CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — A snowy midweek, Midwest morning in January isn't a popular time to buy a car or truck. The solitude in Motorcars Honda's showroom this day underscores the reality.
But the dealership's service drive is bustling. A two-and-a-half-minute oil service is the key ingredient in the dealership's program for ultrafast service — a recipe the store's owners are preparing to sell to other dealers nationwide.
In just over two hours, 71 vehicles roll down the drive. The dealership's plan is to provide express service to 30,000 cars and trucks a year, and it is developing the capacity to handle 60,000 vehicles.
Motorcars Honda is building on an idea pioneered more than a decade ago: a moving assembly line for quick service.
It is adding several innovations of its own that:
Reduce customer wait times to under 30 minutes for an oil change, tire rotation, 20-point inspection and related services for a base price of $49.99.
Streamline repair orders so that customers can pay more quickly.
Precisely track the dealership's inventory of filters, wiper blades, lights and other regular wear items.
Funnel a steady stream of vehicles into service bays for work that might otherwise have gone to aftermarket shops.