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EFG Companies

Make the Most Out of Maintenance

Possibly since the dawn of the first dealership, dealers have known the importance of building repeat business through the service bay. The more the customer relies on your dealership for all their vehicle needs, the more likely they will return for that repeat purchase, creating a cycle that can last for as long as the customer is driving. However, that golden cycle of purchase-service-repeat seems more elusive than ever.

According to XTime Metrics and Cox Automotive, for service departments at U.S. dealer franchise locations, the Repair Order Volume Index in January 2022 decreased month over month by 9.0 percent from December 2021, while the Repair Order Revenue Index increased 1.6 percent during the same time frame. Repair order volume remains well below pre-pandemic levels, but revenue per repair set another record high. The service bay was less busy, yet revenue continued to boost the dealership’s overall bottom line, generating an average of $490 in revenue per repair order.

Service revenue proved so lucrative for retail automotive dealers in 2021, that six of the country’s largest dealers notched a 12.6 percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2021 vs. 2020, according to company filings. Clearly, measurable revenue can be driven in the service bay.

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Industry Trends

Get on the Road to Digital Sales Success

Does it feel like aside from news on the pandemic and supply chain challenges, the mantra for the last two years has been digital sales? In their last quarterly shareholder meetings, each of the publics discussed their digital sales platforms. In the most recent car buyer journey study, Cox Automotive stated that 80 percent of consumers plan to complete at least part of their vehicle purchase online, and 25 percent expect the vehicle purchasing process to happen entirely online.

Of course, we know there is a difference between expectations and reality. In this digital transition, very few transactions happen online, soup-to-nuts. The average consumer’s actual experience reflects a more hybrid model, with both digital and physical touchpoints.

Dealers navigating this transition need a strong customer engagement strategy, both on and offline, which requires new skillsets and training. From the initial encounter to closing the sale, your team members must be adept at engaging with the customer on their platform of choice. The salesperson who masters these many nuances will make the sale – and get the commission!

Categories
EFG Companies

What a New CFPB Director Means for Auto Dealers

On September 30, the U.S. Senate confirmed a new Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Rohit Chopra, formerly with the Federal Trade Commission, brings an enforcement mindset to his new role.

Chopra, 39, will serve a five-year term at the helm of the Bureau. He has a long history with the organization, which was created in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2008. He worked closely with Senator Elizabeth Warren on establishing the Bureau, then joined it in 2011 to investigate industry abuses in the student lending market.

His appointment comes at an interesting time for automotive dealers and lenders. As FTC Commissioner, Chopra actively pursued auto dealers perceived of implementing discriminatory practices. He also was a vocal proponent for more protections for consumers, specifically regarding auto lending abuses of all minority demographics and military families.