Independent auto workshops win more business

Ostfildern, Germany. German car owners had almost 92 million repair and maintenance jobs done on their vehicles during 2003 -- 4 percent more than in the previous year.

But the market share of authorized repair workshops fell to 53 percent from 61 percent according to an annual report by the Deutsche Automobil Treuhand.

One reason that authorized workshops lost market share is that there are fewer of them. The number of authorized workshops in Germany decreased by 1,100 in 2003. Most of these businesses are now independent of automakers.

German car owners spent about 19 billion euros for servicing and wear and tear repairs in 2003. Another 16 billion euros was spent on repairs of accident damages, according to provisional figures by the insurance industry.

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