Service

Smartphone app Zubie adds automotive retail and service perks

8:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 18, 2014
Drivers don’t need a calendar to let them know when to go in for a service check -- Zubie can tell them. And now, the smartphone app is offering perks as well....
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GM dealers take on more loaners

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 13, 2014
Dealers are seeing a huge expansion of General Motors' Courtesy Transportation Program, a bid to create better loyalty via the service lane and by getting more people to try vehicles....
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Toyota parts delivery scores with dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 8, 2014
Parts Director Danny Perez saves $100 to $400 a day in rental-car costs thanks to Same Day Service, a parts distribution program run by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc....
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Dealerships grapple with regulations allowing service dogs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 7, 2014
Dealerships can face litigation if they don't know the rules about how to deal with customers who require service dogs. The issue is complicated by people who claim, incorrectly, that their pets are service dogs. But that doesn't get businesses off the hook....
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GM replacing keys on 2014-15 trucks to prevent ignition shutoff

1:07 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 5, 2014
GM is replacing ignition keys on its newest trucks because of a design problem that can cause the shift lever to bump the key and shut off the engine. GM said its investigators determined that the issue was not a safety defect because it occurs only when the driver has a foot on the brake and is shifting gears. Rather than a safety recall, GM issued a technical service bulletin to dealers on Nov. 6, instructing them to replace keys for customers who complain of a problem....
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GM recalls more than 300,000 SUVs, sedans for headlamps that go dark

2:45 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 1, 2014
General Motors is recalling 316,357 older-model SUVs and sedans for a problem with malfunctioning headlamps....
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Toyota to recall 422,000 Lexus vehicles in U.S. due to fuel leak

11:42 am U.S. ET | Nov. 21, 2014
Toyota will recall 422,509 of its luxury brand Lexus vehicles in the United States because of a possible fuel leak that increases the risk of fire, federal regulators said today....
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Technology training can help close a sale, AutoTrader.com says

10:39 am U.S. ET | Nov. 18, 2014
As automakers incorporate in-vehicle technology features in more models, dealers have to find a way to sufficiently teach customers how to use the new tools, AutoTrader said in a report....
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What is a recall? Automakers confuse drivers in deadly airbag saga

10:48 am U.S. ET | Nov. 16, 2014
More than 17 million cars with Takata airbags have been recalled worldwide, including over 11 million in the United States. But that number represents a patchwork of confusing safety messages to drivers: "safety improvement campaigns," informal "regional recalls," and formal recalls of certain models rather a consistent national action. The mixed messages make owners wonder how worried they should be....
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Mazda to offer unlimited mileage warranty in Canada

3:37 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 13, 2014
Mazda Motor Corp. will offer an unlimited mileage warranty to consumers who buy or lease a vehicle in Canada beginning with the 2015 model year, the automaker said today....
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Cox Automotive to buy Xtime for $325M, enters service software business

3:30 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 11, 2014
Cox Automotive has agreed to pay $325 million in cash to buy Xtime, a leading provider of service scheduling and workflow software to dealerships, the companies announced today. The deal is expected to be completed in the next few days, said Keith Jezek, software division president at Cox Automotive....
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M-B bolsters service with concierge program

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 8, 2014
Mercedes-Benz has launched a product specialist program for dealerships and aims to train 1,600 employees through the program by the end of next year....
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Poorly handled recalls are a 'black eye' for the industry, Jackson says

4:48 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 6, 2014
Mounting recalls this year are a “black eye” for the auto industry, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said today. The poorly handled recalls have resulted in an impression “seeping into the American consciousness that the industry does not have a coherent plan” to properly handle safety recalls, the head of the nation’s largest auto retailer told the Detroit Economic Club....
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THE GM RECALL

GM offers gift cards as bait for owners to get recalled cars fixed

12:04 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 4, 2014
General Motors is dangling $25 gift cards to Starbucks, Bass Pro Shops and other retailers to persuade nearly 1 million owners of recalled cars with faulty ignition switches to get them fixed....
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Ford body shops gear up for aluminum

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 3, 2014
The 2015 F-150 is a big deal because no company previously has manufactured a mass-market pickup with an aluminum body. Dealers who want to repair the trucks need to buy special tools and train technicians in aluminum techniques. Many of them are well on their way....
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A Ford Quick Lane sized for Texas

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 3, 2014
On a clear day, you can see Pep Boys, Jiffy Lube and Firestone service shops from Planet Ford-Lincoln in Spring, Texas. Still, the dealership is building the largest Ford Motor Co. Quick Lane operation, with 28 lanes. While oil change intervals may be getting longer, dealership managers firmly believe fast oil changes can be the key to retaining service customers....
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Michigan body shop burns used oil to cut heating bill

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 3, 2014
Dealer Ed Brown saw a heating system that uses used oil displayed at the 2002 National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans and had it installed a year later at a cost of $395,000. Since then, the system has reduced the shop's heating bill by nearly $250,000....
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SERVICE MASTERS

Dealerships boost fixed-ops spending to fend off rivals, retain customers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 3, 2014
Many dealerships are investing heavily in fixed operations. They are adding service bays, longer hours, dedicated express lanes and technology to boost efficiency. Dealers say the investments are justified by strong profits, a big pool of potential customers who defected to independent shops and national service chains, and opportunities to boost customer satisfaction....
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A bad service review? No need to panic

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 2, 2014
A cottage industry of vendors has sprung up to help dealers manage the often bewildering world of online reviews. The vendors are adept at intercepting some bad reviews before they are posted....
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Takata recalls more defective airbag inflators prone to rupture

1:04 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 1, 2014
Takata, adding to questions about the scope of defects in its products, made another 30,687 inflators with an incorrect part that can lead to damaging airbag ruptures in newer vehicles, U.S. regulators disclosed Saturday....
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Startups see opportunities flowing from data port

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Some startups, impatient with automakers' progress and promising to bring older vehicles into the data-driven age, are racing to market with hardware and apps that tap into the OBD-II diagnostic port built into all new U.S. light vehicles' dashboards beginning in 1996....
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Chrysler recalls more than 900,000 vehicles for fire risk

7:59 am U.S. ET | Oct. 16, 2014
Chrysler Group is recalling more than 900,000 vehicles worldwide for potential safety problems that could cause fires. One recall covers some 470,000 cars and SUVs from model years 2011-14 and equipped with a 3.6-liter engine and 160 amp alternator, which may fail, possibly causing a stall or fire. A second recall covers 437,000 Jeep Wranglers -- water in the exterior heated power mirror electrical connector could cause an electrical short....
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While you wait for service, make yourself at home

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014
Large, elaborate and packed with people -- that's what dealerships' service department waiting rooms are becoming, said Forrest McConnell, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, last week....
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BEST PRACTICES

Maine store's free tires bring customers back

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 6, 2014
Stanley Subaru gives its new-vehicle buyers a benefit it calls "Tires for Life."...
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GM halts 2015 Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon deliveries to fix airbag flaw

10:19 am U.S. ET | Oct. 3, 2014
GM instructed dealers to halt deliveries of the new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups because of a pending safety recall to fix an airbag defect, just two weeks after shipments began for the high-profile launch....
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Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

At Bay King Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram in Hamilton, Ontario, dealer Jamie Richter has put luxury-hotel touches in his new showroom. They include concierges who see to the needs of service customers. Mon., December 15
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