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Transparency, awareness and customer experience are key

Maintenance and Repair Study Reveals Multibillion-Dollar Opportunity for Dealers

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ATLANTA, March 23, 2016 – Dealers are allowing billions of dollars of service revenue to drive past their locations with only 30 percent of total service visits occurring at dealerships, according to the 2016 Maintenance and Repair Study from Cox Automotive™. Key study findings were presented by Sandy Schwartz, president, Cox Automotive, at the J.D. Power Forum in New York on March 22.

“Dealers that focus on the service experience have the potential to add millions of dollars of revenue,” said Schwartz. “This study highlights key drivers of customer satisfaction that dealers need to address – value, trust and convenience.”

Keys to improving maintenance and repair service

Automotive service is a $99 billion industry[1], and dealers can capitalize on a significant revenue opportunity by providing customers the service experience that they desire.

  • Transparency – Pricing is one of the top reasons study respondents give for not returning to the dealership for service. Fifty-eight percent cite cost as the reason for not returning to the dealership, and 34 percent feel the dealer will overcharge them. As a result, car owners are choosing to go to the service provider where they feel that they are getting better value for money and have established a positive relationship.
  • Awareness – With purchase information and an existing relationship, dealers are uniquely positioned to provide consumer notification of vehicle service intervals and manufacturer recalls. Nearly one-third of respondents relied on maintenance, service or recall notifications from the dealership or the manufacturer. However, more than one-third of consumers are unaware of their vehicle service schedule or recalls, according to the study. Luxury and import owners rely more on dealer notifications than non-luxury and domestic vehicle owners.
  • Customer Experience – Dealers have an opportunity to create a more seamless service experience. Eighty-five percent of respondents indicate that the service department experience impacts their likelihood to purchase. However, 72 percent who purchased did not return to the dealership for service in the following 12 months. Customers who are introduced to the service department at the time of purchase are not only 1.5 times more likely to return to the dealer they purchased from for service, but also more likely to purchase another vehicle from the dealership.

For more study highlights, visit: http://dealerlearningcenter.com/insights/view/maintenance-repair-study.

About the Study

For this study, an online consumer survey of 4,455 participants was conducted from June 17, 2015 – July 7, 2015. In order to qualify for participation in the study, respondents had to have maintenance and/or repairs service performed on their vehicle by a third party at least once in the previous 12 months. Participants were required to be the primary decision maker for the vehicle regarding repair and maintenance. Data was weighted to ensure respondent demographic representation (based on census) and vehicle representation (based on new/used purchase and age of vehicle).

An additional 517 survey completions were gathered using the MFour mobile panel in order to better understand automotive maintenance and repair services usage and perceptions among a heavy mobile population (these results were not weighted). MFour, a leader in mobile market research, uses a survey app that leverages mobile devices and their unique features to gain the most accurate data.

About Cox Automotive

Cox Automotive Inc. is transforming the way the world buys, sells and owns cars with industry-leading digital marketing, software, financial, wholesale and e-commerce solutions for consumers, dealers, manufacturers and the overall automotive ecosystem worldwide. Committed to open choice and dedicated to strong partnerships, the Cox Automotive family includes Autotrader®, Dealertrack®, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, vAuto®, Xtime® and a host of other brands. The global company has nearly 30,000 team members in more than 200 locations and is partner to more than 40,000 auto dealers, as well as most major automobile manufacturers, while engaging U.S. consumer car buyers with the most recognized media brands in the industry. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., an Atlanta-based company with revenues of $18 billion and approximately 55,000 employees. Cox Enterprises’ other major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications and Cox Media Group. For more information about Cox Automotive, visit www.coxautoinc.com.

[1] Based on 2015 Cox Automotive service data and Hedges & Company U.S. vehicle registration data.

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