Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Orphan Owners are going to kill GM and Chrysler

Has anyone really thought about the defection that is occurring here in the automotive dealership world? Our customers are defecting in MASS to the independent shops already. Did the manufacturers really think that customers are going to stay loyal to a brand when they cannot even get service for the cars?

My local dealership has gone away. Now what do I do?

Do the experts at GM and Chrysler think that they make such a great car that the competition is not going to swoop in and suck up the customers. The new Dodge Challenger is a hit! I would even like to purchase one for myself. However, if I have to drive for miles to my nearest dealership for routine maintenance, I am certainly not excited about that situation. This just gives the customer more defection points! Now an oil change is more of a point of defection because the dealership is just too far away.

Remember defection points. Ford Motor Company has been preaching about “Brakes, Batteries and Tires” for years now. Keep the customer loyal to the dealership. Do not let them leave.

Defection Point – Any point in the life cycle that the customer can defect from a dealership and go to an independent shop. This primarily occurs when a customer needs, brakes, batteries or tires. As the independent shop is PERCIEVED to have a better value for the items and services.

I really do not understand how Chrysler is going to survive as the “New and Downsized Dealer body Chrysler”. How is GM going to service with a shrunken dealer network?

Ponder this: If every Chevrolet owner showed up at the dealership today for service that was going to the independents, the Chevy dealership could not handle the influx of business. Cars would be lined up down the street. GM parts depots would be overrun with orders. Parts suppliers would be building spare parts and the chain goes on and on. However, the independent suppliers are not complaining. The aftermarket brake guys are expanding, building parts, fixing cars. What happened in our thinking to believe that closing stores is the right move to save the manufactures?

I heard the advertisement again this morning about a certain oil change shop. It stated that the customer tried calling the dealership for service and they were given an appointment for next week. If you believe the rhetoric from the commercial, what is going to happen when there are 2000 less dealerships in the United States? How long is it going to take to schedule an appointment?

However, dealerships are living the exact opposite. Dealerships are taking customers in NOW. Not tomorrow and certainly not next week. Our business is declining and we want work today. But where is the manufacturers’ effort to save the dealership? The Chrysler and GM effort is to save itself. Open your eyes and ears corporate guys. We dealers sell the products. We service the product. Without us there is no GM and Chrysler.

Where is the outcry from the automobile manufacturer? These are your customers. Do we just sit idly by and wait for someone to steal our customers. Do we just wait as our industry gets turned on its head? What are we all waiting for, let’s get together and make something happen. In fact we should demand that the automakers participate if not lead this effort.

Demand for Service Marketing

I am calling on the manufacturers to create a full scale marketing plan with multi level and multimedia to draw the attention to the customer about the NEW CAR DEALERSHIP SERVICE DEPARTMENT.


Imagine if the manufactures such as Chrysler and GM told their customers how great the dealership service department is performing. Imagine if FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, pictures on Flickr and all of the known and not so well known social networks were full of fan pages of the new car dealership. Imagine the viral networks filled with testimonials of how wonderful the customer was treated at the new car dealership service department. Imagine if you turned on your television or radio and heard the General Motors talking about Mr. Goodwrench again. Imagine the warm and fuzzy feelings we could all have knowing our most precious investment was being serviced by the most highly trained technician in the world. Imagine how our customers would feel making the trek anywhere we asked them to trek. Finally, imagine how full the shops would be with real repair and maintenance work. Imagine how many customers would be converted into sales customers. That’s what dealerships do. I shudder to think how busy we dealership could be today.

If you follow my logic, then realize that the manufacturer would be supplying parts to the dealership. That would help keep the lights on at GM. Obviously parts suppliers would be busy making parts. GM then could focus on building cars. In the dealership world we have something called “absorption” or “fixed coverage”. This is the amount of the expenses that the fixed operation covers. A successful dealership is 85% fixed coverage. Imagine when the fixed ops pays all the bills. This means every car sales is a profit. A profit! Imagine profits from dealerships. What a concept.

Consider Service Satellites

Let us turn underperforming sales departments into service satellites. Imagine a dealer network where customers were not forced to choose between the competitive dealership service departments. Dealership s could focus on the true competition, the Aftermarkets. I suggest that underperforming dealership sales departments could revamp and focus on service. What are we going to do with all those empty service bays? It breaks my heart and my head to drive along Main Street and see a once thriving car dealership sitting empty.

A scenario could be having one or two dealership sales facilities across a community with service satellites populating the outer areas. This only makes sense. Dealership sales departments could become profitable. What a radical idea. Customers could be serviced by entrepreneurial dealership service departments. Car dealers are smart entrepreneurial folks. They certainly know how to move the metal. They also know how to turn a service customer into a sales customer. I suggest that we let the dealerships find there balance. Put a dealer in charge of the market area and let him run his business.

My suggestion is allow the dealer to do his job and sell and service cars. Without us, death to the brand is just around the corner.


Steven Shaw
cell 310-597-7726

Comments or suggestions?
e-mail Steve Shaw


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Sunday, May 3, 2009

MyDealerCoach.com Rolls Out ROAMSers Community

Mydealercoach.com is introducing ROAMSers, the most exclusive dealership community on the Internet. ROAMSers is dedicated to the dealership service and parts professional. Join us today. Interact with the who’s who in the business. Service Advisors and Service Managers alike can find relevant information on improving their performance in the fixed operations department.

This website is not like any other on the Internet today. This website is dedicated to Fixed Operations Professionals ONLY! Be the best – JOIN TODAY. Already the best, share your knowledge and be recognized for your talents – JOIN TODAY!

Sign up for a Free Membership NOW. CLICK HERE!!
The first 100 users will receive a 1-year membership absolutely FREE. Users can post their Key Performance Indicators in the community. Go to our training center and share your knowledge or just ask questions. Download training calculators to boost your stores performance.

Learn tips and techniques from Ray Branch, The Professor. Ray is the founder of The KEEPS Corporation and also the inventor, designer and builder of the highly acclaimed ROAMS program. This program is the Automotive Industry's new Fixed Operations standard for measuring sales and net profit improvement performance in retail dealership service and parts departments across the country. Professor Ray regularly talks to dealers via teleconferences and webinars. Ray Branch is here at MyDealerCoach.com.

Leigh Silver with Mobile Productivity, Inc is here helping us to coordinate the groups of managers out there. Leigh is seeking the best talent in the business to join his profit groups. His mission is to build a resource of talent to swoop in and help solve the issues in fixed ops: a Task Force of men and women to call upon for advice. Many managers are just starting out in the business and others are more seasoned and experienced. We want you to share your knowledge with others and us. Get recognized for your talents. Become a World Class Trainer and Coach on the website's training center. Are you the best in the business parts and service manager? Then we want to learn from you too. Together we can grow beyond our wildest dreams…and we can dream.

Ask questions of Steven Shaw, the original Dealer Coach. Utilize our on line training center. Post your questions to the coach. The only question that is bad is the one you have and never. Our goal is to assist the newest manager to get settled into the job of service manager all the way to the most experienced Director. Do you know top 5 things to do on your first day on the job? Use the dealer coach as a sounding board to make sure you are on the right track. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make sure profits are the end result.

Jay Huffschmidt is our resident SEO Coach. Jay has insights to the world of the Internet and how to drive traffic to your website and ultimately to your dealership. Jay has already driven mydealercoach.com and many other websites to the top of the search engines.

Membership has its privileges!


Each week we will reveal the “Play of the Week” a written and proven process designed to increase the performance and profitability of your dealership service department. Imagine a sales meeting leading to a $7 increase in ELR! This week!


Also, look for the “Coaches Corner”. Each month we will seek out the most influential person in the business of fixed operations. We will find out what’s on their mind and how are they dealing with the day to day of the dealership world. I am not talking about small time either. This is the Major League.


No one has a lock on all the answers; each one of us has strengths to share with each other. I encourage you to post your best practice, solution or process in the training center for all to access. Post more and move through the ranks of a new guy to becoming a coach and trainer here on the website. Lets talk about the basics of gross profit improvement, expense reduction and net profit explosion…Service Manager 101 – Understanding Gross Profit. Or Marketing 501 – Marketing for the Dealer Principal. We will discuss techniques to drive traffic today!


We already have guys lined up for months to talk to you about how to increase your performance…Chris Collins, Nick Neumeyer, Bob Cawley, Dave Vaden and more

Chris Collins
in the original net profit exploder. He coined that phrase along with “dedicated to multiplying your net profit”.

Nick Neumeyer, one of the best service advisor trainers on the drive today.

Bob Cawley, the parts and service director who built the largest Ford Fixed Operations Department in the country today. Watch us as we chronicle Bobs Transformation of his new deal…our own reality Internet documentary

Dave Vaden with M5 Management Services…a performance enhancement coach and implementation coach. Dave is a recognized speaker for many manufacturers and independent performance enhancement groups.

This is just the beginning…we might even surprise you with some other great coaches showing up for the big game! This game never ends, it is about continuous improvement, correcting course and continuous growth…

Are you ready to get in the game of your life…if you are ready to win, put yourself in and sign up today!!!

Go to www.mydealercoach.com and sign up it is absolutely FREE for the First 100 users. Check it out today…

Mr. Steven Shaw has been coaching service and parts professionals for over 15 years. MyDealerCoach.com already has 1000’s of followers, readers and fans. You can also find mydealercoach on Facebook, twitter, flickr, blogspot, AutomotiveDigitalMarketing, LinkedIn, wigetbox, and more…

Join this exclusive community today!

Comments or suggestions?
e-mail Steve Shaw


Make MyDealerCoach.com your #1 on-line resource for dealership coaching!