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Older vehicles key to aftersales success, says SecretService

Aftersales - SecretService

Cars aged three years and older are “absolutely crucial and could determine continued viability of dealer aftersales operations”, according to SecretService.

In view of the well documented yet growing vehicle shortfall challenges, the franchised dealer aftersales marketplace recommends that dealers focus on driving conquest bookings from owners of segment 2 vehicles (aged 3-6 years), while optimising customer retention and attracting more MOT work.

Trevor Boswell, head of SecretService, said: “Traditionally, segment 1 vehicles have been the dominant focus of franchised dealers, but the result of two years of lost new car sales and ongoing supply problems means this opportunity is shrinking. Dealers may now be considering resizing their aftersales operations but, with some strategic changes such as improving access to the market of older vehicles, this can be avoided.”

Vehicles in segment 2 or older are expected to require up to one million more MOT tests than in 2019.

Bowell added: “MOTs are arguably one of the most underrated retention tools a dealer has at its disposal and if a customer books their MOT with you, you’re likely to gain their servicing and repair work, too.

“The opportunity is clear, in 2019 there were 30.2m MOTs completed, and this increased to 31.3m in 2021. This is a further reason for why dealers should look to implement strategies which better enable the workshop to take on more vehicles aged three years or more.”

Changes to the workshop layout are advise. For instance, Boswell advised replacing an underutilised ramp with an additional MOT test bay to enable resources to be reallocated to attracting segment 2 and older vehicles.

With no end in sight for the semiconductor chip crisis and the war in Ukraine now impeding parts supply to many vehicle factories, the loss of new car sales is set to continue for much of 2022.

“Dealers can be protective about certain KPIs and while this is understandable, as the aftersales sector evolves at pace, with segment 2 and older vehicles now so fundamental to success, revenue and market share are crucial,” said Boswell.

Garages and workshops are being warned of a shortfall in MOT test demand this spring, as a result of the MOT extension in 2020.

According to BookMyGarage.com, there will be up to 2m fewer MOT tests in April and May when compared to pre-pandemic levels.

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