Fixed Operations

Battered doorstop makes the pitch: Get wheel protection

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 14, 2014
Finance and insurance professionals say sales of tire-and-wheel protection policies were higher in the first few months of 2014 than they were in 2013 as motorists contended this year with roads ravaged by one of the coldest, snowiest and iciest winters on record.... Read More »


GM tablet tool aims to lift service revenue

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
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 wants more service lane hospitality

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
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 »



Service contracts keep lives on track

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 31, 2014
Regarding "Extended service contract? Skip it, Consumer Reports tells readers,", March 10: People in the auto industry are well aware of the arguments "experts" use to persuade people to avoid purchasing vehicle service contracts.... Read More »


More women find careers in service lanes

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 24, 2014
A small but growing number of women are finding a career in the service lanes of car dealerships. The dealers who hire them say women bring a unique skill set to the service department: empathy and strong communication skills for relationship building. Those skills can help build customer loyalty and boost profits.... Read More »


AutoNation aims to beef up service

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 3, 2014
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 »


Watch out, quick-lube shops, here comes VW

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 3, 2014
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 »


Industry trudges toward e-contracts

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 10, 2014
While e-contracting speeds auto deals in the long run, it can slow them in the short run while auto lenders and dealerships learn to use the technology. And that has contributed to a slow rate of adoption.... Read More »


Toyota parts, service boosted by high-profile ad campaign

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 3, 2014
Advertising of dealers' parts and service need not be dull -- or done by the parts department or the regional dealer ad association on a shoestring budget. Eighteen months ago, Toyota Motor Sales USA placed all marketing of parts, service and accessories under the company's marketing arm, the same group that handles new-vehicle marketing. The move has reaped huge dividends, the company says.... Read More »


Body shops say aluminum costs more to repair

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 3, 2014
If the aluminum-bodied vehicles on the road today are an accurate gauge, the 2015 Ford F-150 probably will be more expensive to repair than its steel-bodied predecessor. Body shop owners say aluminum repair parts are more expensive than steel parts. And because it often takes longer to repair an aluminum body, the labor costs usually are higher.... Read More »



A right to repair

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 3, 2014
The truce that ends a decade-long battle that pitted automakers against independent garages and parts retailers over access to repair information is good for the entire industry.... Read More »


Service lanes can become source of used-car inventory

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 3, 2014
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 »


Mopar pilots stand-alone Express Lane service shops

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 3, 2014
Mopar says an ongoing Express Lane experiment -- a quick-stop service operation separate from the dealership -- can show Chrysler Group dealers how to improve service profits and spot promising technicians for jobs at their dealerships.... Read More »


Targeted messages yield sales results

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 27, 2014
Dealers are taking a more targeted approach, reaching out personally to consumers who might be in the market for a new vehicle.... Read More »


Ford urges dealers: Be SMART

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 27, 2014
Ford has been signing up dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention for its SMART program, a way for customers to schedule service appointments remotely.... Read More »


Ford signs up SMART dealers

3:47 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 24, 2014
Ford has been signing up dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention for its SMART program, a way for customers to schedule service appointments remotely.... Read More »



Subaru wants dealers to boost service capacity

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 20, 2014
Subaru of America's sales will grow at a more moderate rate for the next few years as it focuses on customer service and dealership capacity, President Tom Doll said.... Read More »


Studies: Auto industry-buyer communication uneven

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 6, 2014
The auto industry is doing a good job fielding social media questions from customers and shoppers, but dealerships too often fail to reach out to vehicle buyers after the sale, according to separate findings in a pair of new studies.... Read More »


Nissan plans big push for Nismo parts

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 5, 2014
Nissan North America wants to help its dealers retail more motorsports parts as it pushes for a bigger U.S. role for its Nismo performance brand. Nissan parts and service officials are planning ways to step up marketing of the Nismo parts line, including a standardized motorsports boutique that would occupy floor space in participating Nissan dealerships.... Read More »


Dealers sell services on waiting-room TV

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 2, 2013
A growing number of car dealers are concluding that the TV flickering in the service area waiting room should do more than keep customers up on sports scores and soap operas.... Read More »


Lesson in service learned from near demise

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 4, 2013
During the recession, General Motors canceled -- but later reinstated -- the Buick-Cadillac-GMC franchise agreement for the dealership Tony Cline oversees in Carlisle, Pa.... Read More »



Ford strengthens, lengthens repair parts warranty

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 4, 2013
Ford Motor Co. wants to drive more business to dealership service departments with a longer, stronger warranty on repair parts. Ford is increasing coverage on Genuine Ford and Motorcraft replacement parts to 24 months from the date of installation.... Read More »



Mopar team lives, breathes Jeep

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 4, 2013
Chris Nowak, Mopar's senior manager of product development, has been an engineer at Chrysler Group for almost 30 years and has worked on some of the automaker's best-known vehicles: the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Dakota and Jeep Grand Cherokee.... Read More »



Former supplier exec plans eco-friendly service shops

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 4, 2013
Camilla Denison wants to challenge car dealership service shops. Denison, a former executive at supplier Visteon Corp., sees huge opportunities for eco-friendly garages that focus on young people, owners of vehicles that are freshly out of warranty and women.... Read More »


Factory parts for an older car? Good luck

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 2, 2013
I'm averse to debt, so I paid cash for the cleanest Ford Taurus SHO I could find, a 1995 green-over-gray car with just 76,000 one-owner miles.... Read More »


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How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

Mike Shaw Toyota in Corpus Christi, Texas, struggled to find good used cars. So it started providing free appraisals to service customers and offered to buy their vehicles on the spot. Mon., April 14
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