legislation which requires all WoFs to be filled at a registered location, we are not permitted to fill warrants from home. Although we have the option of bringing equivalent equipment to carry out the check and have qualified and experienced inspectors readily available. This means that customers are still forced to navigate the unpredictable lines of test stations. »
My Auto Shop’s remote technicians currently operate in Auckland, and the team plans to have service in Wellington and Christchurch soon. However, they are also grappling with industry-wide skills shortages and the ability to find staff, which Bowie says is slowing the ability to expand to meet demand.
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