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JimO

Dealerships going mobile

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Last week a sales rep from a local Mercedes parts department stopped in to see me. He has been to my location several times in the past, always polite and professional. He handed me a paper with several topics highlighted such as extended parts dept. business hours during the week, Saturday hours, on-line ordering and mobile diagnostics. He provided additional information about each topic but the item that concerned me was mobile diagnostics. He explained that today’s vehicles are so complex that in many cases they require proprietary OEM equipment, information and training to efficiently repair them which they can provide, for a fee, at my location. He went on to tell me that they are equipping two vehicles, one vehicle for diagnostics and the other vehicle equipped with a compressor, tire machine and balancer. Whoa.... now he lost me, we need assistance replacing tires? Seems to me this mobile task force is NOT our friend but instead our foe, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They are gearing up to provide mobile repairs in my area at my customers homes and work places, not good. I expressed my concern and he quickly informed me that everyone else that he had presented this concept to were very pleased to be able to receive assistance (for a fee) when needed and did not look at this as competition. This dealership is owned by Lithia, one of the top ten largest dealers in America. I doubt if we, the local independent repair community, could keep two mobile repair vehicles busy enough to warrant their existence. Fine, they are willing to “help” me (for a fee) with problem jobs at my location but I feel they are clearly after my customers. What are your thoughts? Are there any dealers in your area also offering this same service? 

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