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Dealers lose out on servicing business

Franchised dealers’ service penetration is falling, according to findings from the latest Castrol Business Services Trend Tracker report.

Although dealers have considerably improved on levels of service retention since the first annual Trend Tracker report in 1994, their performance declined last year, according to the latest research.

Toby Procter of Trend Tracker tells AM: “Franchised dealers need to adopt a more proactive approach to increasing business, especially in the cars up to six years-old, post warranty market.”

A combination of longer service intervals and an increase in the percentage of fleet work undertaken by independents is significantly affecting dealers.

The latest research shows marked changes in the car age profiles associated with the competing franchised and independent aftersales sectors.

Franchised dealers continued to gain service market penetration with older, post-warranty cars, but not fast enough to compensate for the losses in their core market segment. This is a trend that is attributable to the longer service intervals of the new cars dealers have sold in recent years.

While independent garages have gained penetration of the service market for all ages of car over four years, benefiting from a continuing decline in the number of motorists able or willing to service their cars on a DIY basis.

“Franchised dealers are so used to dealing with fleet drivers who don’t care about price, they forget that for private motorists it’s a key factor,” says Procter.

“Franchised dealers would do well to act on what customers really want rather than concentrating solely on satisfying their CRM criteria.”

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