At least one vendor sees service-drive potential

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing Automotive News
A week ago I wrote about how the industry is missing out on the chance to sell appearance products such as paint sealant and fabric care from the service drive. I spoke too soon.

It turns out ECP Inc. of Woodridge, Ill., is making a push to have dealers sell its appearance products from the service lanes. To do that effectively, ECP has beefed up its product warranties to cover used vehicles, as well as new vehicles.

The company recognizes that dealers are selling more used vehicles these days and that consumers are keeping their cars longer.

ECP's Rick Meinke says he thinks the service lanes offer the dealer's best chance to boost product sales. He points out that the service writers see a lot more customers than a salesperson does in the showroom.

Sheer traffic volume prompted ECP to develop a service-drive program and bolster its product warranty for used cars. It's just a matter of time before more vendors follow suit.