One of the biggest complaints about automobiles centers on how to use all the gadgets.
Some owners want operating their vehicles to be extremely simple. Others want to know and understand and be able to use every last bit of technology.
For customers, getting their cars the way they want them -- simple or sophisticated -- can be confusing.
Well, Serra Automotive Inc. offers a great service that is bound to be copied: Any consumers who call or show up at Al Serra Auto Plaza in Grand Blanc, Mich., can have someone from the dealership explain and set up their cars. You don't need to be a Serra customer, and it doesn't matter whether the Serra dealerships sell your vehicle brand. All are welcome -- at no charge -- to get help understanding how to program and operate their vehicles.
It's a savvy idea that should be worth its weight in gold. And many dealerships around the country can offer the service without competing with the Serra dealership group.
Sometimes a great idea can be tough to execute. We've seen the challenges that Ford has had getting customers in sync with its technology. What a smart idea to offer this service to everyone, regardless of brand or whether the owner is a customer.
I hope the Serra dealership group has hired some real technology pros for this project, because without great execution it could backfire. It will be fascinating to see how car owners react to a free service that will help them understand their vehicles.
Few dealerships seem to do an adequate job explaining all the functions of a particular vehicle. The customer may be too rushed to spend the necessary time and dealership personnel may not be up to speed on every nuance.
It is a little like football: a very easy game -- but it's all in the execution. We hope Serra Automotive is successful.