Service for professionals, Training, Recruitment, Consulting

thousand maintenance professionals
thousand employees in automotive services
thousand self-employed workers

A stable population despite labour shortages

The automotive maintenance industry comprises 219,000 professionals, whose support needs are growing in line with technological developments and their own human requirements.
The automotive repair industry is part of the automotive services sector. This branch has 421,000 employees and 70,000 self-employed workers, making a total of 500,000 people employed in 170,000 companies in France. Within the services sector, the automotive repair industry employs 219,000 people, the majority of the workforce. These people work in 83,000 car repair, mechanical and bodywork businesses. The number of repair workshops has not fallen in recent years, and the automotive repair sector remains a dynamic activity. 
It is supported by an ever-growing fleet of vehicles (over 46 million cars and light commercial vehicles in France).

Sector talking points


A recruitment shortage proving difficult to offset

The economic crisis of 2008-2014 led to a sharp drop in demand for apprentices in the automotive repair sector. Ten years later, in 2023 and since 2020, there has been an increasingly marked drop in the number of experienced professionals, basic technicians and qualified technicians.
We are therefore witnessing primarily a demographic phenomenon affecting all aftersales professionals. Added to this is the resilience of the aftersales market: the ageing of the vehicle fleet and the continued strength of the second-hand market are leading to increased labour requirements. The recruitment shortage is particularly problematic in 2023. It is causing wage inflation as a result of numerous employees switching from one company to another.
To compensate for this shortage, the industry is once again recruiting apprentices: in 2022, 68,354 young people were in training in the specific areas of the automotive services industry, representing an increase of 2% compared to 2021, but above all an increase of 30% compared to 2017. This is still not enough, but automotive apprenticeships are becoming more attractive to young people. The tireless efforts of professionals and the training community to raise awareness of careers and how they are evolving remain essential.
EQUIP AUTO offers a special welcome to young people in training and to colleges in the industry.

Rising training needs

More than 19,200 companies made use of at least one vocational training course in 2021, according to ANFA (Association Nationale de la Formation Automobile). This is only 25% of the 83,000 companies in the automotive maintenance sector. Nearly 90,000 employees received training, i.e. more than a third of the total population
This means that, on average, every employee takes a training course every three years.
Training initatives are on the increase, but are still considered insufficient in view of all the changes facing the automotive maintenance sector. 
The gradual spread of hybrid training programmes (combining distance assessment with a mix of face-to-face and distance learning), the splitting up of programmes, and the rapid adaptation of training programmes to the needs of workshops are essential factors in bringing the profession up to speed.

More need for support

The role of repair networks has become an essential added value for the repair world. The major repair chains (e.g., Garage AD Expert, Top Garage, Precisium Garage) and bodywork chains (e.g., Five Star, Axial, Acoat Selected) provide their members with essential training programmes and tools, training academies, curricula created in partnership with colleges and programmes designed in conjunction with vocational training providers.
This is one of the major reasons behind the growth of repair networks in France.
EQUIP AUTO attaches strategic importance to the exhibition of automotive distribution and maintenance brands at the show.

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