TradePending TV

The Public Companies’ Shift Towards Service

If you want to know which way the world is headed in automotive, one great source is to pay attention to the publicly traded dealer groups. You know what they’re saying? They’re all emphasizing service and their fixed operations. 

Reading through the quarterly reports from Penske, Asbury, Group 1, Sonic Automotive, and Lithia reveal that they’re all giving their service departments some love as inventory supply continues to increase and consumers hold on to cars longer.

This focus takes a few different forms. Penske upgraded their loaner fleet to bring the reservation wait time down from 14 days to 7, bringing service business in faster. They saw an increase of $34M in service and parts gross profit year over year.

Group 1 and Sonic are adding more techs to get more utilization from their existing service bays. Asbury is getting more aggressive vehicle acquisition because they want that internal service business.

So what does this mean for all of the privately held dealerships? At the simplest level you can follow their lead, and look for ways to increase your service business. One of the easiest ways to do that is to actually market your service offers. 

Yes, advertise your service department! Let people know what you offer, how much it costs, and the perks of doing business with you(think time savings, OEM certified techs, video inspections).

If you need help turning your website into a service marketing machine that displays those offers clearly and designed nicely, and keeps the offer prices up-to-date across your marketing channels automatically, we can help.