Fixed Operations

GM denies request by U.S. senators to extend ignition-switch claims deadline

4:05 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
General Motors today denied a request from two US senators to extend the Saturday deadline for victims of the company's defective ignition switch to apply for compensation. “Our goal is to be just and timely in compensating the families who lost loved ones and those who suffered physical injury," GM said in a statement. "We previously extended the deadline until January 31, and we do not plan another extension.”... Read More »

 

Ford recalls 221,000 vehicles for door handle, seat belt problems

9:57 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Ford said it is recalling about 221,000 cars and vans for door handle and seat belt problems. Ford said it is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to the two recalls.... Read More »

 

Nissan recalls 768,000 crossovers and SUVs for separate problems

9:40 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Nissan is recalling about 768,000 vehicles, including its popular Rogue crossover and Pathfinder SUV, for separate problems, the company and federal regulators said today.... Read More »

 

GM’s confirmed ignition deaths hit 50 as claims deadline nears

1:14 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 26, 2015
Confirmed deaths tied to General Motors' defective ignition switches stand at 50, four times GM’s estimate through much of 2014, as a deadline nears Saturday for sending in claims.... Read More »

 

Audi to recall 80,000 vehicles; China hit hardest

Jan. 26, 2015 12:23 CET
Audi says it will recall 80,000 vehicles globally due to fuel-injection issues, adding that about 35,000 are from China. The cars, which were made between April 2011 and April 2012, include various A4, A5, A6, A7 and Q7 models, Chinese authorities said.... Read More »

 

Sales staff certification gets a new twist

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 26, 2015
FCA US wants better performing dealerships with lower sales staff turnover and top-notch experts who reach out to potential customers.... Read More »

 

GM seeks speedy customer feedback

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 26, 2015
General Motors has launched a customer-satisfaction survey that combines a short-form questionnaire with a space for shopper comments.... Read More »

 

Claims against GM over ignitions pass 2,800

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 26, 2015
General Motors has received 108 claims for compensation for ignition switch defects in its cars in the past week, bringing the total to 2,818, according to the official administering the compensation program.... Read More »

 

Kia recalls nearly 87,000 Forte sedans in U.S. due to fire risk

3:15 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Kia is recalling 86,880 Forte sedans in the US because a cooling fan resistor may overheat and melt, increasing the risk of a fire, according to documents filed by federal auto safety regulators.... Read More »

 

SERVICE MASTERS

Dealerships boost fixed-ops spending to fend off rivals, retain customers

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Many dealerships are investing heavily in fixed operations. They are adding service bays, longer hours, dedicated express lanes and technology to boost efficiency. Dealers say the investments are justified by strong profits, a big pool of potential customers who defected to independent shops and national service chains, and opportunities to boost customer satisfaction.... Read More »

 

Shops use standard inspections to help boost repair orders

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Over the past four years at Dublin Toyota in Dublin, Calif., the service department has increased its average customer-pay repair order by $105. Not through high-pressure selling or pushing unnecessary repairs onto customers, says Larry Tate, fixed operations director for the San Francisco Bay Area store, but through a better system of inspecting and tracking vehicles in for service.... Read More »

 

Service lanes can become source of used-car inventory

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Brian Benstock has found that his own service department is the best place to shop for used vehicles. When the general manager of Paragon Honda in Woodside, N.Y. needs a used car or truck of a certain model year, color and trim level, he searches his database and invites owners of those vehicles into his service department. He offers them discounts on maintenance work.... Read More »

 

GM tablet tool aims to lift service revenue

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
About 1,200 General Motors dealerships have begun using a tablet tool, part of a software program called Service Workbench, that lets service advisers quickly pull up a vehicle's history, whip through an inspection and point out a menu of factory-recommended maintenance items.... Read More »

 

AutoNation aims to beef up service

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
AutoNation Inc., the nation's largest dealership group, plans to expand its service business by year end, adding 400 technicians and increasing its express service operations to 180 stores from 80 now.... Read More »

 

Porsche recalls 13,500 Cayennes, Panameras to fix fuel-seal flaw

7:46 am U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2015
Porsche is recalling about 13,500 vehicles worldwide to fix a seal that may allow fuel to evaporate.... Read More »

 

How Calif. store battles service drive bottlenecks

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
Bottlenecks in the service drive are the bugbear of every car dealership. But Loren Campbell, general manager of Redlands Auto Plaza 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, believes he has a fix.... Read More »

 

AutoNation wants more service lane hospitality

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
AutoNation Inc., the country's biggest dealership group, is recruiting service advisers among restaurant waiters and other service-industry workers, part of a new plan to reduce turnover in a key position.... Read More »

 

BODY SHOP COMEBACK?

Trade group chief sees growth in dealer-owned operations

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
The share of dealerships operating expensive body shops has shrunk since 2006. But that hasn't stopped some dealers, such as Otto Belovich, who want to be one-stop sources for all their customers' automotive needs.... Read More »

 

Watch out, quick-lube shops, here comes VW

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
With improving vehicle quality cutting into dealerships' warranty work, Volkswagen of America wants more of its dealers to open quick-service operations to keep their repair shops busy.... Read More »

 

Call center keeps the service bays packed

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
Dealer Jeff Proctor endured a year of anger from service advisers after he gave their job of scheduling service work to a newly created call center. Suffering their wrath proved worthwhile, Proctor says, because now his service bays are largely booked and his service revenue keeps rising.... Read More »

 

Perks program lifts struggling store's satisfaction scores, sales

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
Land Rover San Diego is rewarding big spenders with a perks program that offers Padres baseball tickets, dry cleaning runs, preferential service times and other goodies.... Read More »

 

Honda signals shift from Takata, hires rival to supply Accord airbags, report says

12:19 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2015
Honda has chosen a competitor of embattled Takata to supply airbags for the next North American version of its Accord sedan, the automaker's best-selling vehicle, two people with knowledge of the decision told Reuters... Read More »

 

Independent repair shops edge out dealership mechanics in customer satisfaction survey

3:27 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015
When it comes to vehicle repairs, independent shops may be pleasing customers more than mechanics at dealerships' service bays, a Consumer Reports' survey said today.... Read More »

 

BEST PRACTICES

Service bays turn to text messaging

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015
In an increasingly digital, on-the-go world, Dale Snow's challenge was to devise the most effective way to update millennials on car repairs.... Read More »

 

A bad service review? No need to panic

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015
A cottage industry of vendors has sprung up to help dealers manage the often bewildering world of online reviews. The vendors are adept at intercepting some bad reviews before they are posted.... Read More »

 

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