Did you know that the first mechanics were car drivers? Discover this and more curiosities and the entire evolutionary path of Auto Repair Shop
The history of auto repair shops and Auto Repair Shop began in Europe, around 1800, with the creation of the first cars. The first car manufacturers of the late 18th century can be considered the first car mechanics.
The first European vehicles were quite technologically advanced compared to American cars, but they were not standardized. Vehicle owners faced the difficult task of finding people with the capacity and knowledge to repair these newly invented machines. In the upper class, car owners often looked for drivers who also had specialized knowledge in car maintenance.
These drivers / mechanics saved their employers from the headaches of repairing a car, and played an important role in merging the wide gap between the upper and lower classes at the time. Since they were recognized for their work and specialized knowledge, they were better paid, and ended up promoting the creation of a new position in society and new jobs.
In 1900, the American Henry Ford came up with a scalable and efficient vehicle manufacturing process. Although Ford vehicles were not as advanced as European cars, the creation of standard parts made them faster to manufacture and easier to purchase, given the lower prices.
The increase in vehicle production and the wider range of models presented to the market led dealerships and private companies to offer mechanical services and to open more and more auto workshops. With the standardized parts, the job of the auto mechanic was also easier to learn.
Competition between auto repair shops grew rapidly, even among mechanics who worked independently. Experienced mechanics worked faster, resulting in lower costs for owners and more work for auto repair shops and their mechanics.
With the arrival of the Great Depression in 1930, car sales declined and the market – including car maintenance and production – was under pressure to continue to make a profit.
During this early car maintenance period, painting was one of the most popular and noticed car body tools, and it was often handled by the owner of auto factories. Although imperfections in the finishing details were common – even in cars that came straight off the assembly line – the owners had no reason to hire auto workshops or bodywork mechanics to repair the paintwork.
To resist the market stagnation and the do-it-yourself mentality, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., former president of General Motors, brings to the market a new focus on automotive design. With a plan to boost demand, Sloan created the “cosmetic side” of the car body industry, creating a market’s desire and need for more modern, beautiful and elegant car models. From then on, the auto industry could begin to focus on bodywork and auto mechanics.
The advancement of technology and the new areas included in Auto Repair Shop
With the auto industry growing, changes in auto mechanics and auto workshops are largely driven by technology. As vehicles become more advanced, efficient, powerful and reliable, auto mechanics working in the field are constantly being forced to learn new things in order to keep up with the industry’s developments.
Auto workshops have grown to include the following areas:
- Engine experience
- Auto tools and chassis repair
- Transmissions, shafts, driveshafts and torque converters
- Electric circuits
- Fuel types and systems
The advancement of technology and the new styles and tools included in Auto Repair Shop
Likewise, car repair continues to advance as auto tools also evolve, focusing on:
- Preparing a vehicle for repair
- Welding and glass
- Alignment of parts and laser equipment
- Plastic retexturizing
- Prime, cleaning
- Mixing of paint, application and polishing
Recently, a lot has evolved in auto workshops and in their operation, from auto tools to technology, from team training to customer service. The improvements are notorious, and have been making the work of mechanics easier, while promoting better results.
Since vehicles continue to dominate society and its roads, auto repair shops and their mechanics continue to evolve and are in high demand not only by those in need of repairs but also car enthusiasts.
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