Finance managers often gripe that maintenance plans are a tough sell because they're priced too high.
But Reedman-Toll Auto World in Langhorne, Pa., sells a maintenance plan to about a third of its service customers right from the service lanes. That's in addition to the beefier and more expensive maintenance plans sold to about 10 percent of the dealership's customers at the time they purchase their vehicle.
The prepaid maintenance plans are part of a push to increase customer loyalty at the Philadelphia-area auto mall, which sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Lincoln, Mazda, Subaru, Jaguar, Fiat and Chevrolet vehicles.
And the mall is boosting repeat business. For example, 80 percent of Reedman-Toll's Chrysler owners return for service in the first year of ownership. Overall retention for the Chrysler owner base over a seven-year period is 24 percent -- and growing.
"We probably lose money on oil changes," says Reedman's president, Bill O'Flanagan. "But this is about customer retention. If they come in for an oil change, they'll come in for a brake job."