Are Fewer Independent Shops Able to Service Today's Vehicles? -

Are Fewer Independent Shops Able to Service Today’s Vehicles?

Independent repair shop owners in the Bradenton, FL, area are concerned that vehicle owners will soon be forced to take their vehicles back to the dealerships because independent shops will no longer being able to service today's high-tech vehicles. One shop owner estimates that he already sends 10 percent of his customers back to dealerships.

Independent repair shop owners in the Bradenton, FL, area are concerned that vehicle owners will soon be forced to take their vehicles back to the dealerships because independent shops will no longer being able to service today’s high-tech vehicles. One shop owner estimates that he already sends 10 percent of his customers back to dealerships.

Below is the article as it appeared on the Bradenton Herald website.

Mechanics seek fair access to automakers’ repair codes

By GRACE GAGLIANO
Published: Saturday, Aug. 07, 2010

Chuck Mattingly, owner of Mattingly's Auto Services, says he loses about 10 percent of prospective customers because manufacturers won't release key instructions and codes that auto shops need to fix newer models. A federal bill up for consideration called the Right to Repair Act would require manufacturers to release that information.BRADENTON — Marc Guttentag estimates about 10 percent of the vehicles that come through his Bradenton auto shop have to be turned over to a dealership for repair.

As more modern vehicles are controlled by computers and electronics, fewer independent service centers have the capability to repair them.

Mechanics say that’s because manufacturers aren’t disclosing the diagnostics and software required to make repairs. Automakers, however, say they have a right to protect proprietary information from widespread distribution.

Legislation before the U.S. Senate — the Right to Repair Act — seeks to settle the issue by siding with repair shops and requiring automakers to provide vehicle owners and service providers complete access to safety and repair information.

Mechanics can now connect a laptop to an automotive computer that will diagnose the problem for a fee, but the bill would allow access to all coding needed in automotive repair.

“If things don’t change, everybody’s going to be having to take their cars to the dealerships,” said Guttentag, owner of Marc’s Auto Repair & Service, at 1218 29th Ave. W. “And I don’t think too many people relish the thought of having to bring their car to the dealership.”

To read the entire article, visit the Bradenton Herald website at http://www.bradenton.com/2010/08/07/2489710/mechanics-seek-fair-access-to.html.

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The True Cost Of Comebacks

Comebacks are a hot topic today. You need to track all comebacks, determine the reason (tech error, part error, training issue, other) and then calculate the true cost of the comeback.

By Joe Marconi of Elite
Comebacks are a hot topic today. You need to track
all comebacks, determine the reason (tech error, part error, training issue,
other) and then calculate the true cost of the comeback.
Here are a few things to consider:
• The loss of time when performing the comeback; time that the tech can use to
perform other work and generate profit;
• The misc costs, such as overhead costs, supplies, cleaners, etc.;
• Towing costs, rental, etc.;
• Cost to morale;
• Reputation damage; and
• Reduction to your profit margin.
For every part issue, you need to
inform your supplier. Sit down with suppliers on a regular basis. Don’t return defective
parts until you have listed the parts, and maintain a report. Document
everything.
Part issues are increasing. Every shop
owner I speak to is frustrated over this.
Remember, comebacks kill your bottom
line. The more comebacks you have, the more they’re killing your profits.
This article was contributed by Joe Marconi.
Joe is one of the 1-on-1 business coaches who helps shop owners through
the Elite Coaching Program, and is the
co-founder of autoshopowner.com.

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