Over recent months, I feel I've seen a fairly large number of auto care-oriented businesses listing for sale. Oil, Tires, Brakes, Exhaust & Muffler, Full-Service Engine Repair, Auto Glass, etc. Typically franchises, but not always.
When I see a trend of many similar businesses listing, it suggests to me there's likely a significant shift in the market - either one occurring or soon-to-come. By way of example, many small Colorado liquor stores went up for sale in the 6 months prior to November 2022, because a ballot initiative making it more difficult for them to compete with big box liquor stores was widely anticipated to pass.
Is there something similar going on in the non-dealer automotive care industry? Some reason everyone is trying to get out now? Or is my "feeling" that I've seen more of these listings in recent months off-base, and there are always many of these trading hands?
Until recently, 'right to repair' of independent repair shops has not been a major issue as manufactures have been playing nice w/ 3rd party access to diagnostic ports and codes. However, there is continued legal wrangling over right to repair bills at state level and discussion at federal level around a more expansive bill which deals with sharing data beyond the standard diagnostic codes.
So, some legal uncertainty around whether OEMs will be able to preference their dealer networks with access to certain types of data.
Also worth noting that not all repair shops are equally impacted by these trends (e.g. auto glass should be fine, EVs actually tend to wear out tires faster due to regenerative braking).