Service

Porsche dealers eager to upgrade

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
About 150 of the 189 U.S. Porsche dealerships are renovating or expanding as the brand's sales have soared. Porsche Cars North America wants additional showroom and service space from dealers to accommodate the growing number of nameplates in its lineup and the additional vehicles on the road....
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M-B launches no-appointment quick service

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015
Mercedes-Benz is rolling out quick service for basic maintenance that can be completed in as little as 30 minutes. No appointment is needed. The program, Premier Express, was piloted last year and will go nationwide in the first quarter....
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Repairs: Dealerships satisfy, study says, but independents lead

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2, 2015
The service departments of dealerships lagged independent repair shops in a Consumer Reports satisfaction study, but there's good news hidden in the survey. Respondents also reported being very satisfied overall with their repairs at dealerships, but they also dislike the high cost of parts at dealerships....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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BEST PRACTICES

Maine store's free tires bring customers back

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015
Stanley Subaru gives its new-vehicle buyers a benefit it calls "Tires for Life."...
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A Ford Quick Lane sized for Texas

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015
On a clear day, you can see Pep Boys, Jiffy Lube and Firestone service shops from Planet Ford-Lincoln in Spring, Texas. Still, the dealership is building the largest Ford Motor Co. Quick Lane operation, with 28 lanes. While oil change intervals may be getting longer, dealership managers firmly believe fast oil changes can be the key to retaining service customers....
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EDITORIAL

Body shop shakeup

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 19, 2015
It's getting more complicated for auto dealers to operate body shops. Repairs are increasingly complex as new designs add ultra high-strength steels and other new alloys and a broader range of material....
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Pohanka body shops sold to repair chain

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2015
A major body shop chain has acquired Pohanka Collision Centers, a 12-store auto body shop group in Maryland and Virginia affiliated with Pohanka Automotive Group. Body shops are being bought and bundled to get more business from insurance companies and to control rapidly escalating capital costs....
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BEST PRACTICES

Service bays turn to text messaging

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 5, 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....
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FIXED OPERATIONS

How FCA US eases shortage of techs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 5, 2015
FCA US will launch a program this month to help dealers cope with a nationwide shortage of service technicians and a surge in recall work....
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