Service centers face competition, Stellantis introduces EV, GM changes policies

Inside Automotive

Jim Ziegler joins Inside Automotive to share his advice for improving the dealership sales process and equip managers for the new car market.Honing your sales process for the new car market — Jim Ziegler
Sometimes, a small fix in your sales process or technique can make all the difference in your dealership’s bottom line. Unfortunately, many management teams in the automotive industry are ill-prepared to identify solutions in the post-pandemic economy, where traditional sales skills and strategies have fallen to the wayside. On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Jim Ziegler, retail automotive veteran, speaker, and president of Ziegler Super Systems. Watch full segment here.

Top Stories

Dealership service centers are facing more competition than ever from third-party repair and maintenance providers according to a new study.Dealership service centers have continued to lose business to non-franchised repair and maintenance providers, according to new research from Cox Automotive. Over the last few years, fixed op profitability has mostly trended higher, as has the number of customers in need of repair. However, these gains have coincided with a slight shift in how car owners view dealership service centers. Based on an analysis of work orders, the retail automotive sector’s share of all service visits has shrunk from 35% in 2021 to 30% in 2023. Read More

Stellantis will re-introduce the Fiat 500e, a small but unique electric vehicle, for the U.S. car market in 2023.

Stellantis is relaunching the Fiat 500e in the U.S. car market, marking the first time the company has launched a fully electric vehicle in North America since its inception in the 2021 Fiat Chrysler and French PSA Group merger. The urban-friendly hatchback, last produced in 2019, is scheduled to launch in early 2023, with an initial price tag of $34,095. The 2024 Fiat 500e has an estimated range of 149 miles and is powered by a 42 kWh battery. Read More

GM CEO Mary Barra revealed that on Jan 8, salaried employees within 50 miles of an office site must report in person at least 3 days a weekThe days of fully remote working are over. On December 5, General Motors CEO Mary Barra informed staff members that the company is altering its return-to-work policy, mandating that salaried employees within 50 miles of a designated office site report in person at minimum, three days a week, starting January 8. “To achieve the biggest impact, we requested hybrid staff to work three days a week at the beginning of the year. Adherence has varied, though,” Barra stated in the email. Read More

Park Place Dealerships awarded $100,000 to over a dozen non-profits throughout October as part of its 3rd annual Season of Giving initiative.Park Place Dealerships awarded $100,000 to over a dozen non-profits throughout the month of October as part of its third annual Season of Giving initiative. The dealership’s charitable arm, Park Place Cares, invited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to apply for a one-time, annual grant. Last year, 23 NGOs were awarded grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 out of the 400 groups that applied. This year was no exception, as 18 NGOs were awarded grants. Read More

For Dealers

5 areas of service training that often get overlooked
Within your service department, you have multiple positions working together to create the seamless experience your customers encounter. To ensure maximum satisfaction, every part of the team must work at optimal levels, which requires constant service training. While it’s common to show employees how to write repair orders, manage time, and schedule appointments, there are five areas of service training that are consistently overlooked. Read More

Dealership employees approach a sales conversation with emotional intelligence.Lead the pack: Why emotional intelligence is the key to automotive leadership
Emotional intelligence, also referred to as emotional quotient or simply EQ, is important in any workplace but especially comes in handy at a car dealership—as any job there requires flexibility, effective communication, and stellar sales etiquette. EQ is especially critical for managers because people in leadership roles must also have critical thinking skills that help them solve problems and adapt to the changes happening with their own staff and the auto industry overall. Read More

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