DETROIT -- General Motors wants to improve dealer profits by increasing dealership service, parts and body-shop revenues.
GM has created a service development team to do so.
It also will try to help dealers win customer loyalty.
"We want dealers to retain customer loyalty," Mark LaNeve, GM North America vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing, said in an interview with Automotive News.
He said dealers "will improve customer retention throughout the ownership life cycle by improving the service experience."
That ultimately will help increase GM's business, too, LaNeve said.
He said that GM has committed "significant" financial and staff resources to the program.
The automaker is training staff to work with individual dealerships, LaNeve said.
Once the program is under way, he said, GM can help dealers improve customer service in five areas:
1. Dealership productivity
2. Expense management
3. Use of technology
5. Customer care
Specifically, LaNeve would encourage dealers to add quick-lube bays and to use the latest technology that speeds up service and is more convenient for the customer.
"We're piloting a program to put a chip in the car, and the service lane computer will call up the car and bring up all of the car's past service information," LaNeve said.
In an online survey conducted by Automotive News, 50 percent of GM dealers who responded said they were profitable. LaNeve said the percentage of the whole GM dealer body that is profitable is much higher, but he declined to give a figure.
He said, "I am not satisfied with dealer profitability."
LaNeve said dealers' per-unit profitability is up by a "couple dollars" on 7 percent less retail volume this year compared with last.
You may e-mail Jamie LaReau at [email protected]