The Automotive Technician Collaboration

The Automotive Technician Collaboration (ATC) is a group of nine OEMs, formed as an industry response to the technician crisis. Our collective goal is to change the perception of the automotive technician career – both in the eyes of the public to grow the pool of new prospective technicians entering our dealerships, as well as through decreasing dealer technician turnover and increasing satisfaction.

Why the ATC?

The automotive technician career is stuck in a costly cycle, with technicians leaving the industry due to dissatisfaction and not enough new technicians coming in. The ATC aims to fix both issues, focusing on increasing technician retention while at the same time, growing the number of new technicians coming into the career.

Prior Work

Market Research

In 2018, the group completed market research to fully understand the depth of the problem. This included:

  • 42 OEM interviews
  • 185 dealer personnel at 45 dealers
  • 40 educator interviews
  • 70 students in 7 focus groups
  • 11 organizational interviews
  • 100+ sources of literature research

Market Research Interviews Completed Across US

From this research, the ATC learned the key problem areas for retention were in:

  • Compensation
  • Training
  • Management
  • Dealer conditions
  • Rewards & recognitions

The output of this investigation was a comprehensive how-to guide for dealers to address the largest problems facing their shop.

Recruitment Initiatives

Project Shift

The ATC also found recruiting was slow due to the stigma attached to the job. The automotive tech career is often perceived as not having good long-term career progression and also has outdated stereotypes attached to it. To address this, the ATC launched Project Shift, a digital recruitment campaign focused on educating and engaging the public about the automotive technician career to update this perception.


Current Initiatives

Recruitment Initiatives

Grow audience and engagement with Project Shift, and ultimately, expand awareness of the technician career within target groups – middle & high school student and influencing adults.

Retention Initiatives

Design and develop a tool for dealers to self-assess dealership performance and key drivers of technician dissatisfaction, drawing on industry retention standards to improve performance. Dealers will be able to understand exactly where their dealerships perform well, and where they should focus improvement efforts on. To learn more, check out Harry Hollenberg’s feature in Automotive News where he shares the recruitment insights gathered through ATC.

Dealer and Industry Communications

Increase industry awareness and dealer network engagement with all ATC activities, with particular focus on adoption and engagement of retention standards through strategic partnerships with other organizations.


Harry Hollenberg

Managing Director