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Joe Marconi

Smart New Car Dealers Want Repair Shop Customer- Your customers

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The aftermath of the great recession, which caused many new car dealers to go out of business, has resulted in a new breed of dealers. They have come to realize that the lower margins on new cars, combined with the intense competition, means that their service and parts departments must become primary profit centers.  Which also means that  they need more customers beyond the warranty period …. and that means they want your customers.

Ten years ago, I laughed at the attempts of the local dealers to try to steal my customers...but no longer. 

Smart dealers have 4 primary strategies:

1. Offer free oil changes, - some for life, some of a specific time period - And setting up the first oil change service at the time of the sale

2. Wrap future maintenance plans into the monthly payment

3. Sell maintenance plans at the time of the sale 

4. Use recalls as a way to sell services and repairs.

What are you doing to fight these strategies? 

 

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  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi
      I can't speak about all businesses in my area, but the repair shops are doing ok. In fact, most had a normal or near normal summer.  A few weeks back we had a major storm that knocked out power for nearly the week. That killed the week. But aside from that, we had a very good June, July and August.   With a miserable March and April, this was a great morale lift and financial boost.
      The only  down side is the affect COVID is having on other businesses, like restaurants, deli's, sport businesses and other businesses. Will this have a trickle down effect on our industry.  No one can tell for sure.
      I will be shoring up my finances and preparing for the unknown. 
       
       
       
    • By Joe Marconi
      In my 40 years as a shop owner, I have battled the age old dilemma: Is it my car count, my customer count or some other reason why some weeks I find it hard to hit my sales goal.  
      It always comes down to production.  Now that's really simplifying it, I know.   But, when you look at the numbers, with the right jobs and a balanced schedule, the ARO goes way up and car counts become not as important as we thought. 
      Another thing to consider, this is not 1995. Cars do not come in 5 to 6 times a year for an Oil Change Service.   You are lucky to see some customers every 10,000 miles as they wait for that Oil Change Percentage light on their dashboard to tell them...NOW IT"S OK TO GO TO YOUR REPAIR SHOP. Isn't it funny how so many people will listen to the dash board light, and not you!
      Anyway, what are your thoughts.  How do you reach your weekly sales goals and what KPI's are important to you? 
    • By Alex
      Has the Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacted your auto shop business? If it hasn't yet, it has the potential to do so soon. Please share what you are currently doing, how your business is impacted, what plans you have in place, etc.
      Some things to consider:
      Do you have a plan in place should you or one of your employees become ill? With school, event, and business closures, how will this affect your shop? Are you sending anything to your customers in terms of sharing your plans around keeping your customer and employees healthy and doing your part in your community? Many small and large businesses have been sending email communications to their customers. Are you marketing to your customers in terms of not delaying car repair, should there be a need to temporarily close? Are your parts suppliers sharing their plans, should the pandemic affect supply chains?  Are you stocking up on business and shop necessities? Please share your experience in this topic and stay healthy!
      In the media:
      The coronavirus and its growing tally of sick and dead victims around the world have been roiling financial markets, prompting countless hand-washing reminders and ruining more than a few vacations, and that’s before anyone knows exactly how widespread the effect will be on the automotive industry, including your local repair shop. Source
      “By mid-March, the shortage of supplies will be felt and members are projecting they’ll experience disruption through May or June,” even if operations in China soon get back to normal, said Stacey Miller, senior director of communications at the Auto Care Association, a trade group representing 150,000 auto aftermarket and service businesses. Source
       


       
    • By Joe Marconi
      No, I have not lost my mind.  I just wanted your attention.
      We all know that we have competitors.  However, what we have just witnessed the past few months, due to COVID-19, gives me great hope that the independent auto repair shop is not just alive and well, but is sitting on the opportunity of a lifetime!
      While many dealers and big-box franchise either scaled down or temporarily closed, the majority of auto repair shop across this great nation remained open, adjusted their expenses and payroll, and are now experiencing a surge in business. Proof positive that the reasons we will thrive is because we are still, and will always be, the preferred choice of the motoring public.
      We are not a transactional, discount-driven business. We don’t hang Corporate logos above our bays. We are successful because we are part of the community. And we build relationships.
      Want to really thrive past this pandemic?  Become even stronger in your community. Get involved in fund raisers, and all other local events.
      Great days are coming. Be part of it!
       
    • By Joe Marconi
      Today is the first day of summer, and we are still dealing with the dreaded COVID-19.  However, there are positive indicators that business will be better than expected this summer.  People will be taking more road trips, will avoid airplanes, trains and Ubers and will take to the roads in record numbers.
      Gear up for a great summer and look for opportunity with each vehicle visit.  Perform those multipoints as if your business depends on it….why?....Because it does!
      We have a lot to be thankful for. Keep positive, be a leader and thrive!
       


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