Franchised dealers who have invested in a new venture capital fund want to support early-stage technology startups that can help them increase capacity and efficiency in their service departments.
Dealer investors chose fixed operations to be the first priority for DealerFund, part of Automotive Ventures, which provides venture capital and consulting resources to automotive entrepreneurs, CEO Steve Greenfield said.
Some dealers who invested in DealerFund told Automotive News they believe the industry has underinvested in technology to support service operations compared with sales. The need to improve productivity and efficiency in the service drive is particularly acute today as dealerships struggle to recruit and retain technicians. And it's likely future margin compression on new vehicles will occur as production constraints ease, Greenfield said.