Car repair stock image. Mechanic works on Bentley sump, cropped pic, Oct 2013, via PACar repair stock image. Mechanic works on Bentley sump, cropped pic, Oct 2013, via PA

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Franchised dealers having to reject repair work as part-ex volume rises – report

  • Workshops are said to be under increasing pressure as new car supply improves
  • Service plan provider says things are being made worse by technician shortage
  • Dealers are urged to offer long-term care packages on 73-plate cars

Time 10:40 am, September 11, 2023

Some franchised dealers are turning away retail repair and maintenance work to get through the number of part-exchanges generated by the 73-plate.

That’s according to EMaC, which reckons this year’s improved supply of new vehicles could see a return to pre-Covid sales volumes for the September plate-change.

However, the service plan provider warned that workshop operations were already being stretched – an issue made worse by the industry-wide shortage of technicians.

As workshops get through the part-exchange backlog, EMaC is advising car dealers to address the problem with a longer-term approach by offering care packages to new car customers.

It believes this’ll ensure that vehicles are regularly maintained over the course of their ownership so will need less preparation work when part-exchanged.

Serkan Obuz, automotive warranty director at EMaC, said: ‘The September plate-change is an extremely busy period for franchised workshops as they prepare new vehicles for sale.

‘However, with dealers now retaining more part-exchanges for their used forecourts, we are seeing some workshops facing meltdown scenarios because of the extra work required to bring them up to retail standards.

‘This is compounded by the shortage of qualified mechanical and bodywork technicians.’

He added: ‘In some cases, we have seen dealers turn away retail service and repair work in favour of preparing part-exchanges.

‘One way to reduce this preparation time in the future is to have a proper maintenance plan strategy, offering cosmetic, tyre, alloy, mechanical and electric cover to new car customers.

‘This will ensure that cars come back in near CAP-clean condition cosmetically and mechanically.

‘The customer experience will also be enhanced as the vehicle will remain in showroom condition throughout ownership and they’ll get a better part-exchange value for it.

‘In turn, this will improve workshop throughput, increase the quality and volume of part-exchanges and improve customer loyalty.’

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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