Fixed Ops Journal - October 2017 - 45

FIXED OPS

5

Interview by Dave Versical

minutes with ...

O

 Robert Davis, senior VP, Mazda North American Operations

n replacing hundreds of thousands
of defective Takata airbag inflators while keeping up with other
fixed ops work
The service capacity now is in good shape.
We had a blip in the second quarter, with the
CX-9 and CX-7 control arm recall that we did.
The control arm was easy to fix, but every one
of those you have to throw on an alignment
rack, and you just ate up a bunch of time.
We're still looking at ways to improve service capacity, with things like mobile technicians. But generally, the service departments
have been operating really well.

On Mazda's service retention rate
It's staying in the high 50s. When you have to
drive by two or three Toyota stores or Honda
stores to get from your house to a Mazda dealer,
along with three Walmarts and 12 Jiffy Lubes, I
don't really know that our service retention will
ever be as strong as Honda's. Honda is the gold
standard. But having it in the high 50s is the key
- and holding it steady there.
On Mazda's low scores in J.D. Power service-satisfaction surveys
There is a problem there. It's the cumulative
effect of a lot of little things: facilities, service
scheduling, communication of charges. We've
been trying to focus our in-dealership consultations on making sure those processes are
correct.
We have 100-plus dealers that we've been
really focusing on to improve those processes.
Those stores look good. Now we just need to
facilitate that same level of consultation
throughout the stores.
On the service elements of Mazda's "retail
revolution" initiative
It's an interaction between the whole dealership and the service department. It's transparency. It's desks in the drive versus offices. It's
quick-door for places that deal with weather.
It's all about making that experience as
quick and easy as possible. Pre-stage service
loaners, scheduling and then the after-sale
thing with genuine Mazda accessories. All
that stuff comes together.

GREG HORVATH

On Mazda technicians
Mine are probably in two groups: very senior guys with a high level of skill and then a
lower level who are new to the market. We're
missing that in-between, 10-year tenured mechanic. I don't know if that's an industry trend
or a Mazda trend.
When one of these senior guys retires, it
takes more than one of the junior guys to replace them. I'm also seeing that with the
amount of heavy service work going down, a
lot of those senior guys are enjoying doing expanded roles.
On corporate efforts to improve service advisers
We're getting ready to restart a program that
partners with the dealer on retention of good
service advisers and graduating guys who
need improvement into this program.
When the program ended last March, we
had about 40 percent of our service advisers in
it. Those advisers not only had better internal
customer satisfaction scores, they had better
retention, they had better longevity, and they
made more money.
We're also using third parties to give us the
best service consultations possible. We had

in-house trainers who were great on the technical, hands-on stuff, but it was hard for them
to execute the soft skills of a service adviser.
On the prospect of picking up and dropping
off owners' service vehicles
I would much rather have a dealer give them
a loaner, let them experience the newest Mazda model with the newest Mazda technology.
On messages to customers
We're trying to use data to make the communication with service customers relevant.
If you bought your car yesterday, I don't need
to send you a free service oil change coupon
tomorrow.
On Mazda's accessories business
It's struggling. We've gotten rid of a lot of accessories that were just business fillers and
focused on what improves the brand -
high-value items like racks for SUVs and
high-quality floor mats. The numbers are
down a little bit, but the quality of the business is good.
The accessories business is tough. The challenge is to build stuff that people want and
buy. 

OCTOBER 2017

PAGE 45



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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