Devonshire Motors has approached aftersales in the same way as car sales, maximising opportunity and gross profit while at the same time minimising associated costs.
Recognising the value of aftersales to its profits, in its award entry, the dealership claimed that selling a car at a loss can be advantageous if it guarantees a solid package of retention tools.
To make the most of a stretched resource, Devonshire Motors streamlined its workshop operation.
Ramps are loaded before technicians arrive for work to make the most of the first hour of the day as the dealership identified this as one of the biggest sources of lost time. They continue to be proactively loaded throughout the day. For example, when technicians return from post-service road tests, the next job is ready and waiting.
“This approach not only reduces technician downtime but creates a very efficiency-focused working culture that helps everyone understand the goals of the department,” said managing director Nathan Tomlinson in the awards entry.
At the front desk, Devonshire Motors focuses all its effort and resource on upselling brake and air conditioning services, its most profitable products.
A brake service is worth an hour’s labour and Devonshire Motors has a take-up rate of 40% for the product, which delivers a gross profit margin of more than 80%. An air conditioning service carries a margin of up to 100% and is recommended to customers every 24 months.
Service advisers are trained to advise customers of the benefits of the products rather than give the ‘hard sell’ and the dealership has a policy of offering no more than three upsell products to a customer.
Vehicle health checks are offered to all customers every three months. During this free service, the technicians will top up oil, fluids and tyre pressures for free and advise customers of upcoming work. Last year, the dealership re-booked 70% of deferred work through this service.