Automobile Industry can be refers to as the collection of firms that produce, manufacture broadly automobiles using the same raw material, pattern of production while the definition of small-scale industries varies from country to country and from time to time. Automobile mechanic workshop is an example of small scale industry because it’s not attached to main production of automobiles but servicing and maintenance of automobiles. For example, engine repair, collision repair, car wash, oil change and lube. According to ‘Ford Motor Co-operation’, its evolution started when automobile manufacturing became available just before the beginning of the 20th century. Although for early car owner, there were no vehicle mechanics only the bicycle mechanic, plumber or machinist were summoned then to repair the fabricated parts. The wealthier ones among the car owner employed chauffeur-mechanics as servants who would drive and maintain the vehicles and they used their specialized knowledge to lever better pay and privileges from their wealthier employer.
By the twenties, the motor vehicles started to be common in places and it was possible for vehicle repair industry to grow either as independent companies or as workers for specific automobile makers. These technicians were pay by the hours or day at which they work and repairs were billed for actual time taken. The repair workshops with various good specialized mechanics had a big advantage as repair were quicker and therefore cheaper. To introduce some stability to the repair market, standard times for set repair jobs started to be used for billing. Starting the 1930s, mechanics spent their time sitting on benches, waiting and hoping for work in the slow economy period when some would go home with little or no pay for many days. After the World War Two, the economy boomed, Flat Rate system started to dominate and as workers had little control over the accounting procedures that determined their pay, the mechanics also learned how to manipulate the system for extra pay at the expense of customers. The use of automobile vehicles on our roads plays a key role in road transportation system and the economy of the society thereby making road transport services more efficient unlike other means of transport in various countries. Vehicle maintenance refers to practice where an automobile is serviced on a regular basis to prevent major breakdown or the need for major repair. (international journal of science and technology vol2.) Automobile service workshops has contributed greatly to the society in terms of services to the society and productive employment among the poorer people is vital and helps dispersal of industries in the urban, semi-urban and rural areas of the country. Many uneducated youths get employment in these workshops and thereby alleviating poverty.
1.1 Background to the Study
Services can be refers to as work done for others either in terms of business or occupation. (freedictionary.com). It enables both the customer and the service provider to know what to expect and not what to expect from the service. Service Organization varies rapidly in size and function. The growth of service industry in the past two decades has prompted a number of study on this sector of the economy. The service industry is difficult to define and encompass. There has been various ways at which the service industry can be identified. It includes: economic activities like physical and other experiential activities and what is transformed through their services. Service Organization varies in size. On one hand, the scale of service is huge, for example International cooperation who deals with industries like banking, airlines, insurance e.t.c and on the other hand the scale of service is small and locally owned for example automobile mechanic workshop, restaurant e.t.c. According to Ayeni (1979:12) in reference to Mabogunje, he stated that any study carry out on the service centers in an urban area is an attempt to explain a part of the spatial configuration of such urban area. Maintenance is defined as an activity applicable to all systems, natural and artificial, to cause such systems to remain unaltered or unimpaired. It is the repair activity carried out on vehicles or other machineries to keep them unaltered, and if altered, to restore them to their original state. (Okah-Avae 1995; Akinola and Ogedengbe 2005). Automobile Service workshop can be defined as the sales and leasing of vehicles, providing after sales services and sales of auto part.
The study of the distributional pattern of Automobile Mechanic workshop have not been paid much attention on until after the period of colonial era when the demand for vehicle ownership started increasing and also there occur increasing urge for mobility of goods, people compare to other service sector of the economy where there has been much attention. For example Banking sector, Educational Sector e. t. c. . Mostly, the site of mechanic workshop where maintenance activities, repair of vehicle and sales of vehicle parts are carried out are of low capital base and either located on slippery terrains, under tree sheds, canopy made of banana or palm fronds, etc. In Nigeria where land transport is largely in use compared to water transportation and other modes of transportation in other country, the use of automobile vehicles, either diesel or petrol driven is predominant. According to ‘Akintola 1995’, he stated that ‘the vehicles cannot remain new forever, as the parts breakdown and wear out, and so, must be maintained’. The background to the existence of Automobile Mechanic workshop in Nigeria, Ibadan to be precise can be traced back on the basis of the need to render services to vehicles which when on the move can suddenly develop fault and requires an emergency repair. So this makes it inevitable that some repairing workshops should be set up near the road side to render services to the vehicles when they go out of order or become inoperative, and be very helpful for the operation of vehicles. Within a short time, the number of vehicles increased enormously and many workshops were set up. Nowadays, many roads and high ways are built and hundreds and thousands of vehicles are found plying on those roads. In order to provide services to those vehicles to make them operative, a large number of mechanic workshops are located near the road side. (Technical report, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria) The job of an automobile mechanics over the 21st century has been increasingly specialized with rapid advancement in technology, they have broaden their knowledge from main mechanic work to including rewiring, electronic work due to the modern trend in production and manufacturing of modern vehicles whose part have been evolved with electronics. So this creates basis for the mechanics to have broader knowledge in repair works than before. Although the land used for automobile mechanical works are mostly acquired through rent and lease so the managers have periods of years to locate their workshop there and at the end of the period of practice, the workshop is later on the control of the previous worker who was a trainee and after the acquisition of knowledge, he becomes boss in his own level.
The automobile mechanic workshops in Nigeria are under the control of mostly illiterate or semi literate individuals (Oguzie, 2001). The designs of vehicles nowadays have advanced to a very sophisticated level, and unlike the old mechanically operated vehicle systems, the modern vehicles are being operated and controlled by computerized electronic sensors. For example, latest vehicles’ ignition systems are electrically controlled without employing the old use of manually reset contact breaker. Common to majority of the new trend cars is the brain box and other electronic gadgets that sense instant faults in the vehicle and immediately notifies the driver through the dashboard display. The modern trend of mechanical services therefore requires the use of more complex and highly technological and special diagnostic equipment to analyse vehicle faults for repair and service. To ensure this for efficiency, safety, comfort and style, competent professional hands are required (Auto Tips 2001; Dhillon 1980 Automobile repair and servicing is considered to be inelastic because it will always and forever be in demand. The need for people to purchase vehicles will continue to rise likewise the need to maintain, repair and service the vehicles no matter the level at which the economy struggles in a country.
Automobile repair works has tended to strive higher in poor and better economy in as much as people demand to repair their old vehicles rather than spending huge amount on purchasing a new one and in as much as other people spend much amount in purchasing new vehicles and calls for demand in maintenance. The number of automobile technicians is increasing and it is still in expectance to increase higher in future. Wikipedia.Org defined automobile technicians with the major role of diagnosing the problem of vehicles accurately and quickly. It stated that these technicians quote prices for their customers before commencing work or after partial dis-assembly for inspection. The automobile technicians work may involve repair of a specific part or the replacement of one or more parts of assemblies. Basically, automobile repair involve preventative maintenance on car body to avoid total breakdown of vehicle by replacing various car parts and vehicle maintenance which is when there is a sign of malfunction on car parts. Because of the complexity in the system of vehicles manufactured nowadays, the method of auto repair has advanced greatly and also widening, most auto technicians now use electrical equipments, diagnosing machine unlike the mechanical equipment use before.
1.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of the study is to analyze the distributional pattern of automobile mechanics workshop in Ibadan North Local Government Area. The specific objectives are i. Examine the pattern of distribution of automobile mechanic workshops in the study area ii. Examine the factors that determine the distribution of automobile mechanic workshop over space. iii. Analyze the pattern of spatial variation of automobile mechanic workshop
1.3 RESEARCH PROBLEMS
As vehicle technology and maintenance processes are advancing, so also are the problems facing transportation system unpredictable breakdown of vehicles on the highways, failure of vehicle parts such as brakes; resulting in accidents and loss of lives, delay and failure of important appointments, and heavy debts incurred by many car owners on maintenance. The problem related to automobile repair will be widening in as long as the method of knowledge acquisition is not changed.
1.4 HYPOTHESES TESTED
1. That the distributional pattern of automobile mechanic workshop is random.
2. That the factor of choice of location varies significantly among automobile technicians
The population for the study comprises of automobile repair and service technicians workshops in Ibadan Metropolis of Oyo state. The total of 35 workshops in the areas of Ibadan North Local Government were selected by the researcher. The opinion of technicians who work on different part of the car and different car types were sought to assess the distributional pattern of these workshops over space and their pattern of variations over space. The main method of data collection for this research was through the use of questionnaire. The questionnaire comprises of both open and close ended questions in four sections. Section one consist of demographic and socio-economic data of the respondent, Section two consist of distributional pattern of automobile mechanics, Section three consist of spatial variation of automobile mechanics while Section four consist of level of operation. The research questions were analyzed to get the main response through frequency count. Nearest Neighbour Analysis which explain point processes being the probability distribution of the distance from this point to its nearest neighboring point in the same point process is used to explain the hypotheses that the pattern of distribution of Automobile Mechanic Workshops in Ibadan North Local Government is Random/Clustered and Chi Square to test the hypotheses that the factors of choice of location varies significantly