When it comes to slashing the time customers spent on quick maintenance, Conrad Letson and Jerry Jackson tried pretty much everything at their respective dealerships. Both ended up frustrated.
Says Letson, general manager of Greenway Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep in Orlando: "I've tried multiple things, from separate shops to putting an actual lift right in the service drive of one of the stores. It was still taking us 45 minutes to an hour to get the customer in and out."
Then in 2008, Letson took on a branded service program called Express Lane from Chrysler's Mopar parts unit. Since then, his technicians have been getting customers in and out in 20 minutes or less, including time spent on paperwork.
Letson was one of about 150 dealers who signed up after Chrysler launched the Express Lane program in 2008. But the program stalled, and Chrysler went into bankruptcy last year.
Now Mopar CEO Pietro Gorlier is starting a push to sign up dealers. Gorlier wants 80 percent of Chrysler's 2,352 dealerships to offer Express Lane services. "In the last two years, with the economy down, all dealers are looking to add to their after-sales business," Gorlier said at the NADA convention last month in Orlando.