I have visited new car dealerships throughout the United States and consider it a privilege to see the different ways that they operate. It is interesting to observe opportunities for improvement financially and with customer care. The most successful car dealerships understand the value of integrity in building their local brand.
Other dealerships might look for ways to cut corners and develop immediate profits rather than, long-term growth with high moral values. The used car Department is extremely important in developing profits and long-term customer relationships. It may be that an individual can’t afford a new car and look for the dealership for a used vehicle purchase. They still want a reliable car with a great value. They expect vehicles to be gone over in the service Department and any issues corrected prior to selling it to them.
The reality is, in many dealerships the vehicle hasn’t even been inspected with safety issues corrected. In other cases the car has been inspected however, the used car Department declines the repairs stating they will wait till it sold see if the issues are complained about. These dealerships view service repairs of use cars as an expense, rather than the benefit that it truly is. Most customers won’t complain to a dealer after a test drive they would buy this vehicle if the following repairs were made. Instead they go to another dealer in search of the used car they have confidence in.
I have debated with many used car managers that their vehicles should all go through service Department before they hit the lot and be repaired properly. They might disagree with me stating, if the vehicle needs to go to the auction they might lose money. The used car Department will sell many more cars at dealerships that perform needed maintenance and repairs before the sale to a customer. The customers that purchase these quality used cars feel comfortable sending family and friends to do business at their dealership. The dealers that sell poor quality used vehicles that are not inspected are repaired have angry customers that talk down the dealership every chance they get. These dealers also clog the service Department when they walk back demanding this sold used car needs to get into the shop and repaired immediately pushing back scheduled customers without concern.
If the car was repaired properly before it hits the lot this would be a rare example, instead of a reason the service Department can’t properly care for customer that wants to provide the dealership with their business. Dealerships need to take pride in their used car business, never looking at repairs as an expense when they are really an investment in building a strong reputation of integrity in their market. It’s just the right way to build a business. I will see you all in New Orleans this weekend!
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
1 (888) 205-8718
Fixed Performance Inc.
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Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.