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Satellite site closures give opportunuties to independent garages

The emergence of franchise dealer “ghost towns” where even major manufacturers have no little or representation are creating new service and repair opportunities for independent garages.

Many franchise dealer groups have closed satellite sites in the last couple of years, leaving many medium sized towns with few or no franchise dealers, said motor industry consultancy Network Automotive.

Managing director Colin Bruder said: “Closing satellite sites has been an easy way for dealer groups to make economies during the recession and many have gone down this route, intending to continue operating in these areas with collection and delivery services from their nearest remaining location.

“However, this kind of remote operation is often not easy to implement successfully however good the dealer’s CRM. The fact that the local site has disappeared means that customers often start to look elsewhere for servicing and repair, especially for vehicles outside of the warranty period.”

High quality independent garages with visible local sites often stood to gain business in these situations, Bruder added, and the best were busy exploiting the vacuum created by departing franchisees.

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