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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

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I look forward to the day where, like Tesla, I can shop-for, order, or purchase a car completely on-line. The old world dealership game playing needs to go the way of the Dodo.
 

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The way of the dealership will never go away anytime soon. It is taught to managers of a dealership that parts and service cover all costs of the dealership, everything else is pure profit. You might see the smaller dealers go away and big dealers take over….but who wants to go to a dealer that has 20 service advisors, 120 techs and writes over 300 ROs a day? It’s so impersonal and cold…. But then you get dealers like Lexus of Escondido that has a 5 star restaurant in it …Vintana - Restaurant in Escondido, CA - Modern California Cuisine with Picturesque Views of the Town and Countryside..people actually pay extra $$$$ on Saturdays to have their car serviced so they can have the buffet!

Also, mainstream dealers have nothing to worry about with Tesla….until they can get their car costs below $50k AND build some sort of quick-charge / quick-change battery packs. Something that will take less then 10 minutes. Until this happens there is nothing that the dealers as we know them have to worry about. A time is coming however, where a tech will need to be college educated because the systems are going to get more and more complex. A vision for the future from our previous CEO/owner of my current job invisions a tech putting on Google Glasses and looking under the hood. Everything will have “longevity sensors” and when he/she places the glasses on, they will be able to see what parts need to be replaced or will need to be replaced soon because those parts will show up red or yellow.

I don’t think we will see dealerships go away in our lifetime….they have too much money invested in them and most of the Dealer Principles make up the 1%......just sayin…
 

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That's two out of three of the biggest profit departments of a dealership (used cars being the third).

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https://www.yourmechanic.com/
There-in lies the problem. They've priced themselves out of business. I'd rather drink Movie-prep than pay the $100+ hourly fee to have some guy work on my car who has never taken the Hippocratic Oath ("First do no harm"). Likewise, $8.00 screws are a bit steep for my budget. As Sears and K-Mart found out, you either evolve and compete or you perish.
 

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There-in lies the problem. They've priced themselves out of business. I'd rather drink Movie-prep than pay the $100+ hourly fee to have some guy work on my car who has never taken the Hippocratic Oath ("First do no harm"). Likewise, $8.00 screws are a bit steep for my budget. As Sears and K-Mart found out, you either evolve and compete or you perish.
See this is where we differ greatly!!! I would rather have a dealership work on my car and pay the money (by the way, for GM the average is about $130/hr) then have Joe at the local shop work on my car. Let me tell you this….Joe at the local shop is usually not licensed in auto-repair and is generally a pimply faced fresh out-of-highschool kid that knows little to nothing about changing oil, let alone replacing a waterpump on a Kappa!!! And the skills they do have are because he and his father rebuilt an ’84 Monte Carlo SS for him that is carbureted and has no EFI. I can clean the grease marks off from the dealership, what I can’t do is get an independent to fix what they made worse because they didn’t follow the procedure to fix the initial issue. At least in a dealership, the kid starts out changing oil and works his way up…at an independent, more times then not, they start working on cars immediately. Maybe I’ve just been lucky and worked at some of the best dealerships…. Let me give you a story of what happened to one of my customers I wrote up for a whine when the car was cold. I knew it was a transmission issue, but the car had 150k on it and had other whines. The front-end guy was the first to listen and said it needed a PS pump and rack. A total repair of $1800. I tried to tell the guy that it wasn’t the front end. So, after he did his work, I went out the next morning and started it….guess what? The whine was still there. I called the customer and told them their car was done even though I knew it wasn’t fixed….this of course was because my boss told me to call them. They came in and proceeded to tell me it wasn’t fixed. I called my boss out and he in turn called the tech. Needless to say the tech had to also fix the transmission. We charged the customer a total of $2000, the greater of the 2 repairs. Parts alone for this fix were around $1800, so the other $200 went to the hours…and the tech walked away with only 2 hours for the 24 hours he had in the car. But my customer was happy, and that’s all that mattered. And too your point before you say you don't go to a shop.....many people here have no clue how to change their oil, let alone a waterpump!!!
 

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I don't know what dealership you go to, but the dealerships in the Southeast generally suck and are filled with the same pimply-faced kids out of high school with no experience working on cars. However, I haven't been to many dealerships to service my cars because I've been doing my own maintenance since I was 16. I trust independent shops down here more than I do the dealers. That's not saying much because there are only two placed that my car gets worked on. My house and at DDM by either me or Dave and Co. respectively.
 

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High price is not high cost if it is of high value. Low price can be high cost if it is of low value.

I think the biggest problem is the inconsistency between dealerships. Had a nearby GM dealer screw up the water pump replacement. Had another about 10 miles away take complete care of me and my Solstice during the catalytic converter fiasco. Local Ford dealer always did well by me though as my F250 got on in years I did more of the maintenance myself. A few years ago one of my bosses told me of a nightmare at the same dealership. I asked around and many other people supported his perception.

Year and a half ago my old truck wouldn't start and I didn't have time to screw with it so I had a co-worker tow me to this same dealer. They told me "end of the day". Called me an hour later and said "We had an opening so we got your truck in. We found a corroded connector and took care of it." They refused payment. I asked around again and found out the dealership had "cleaned house" in their service department just recently due to all the bad publicity from poor service.

As nut stated above - you either evolve and grow or whither and die.

I just wish there was more consistency - but they are independently owned. I also agree that the bigger dealerships (multi-dealerships) will likely fare better due to more consistent standards and improvement programs.
 

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I take my GXP to a local Chevy dealer. I've always gotten great service and they treat me well. I don't mind paying more for dealer service, as I know I can always find them if something goes awry with their service. For my older Ford pickup, I do use an independent mechanic....
 

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I've tried independent shops with poor results. My 3 vehicles each go to the dealer for that brand. However, I recently quit doing business with a dealer that's been servicing my Dodge pickup for more than 10 years. They have changed service manager and service writers, and jacked up their prices. The truck now goes to another Dodge dealership which is owned by the same people who own the Chevy dealership that services my SKY.
 

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I wonder why they're focusing on Amazon and Ebay as competitive threats to the service department? Long before these companies, there was JC Whitney and tons of other catalog after-market parts resellers. This would seem to be an evolution of competition to the service department, and not a disruptive threat...
 

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A time is coming however, where a tech will need to be college educated because the systems are going to get more and more complex. A vision for the future from our previous CEO/owner of my current job invisions a tech putting on Google Glasses and looking under the hood. Everything will have “longevity sensors” and when he/she places the glasses on, they will be able to see what parts need to be replaced or will need to be replaced soon because those parts will show up red or yellow.
Being impressed with you as an individual, I have a question on your experience.

With all this longevity sensors and other equipment, would you say they need to develop a better (efficient, heat-resistant, etc) battery and also extend the space for all these attachments? I'm guessing we can say goodbye to older mechanics and expect more electrical/solar based vehicles? One last thing, this all means unless a new energy is created, a much higher cost for the vehicle, parts, and repairs.
 

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No matter what is printed or said by the talking heads, it'll be a cold day in hell when you can't get service at a dealer that sold you your car.. They make more money/profits servicing the cars than selling them ....:thumbs:
 

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Buy a car online! How do you compare? Test drive? Check overall quality? I would never buy a car online. If dealerships go away, then guess I am back to buying the neighbors worn out used car! Most places I use for service, independent shops and dealerships, have their service techs trained to the most up to date ASE certs or hire only ASE trained mechanics. My complaint about service centers is their outrageous charges, which is mostly the labor rate. But then, if you do not know anything about cars or do not get in there and bust a few knuckles, you do not have much to complain about. I try to do most of my mechanical and body work myself. As in all trades, there are some dummies who tend to screw things up. I retired from teaching welding at a vocational school and I can tell you that the Auto Tech kids are trained to the most up to date standards by a group of very talented Auto Instructors. Remember , they are just young kids getting started. We were all a bunch of youngsters once and we had to work our way up getting experience and training to do our jobs. I try not to get too excited about things because I remember what I had to go through as a kid. I try not to get too excited over a rude service manager because I start thinking about how many jerk customers has this guy had to deal with before me. We all have bad days. Speaking of bad days, I now have to go to the garage and figure out why the damn electric radiator fan on my MGB is not working...Hope the above rant was not too much off topic.
 

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I've also found that with Amazon and eBay, you have YouTube with video instruction for just about every repair you could ever need to do. And if no video is available, someone has a detailed blog with 40+ pages with photos on s how-to for the task.
 

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I can't speak highly enough about Centric Brakes sourced from the internet for GM vehicles. Even so, it's a non issue for non diy folks. Dealerships are safe.
 

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See this is where we differ greatly!!! I would rather have a dealership work on my car and pay the money (by the way, for GM the average is about $130/hr) then have Joe at the local shop work on my car. Let me tell you this….Joe at the local shop is usually not licensed in auto-repair and is generally a pimply faced fresh out-of-highschool kid that knows little to nothing about changing oil, let alone replacing a waterpump on a Kappa!!! And the skills they do have are because he and his father rebuilt an ’84 Monte Carlo SS for him that is carbureted and has no EFI. I can clean the grease marks off from the dealership, what I can’t do is get an independent to fix what they made worse because they didn’t follow the procedure to fix the initial issue. At least in a dealership, the kid starts out changing oil and works his way up…at an independent, more times then not, they start working on cars immediately. Maybe I’ve just been lucky and worked at some of the best dealerships…. Let me give you a story of what happened to one of my customers I wrote up for a whine when the car was cold. I knew it was a transmission issue, but the car had 150k on it and had other whines. The front-end guy was the first to listen and said it needed a PS pump and rack. A total repair of $1800. I tried to tell the guy that it wasn’t the front end. So, after he did his work, I went out the next morning and started it….guess what? The whine was still there. I called the customer and told them their car was done even though I knew it wasn’t fixed….this of course was because my boss told me to call them. They came in and proceeded to tell me it wasn’t fixed. I called my boss out and he in turn called the tech. Needless to say the tech had to also fix the transmission. We charged the customer a total of $2000, the greater of the 2 repairs. Parts alone for this fix were around $1800, so the other $200 went to the hours…and the tech walked away with only 2 hours for the 24 hours he had in the car. But my customer was happy, and that’s all that mattered. And too your point before you say you don't go to a shop.....many people here have no clue how to change their oil, let alone a waterpump!!!
I don't go to a shop (there, I had to say it). I do all of my own work, and have a lift so I no longer have to crawl under my vehicles. If my water pump goes out, I also plan on changing it myself.
 
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