Chrysler dealers set contract sales mark
Gorlier: Each contract means at least 3 visits.
DETROIT -- Chrysler Group dealers in the United States sold a record 1.4 million service contracts in 2012, a 16 percent increase over the previous year, the head of the Mopar brand said.
Pietro Gorlier, who leads parts and service operations globally for Chrysler and parent Fiat S.p.A., said service contracts are valuable because each one generates at least three service visits to a dealership.
"That's a minimum of 4.2 million future visits, based on averages," Gorlier said at the Detroit auto show last month. "More importantly, it means that our dealers are selling in their service lanes."
The service contracts range from bundled packages of three future oil changes for about $50 to seven-year bumper-to-bumper warranties that can cost several thousand dollars.
The 1.4 million sales last year were double those sold by Chrysler dealers in 2009.
Service contract sales are important because they give customers a reason to visit a dealership instead of taking their vehicle to an independent service provider. "They help solidify the relationship between the customer and the dealer," Gorlier said.
Gorlier has been pushing Chrysler dealers since 2009 to expand weekend service hours and to sell more Mopar parts and accessories. It's a strategy to maintain service department revenues as warranty claims wane.
Meanwhile, Mopar just released to dealers a tablet-computer application it calls Wi-Advisor that allows service writers to download service history from Chrysler and get diagnostic information from the vehicle and show it to the customer.
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