Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 42

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

 Tips from fixed ops directors I PAGE 44 I

GET
READY


LEO MICHAEL / FIXED OPS JOURNAL ILLUSTRATION

As new-car profits fall, here's how your shop can pick up the slack
CAMERON LA FONTAINE

Y

foj@autonews.com

ou knew it wouldn't last forever.
The streak of seven straight years of
rising U.S. auto sales, something the
industry hadn't seen in more than a
century, is all but over. New-vehicle sales
were down 1.7 percent through September
compared with last year.
Dealerships' service departments haven't
been coasting in the good times. With big
sales have come plenty of warranty work and
pre-delivery inspections.
Record numbers of recalls ---- think airbag
inflators and ignition switches ---- have provided a revenue gravy train, as well as a capacity strain, for shops.

PAGE 42

OCTOBER 2017

Now, though, the stress is different: Declining new-vehicle sales are forcing dealerships
to rely more on fixed operations for profits.
The sales slump likely won't be as bad as the
catastrophic drop during the Great Recession,
when nearly 6 million annual new-vehicle sales
vanished from 2007 through 2009. Still, the consulting firm AlixPartners predicts that U.S. sales
will fall from 17.55 million new cars and light
trucks last year to 15.4 million by 2019.
We've asked fixed ops experts for tips on
how to prepare your service department to
generate more revenue. Their 10 suggestions
(if not commandments) follow.

1. Get back to customer-pay work
Many service departments haven't paid suf-

ficient attention to customer pay in recent
years, says Brett Coker, owner of Coker Automotive Consultants in Pensacola, Fla. That focus needs to return, he says.
"In the last three, four years, because of our
success in sales, we have a lot of warranty
work, a lot of [pre-delivery] work, a lot of recall
work, and internal work for trade-ins," Coker
says. "What gets pushed aside is the customer
pay piece."
Push it back to center stage, Coker counsels.

2. But don't slight warranty and
recall work as sales drop
If dealers are selling fewer vehicles, factory
see READY, Page 43



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Dealers vs. OEMs
Parts disposal
Chicago way
Certifi ed repairs
Richard Truett
After the deluge
Labor rates
Off lease, on the lot
Paragon model
Feedback
Net benefi ts
Sometimes on Sunday
Get ready
Shop Talk
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 9
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Dealers vs. OEMs
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Parts disposal
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 14
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Chicago way
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 22
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Certifi ed repairs
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - After the deluge
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 30
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 31
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Labor rates
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Off lease, on the lot
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 35
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Paragon model
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Net benefi ts
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Sometimes on Sunday
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 41
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Get ready
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 43
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - Cover4
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