By Joe Marconi
The other day, a customer asked my service advisor, if he would price match a set of tires. This customer got an online quote from the internet; a local TIre Store know for discouting tires.
My rule, I don't price match. My prices are competive and fair.
Would you price match just to get the job, and sacrifice profit? Remember, no one really knows the true cost of any service or repair until the car is in the shop. So, internet quotes are not set in stone.
The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition today announced it has turned in 102,000 signatures to ensure an initiative petition to enact an update to the Commonwealth’s Right to Repair law before it reaches the 2020 ballot. The Coalition – a group of Massachusetts independent repair shops, auto parts stores, trade associations, consumers, and drivers – said that a lack of progress on an update to the law in the Legislature led them to pursue an initiative petition so that Massachusetts car owners will continue to have access to the repair and diagnostic mechanical information produced by the vehicle they own.
By 2020, advancements in vehicle technology and increasing restrictions by automakers will result in more than 90% of new cars being equipped to transmit real-time diagnostic and repair information wirelessly to vehicle manufacturers, which could threatening Massachusetts consumers’ rights to choose to get their cars fixed at trusted independent repair shops or do the work themselves.
The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition supports bipartisan legislation filed in January by 12 State Representatives and two State Senators to update the Commonwealth’s Right to Repair law. The bills generated 55 co-sponsors, and if the bill is enacted into law by the legislature in 2020 it would eliminate the need for the ballot question to proceed.
“We need to update the Right to Repair law before wireless technologies remove the car owner’s right to get their vehicle repaired at our local, independent shop because the automaker would rather steer them toward one of their more expensive dealers,” said Alan Saks of Dorchester Tire Service. “This is a common-sense reform and we’d love to see the Legislature move forward and fix it so that we don’t have to go to the ballot to protect consumers’ rights to shop around for car repairs.”
Said Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition Director Tommy Hickey, “Independent repair shops across Massachusetts are proud to reach this milestone of more than 100,000 signatures. Our independent shops are increasingly facing the prospect of having limited or no access to diagnostic and repair information now that automakers are restricting access through rapidly expanding wireless technologies in vehicles not covered under current law.”
The ballot initiative would give car owners access only to the diagnostic and repair data generated by their car, and they could opt to provide access to any dealer, repair shop, or automaker that they choose during the lifetime of their car.
The Coalition delivered its signatures to Secretary of State William Galvin’s office on Tuesday and Wednesday. The initiative petition filed is entitled An Initiative Law to Enhance, Update and Protect the 2013 Motor Vehicle Right to Repair Law. The key provision of the initiative is as follows:
Commencing in model year 2022 and thereafter a manufacturer of motor vehicles sold in the Commonwealth, including heavy duty vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 14,000 pounds, that utilizes a telematics system shall be required to equip such vehicles with an inter-operable, standardized and open access platform across all of the manufacturer’s makes and models. Such platform shall be capable of securely communicating all mechanical data emanating directly from the motor vehicle via direct data connection to the platform. Such platform shall be directly accessible by the owner of the vehicle through a mobile-based application and, upon the authorization of the vehicle owner, all mechanical data shall be directly accessible by an independent repair facility or a class 1 dealer licensed pursuant to section 58 of chapter 140 limited to the time to complete the repair or for a period of time agreed to by the vehicle owner for the purposes of maintaining, diagnosing and repairing the motor vehicle. Access shall include the ability to send commands to in-vehicle components if needed for purposes of maintenance, diagnostics and repair.
The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition now has more than 4,000 members statewide. In addition to independent repair shops and Massachusetts auto parts stores, members of the Coalition include the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP-MA) and the New England Tire and Service Association (NETSA). Further information may be found at massrighttorepair.org
Similar Tagged Content
By Joe Marconi
Roughly a month ago, two events happened on the same day that reminded me that there are things that are so precious, you cannot put a price on them. Those events also reminded me that some of the things we stress over, really aren’t as important as we think. And in the end, it all comes down to the importance of life itself.
I got a call that day from Paul, the person who picks up our scrap metal. He asked if he could speak to me in private. Now, being a seasoned business owner, that’s usually not a good sign. But, this had nothing to do with business. I met Paul in my office a few hours later. He appeared very uncomfortable and upset. After exchanging a few words about business and the weather, he told me that his brother died last year. He was one of three other brothers that died within the past five years. He went on to tell me that none of his brothers had any savings or insurance, so it was up to him to take care of all the burial expenses for all the brothers. As Paul spoke, I could see that he was emotionally drained. Then he said to me, “Joe, I really hate to ask you this. I am tapped out. I cannot support all my financial obligations at this time. Would it be possible to lend me the money to purchase the gravestone for my brother? You can make the check out directly to the gravestone company, not to me.”
I have known Paul a long time. He’s one of those hard-working, tough-talking guys that you would never imagine asking for a handout. I didn’t hesitate and wrote out the check and handed it to him. He held back the tears as he shook my hand and told me, “Joe, I will never forget this, and I will pay you back.”
About an hour later, the owner of a local tow company walked into my office manager’s office to pick up a check we owed him for last month’s tows. I wasn’t paying much attention until I overheard my office manager say, “Oh, my God, I am sorry, Dave. I didn’t even know you were sick.” Dave is 42 years old, married with kids, and has brain cancer that is not responding to treatment.
Dave has a great attitude, but understands the reality of his illness. He’s doing his best while on the treatment, but admitted that, some days, he finds it hard to function. He told us how he started his tow company right out of high school and has worked hard his entire life. As he was leaving, I told him to reach out to us if he needs anything. He told me prayer might help. I told him I would do that.
Before the two events that day, I was dealing with a few business problems. And I need to be honest: I was not in the best of moods. After speaking to Paul and Dave, those issues that seemed so daunting before, didn’t seem all that important anymore. I sat back in my chair, looked over at a photo of my grandkids on my desk, and told myself that I need to do a better job at arranging life’s priorities.
As shop owners, we get caught up in the day-to-day struggles of running a business—sometimes at a cost to our families, friends and ourselves. We anguish over bad online reviews, disgruntled employees, slow days and declining car counts. We sometimes find it hard to sleep at night, reflecting over and over again in our minds, the problems of the day. And we repeat this cycle over and over, year after year. Let me tell you, no business issue is ever all that serious that it cannot be overcome. But, when life throws you a curveball, as in the case with Paul and Dave, those problems are not so easily overcome.
There are many reasons why each of us go into business. For many of us, it’s the passion for the work we do. For others, it’s the burning desire to improve the automotive industry. While I cannot say that we are in perfect alignment in every area of business, I do know one thing with certainty: We all need to stop and reflect from time to time on all the things that have nothing to do with business, but everything to do with life itself. Those are the things that no amount of money can ever buy. Those are the things that are priceless.
This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on June 1st, 2019
View full article
DISCOVERY CHANNEL WANTS TO HELP YOUR
TROUBLED AUTO OR MOTORCYCLE BUSINESS
Do you have a commercial auto or motorcycle garage or repair shop that is troubled or failing?
This is your chance to have Richard Rawlings of Discovery's hit series "Fast N Loud" and his expert team come to your garage, solve your problems and upgrade your space on Discovery's brand new TV show, GARAGE REHAB!
Maybe your tools, lifts and fans are old and broken or your space is falling apart. Maybe you have no idea how to successfully market your business. Maybe your management is bad or your staff doesn't get along. Whatever the case, Richard's team could invest their time and money to help make it a success!
Email your Name, Phone Number, a Recent Photo of You and Your Garage
and tell us briefly why your shop needs this show.
By Ron Ipach
What's New In Automotive Marketing? A lot.
I'm addressing a question from a shop owner named Dave who's been in business for 28 years. He asked, "Is there anything new in the automotive repair industry?" In a word, yeah. A lot has changed in these 28 years. If we look at the car itself, obviously, you know the cars are made a whole lot better than they used to be. You're more in a maintenance business than you were in a repair business. That has changed drastically over these 28 years. Also, what's changed is the consumer, the consumer habits. The way of contacting them has changed enormously. The buying habits of the consumer have changed drastically. Your share of their attention, trying to grab their attention when they're being bombarded by all the advertising that's out there has changed drastically.
When we think about it, millennials, which is now the largest group of people that are out there, they grew up with cell phones in their hands. Everything is online. They're doing mobile searches instead of looking through the yellow pages. They buy things differently and at different times. You and I have changed a lot as well with that. When was the last time that you did some online shopping? I know I did a lot of my Christmas shopping last year online. I didn't even have to leave the house to whittle down that Christmas list. A lot of people are driving less because they can simply go on Amazon and have it delivered in a couple hours. That's changed drastically, the amount of miles that people are driving as well as people are using services like Uber and Lyft for other people to drive them. It's very inexpensive for people to get driven around. Their driving habits are changing a lot.
The one thing I can tell you is the marketing principles have not changed. The way we contact people have changed. The messages we give them have changed. The people we're marketing to have changed. All of those have changed drastically over the past 28 years, but the main principles, the core competencies of marketing really haven't changed much at all. What am I talking about? First off, we got to find the right person to market to, the person we want to attract to our shop. Second, we have to give them a very compelling message. We got to grab their attenton. As I said before, there's a lot more competition for those eyeballs. People are looking at email, they're online. They're seeing advertisements bombarding from all these different areas. We have to be a lot more savvy in how we try to attract their attention. That hasn't changed.
Then we need to give them a very compelling offer. That's a good core competency and make sure that you have that in all of your marketing as well as you got to give them a sense of urgency. We got to have the right target. We have to have the right message. We have to have the right offer, and we have to give them that sense of urgency, so that they come in right now. That all has been the same. Everything else about running the business has totally changed. If you're not keeping up with that, you're going to be left behind. Again, the marketing, the core competencies haven't changed, but everything that layers on top of that, how we deliver that message, that's changed drastically. Who we're delivering it to has changed drastically.
-- Ron Ipach (a.k.a Captain Car Count)
President/Founder of Repair Shop Coach More articles and content like this and originated through Ron Ipach's Car Count Daily campaign Auto Repair Shop Owners, Managers, and Automotive Industry Professionals are invited to join 'Car Count Daily Boosters' LinkedIn group to provide resources and gain insight on boosting car count DAILY and filling up the bays in their shops.
So I am moving away from the automotive industry and will be staring a mobile heavy diesel repair and service business.
Does anyone have any good contacts or know of any forums that would be of benefit to me to get some mentoring and some advice from the pros?
Thanks in advance!