Read the August issue of Fixed Ops Journal, the parts,
service and collision magazine from Automotive News.

A case for tracking customers' ownership status

Service contract sales could be the key to keeping customers driving the oldest vehicles engaged with their dealerships.

By 2020, there will be about 76 million vehicles on the road that are 16 years old or older, up from 35 million in 2002, marking a “sweet spot” for the aftermarket repair business, IHS said this month.

That spells opportunity for dealerships that track customers’ ownership cycles and vehicle-protection expiration dates.

Customers want updates about their vehicle; they want to know their options. For example, 57 percent of respondents to a September AutoAlert study said they want to be notified about key points in their ownership, such as when the manufacturer’s warranty is near expiration.

Dealerships that alert customers to expiration dates could sell them extended service contracts, which would lead to increased business in the service drive and perhaps more trade-ins and vehicle purchases.

AutoAlert’s study was aimed in part at evaluating customer awareness and motivation to trade in their vehicles and at learning how customers want to be notified about vehicle upgrade eligibility. The study was based on IHS’ ownership data and a survey of more than 400 vehicle owners.

If dealerships stay connected with customers, they will build loyalty and gain repeat business. Consistent monitoring of customers’ status in their ownership cycle and routine follow-ups can increase F&I product sales and dealership repair work long after the vehicle purchase.

You can reach Hannah Lutz at -- Follow Hannah on Twitter: @hm_lutz

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Email Newsletters
  • General newsletters
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Mondays)
  • (As needed)
  • Video newscasts
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Saturdays)
  • Special interest newsletters
  • (Thursdays)
  • (Tuesdays)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Wednesdays)
  • (Bimonthly)
  • Special reports
  • (As needed)
  • (As needed)
  • Communication preferences
  • You can unsubscribe at any time through links in these emails. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.