I believe we must continually be observant and challenge ourselves with this question “what can we learn from this?”. The strike at General Motors has made a bunch of news lately. However, today I thought it would be timely to discuss what we can learn from this current situation.
During a recent dealership visit, a few things caught my interest. The first one was the parts department manager was scrambling trying to find parts to repair the General Motors vehicles in the shop. General Motors has a program that rewards dealerships loyalty when they purchase parts from them directly with additional discounts. Through no fault of their own, General Motors dealerships can’t remain loyal and finish repairs on vehicles.
One may imagine General Motors would recognize this and not penalize dealerships trying to repair customer vehicles any way possible with reductions in loyalty discounts. This parts manager stated there would be no adjustment on loyalty during the strike. In a conversation with the general manager during this same visit, he noted that six new Cadillacs were in his inventory that were not received yet. He stated the belief is they would probably receive an interest credit, with arbitration, however time would be better spent managing his business rather than debating right and wrong with General Motors.
So many dealerships are very loyal to their manufacturers and don’t want to offend them in any way even when it costs the dealership large sums of money. My belief is loyalty goes both ways, and dealerships should be treated as valued customers of the manufacturers. When times were really tough, for dealerships the manufactures used the shield of bankruptcy to void franchise agreements with little or no compensation. Dealerships were on edge waiting for the Federal Express letter to see if they were blessed with the ability to keep their franchise and perhaps remain in business.
I am proud of our company, we assist dealerships to take advantage of their state law and provide them retail pricing on warranty repairs. We rejoice to assist our dealership clients to maximize their returns from fixed operations. If you are considering a submission, but haven’t because of a desire to not rock the boat. Believe me, they won’t send you flowers or candy. Mutual respect and fair compensation on warranty repairs is the law. So let me ask you, "What are you waiting for?"
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
Cell: (419) 282-1351
CDK Certified -Approved Interface
Dealer Track Certified Open Track Partner
Fixed Performance complete fixed operations coaching consulting