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According to a recent survey featured in the May issue of National Oil and Lube News, 38% of the motoring public usually go to a new car dealer to have their oil changed. Second place was a quick lube and third place was the traditional auto facility. 

Now, I have to admit, this survey was done by a publication dedicated to the Quick Lube industry, so I am not sure of any bias here. But it is worth taking note that the people polled were car owners from across the country. And, in spite of what we think about the new car dealers, they do want to penetrate the consumer market we took for granted for so many decades.

The point is that in today’s competitive climate we need to take a proactive approach to our business.  Anyone who knows me or reads my articles and posts know I have been preaching this for some time now.

We also need to be convenient and deliver world-class service.  We need trained people on the phone and on the service counter.  Of course you need quality techs, training, information systems and the best equipment.  But, look at your business through the eyes of your customers.  That will tell you your next marketing strategy.

If I were you, I would do my own survey….find out for yourself….Who’s changing YOUR customer’s oil?

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      Yesterday, went for a drive through North Jersey, was very concerned to see that independent shops are putting permanent signs with the $19.95 oil change offers, the $59 A/C recharge, and the $5 dollar flat fix. This reeks of desperation, clearly the industry is coming due for a strong correction. At my shops this month we are starting to see price resistance from the lower income segment, we are having to exert price flexibility for price discovery which we are finding to be 10% to 20% from list pricing. The mid to upper segments are still going strong.
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