Memorial Day Profit Centers for Your Dealership

Memorial Day Profit Centers for Your Dealership

Memorial Day weekend has long been one of the most lucrative holidays for car dealerships across the United States. However, as vehicle inventory levels remain low, many dealers are expecting this year to be less profitable than usual.

Fortunately, this is misplaced pessimism. Though new and used car sales are likely to be slower than normal, it’s still possible to have a successful weekend by focusing on your auto dealership’s other profit generators, such as:

Service

The lack of new and used vehicle inventory means drivers are keeping their old cars on the road for longer. Those high-mileage cars require lots of regular maintenance! 

Your dealership can capitalize on the increased demand for maintenance by offering deals on oil changes and tire rotations this Memorial Day. A 50 percent off coupon is sure to drive customers to your showroom.

Once motorists arrive at your shop, you can generate additional income by recommending other services their vehicle needs. For most dealerships, filter changes and wiper blade replacements are among the most profitable service upsells.

You can even use service visits as a way to build your used car inventory. While your technician is working on a customer’s vehicle, have a manager appraise it and make a buyback offer to the owner. This tactic is particularly effective if the car needs repairs the owner does not want to pay for.

Road Trip Bundles

For many drivers, Memorial Day is the start of road trip season. However, before they set out on their journeys, they will want to get their cars serviced.

You can enjoy a highly profitable holiday weekend by promoting your auto dealership’s road trip bundle specials. Most shops advertise these services in the following ways:

However, if you want to maximize your results, we suggest using FastCoupon. This fusionZONE product gives you the ability to send tune-up coupons directly to your customers’ phones!

Car Detailing

If your dealership is low on inventory, you probably have a lot of unused space on your lot. Why not turn some of that empty space into a profit generator by adding a car washing and detailing station? All you need are a few basic tools and supplies, like:

  • An air compressor
  • A steam cleaner
  • A wet/dry vacuum
  • Detailing brushes
  • Detailing towels
  • A sponge, and
  • A power washer

Of course, before you set up your detailing station, you should check with the city to ensure you do not need any additional permits. It’s also a good idea to discuss the idea with your insurance agent to make sure it won’t impact your policy.

If you receive the green light, your new car detailing station could generate additional income for your dealership this Memorial Day. You can even encourage customers to take a quick look at a few vehicles while they wait. You might just make a sale!

Accessories

Whether they are setting out on a cross-country road trip or spending the summer at home, your customers need accessories for their vehicles. The most popular accessories include:

  • Wireless phone chargers
  • Trunk organizers
  • Anti-slip dash pads
  • Jump start kits
  • Travel coolers
  • Dash cams, and
  • First aid kits

If you want to maximize your Memorial Day income, don’t force your customers to go to Walmart or Amazon to buy these accessories. Stock them in your showroom instead!

Of course, if you want to drive sales, you’ll need to let people know about your accessories. We recommend going live on Facebook to showcase your products and answer questions from your followers. 

You can also make an announcement on local directories like Yelp and Nextdoor. fusionZONE’s FastListings product can help you make these announcements in a matter of minutes!

Ready to Take Your Dealership to the Next Level? fusionZONE Can Help! 

Do you need help marketing your dealership and its services this Memorial Day? If so, you have come to the right place! The fusionZONE team has been helping dealerships like yours find new customers and increase revenues for years. We understand the automotive industry, and we are ready to go to work for you!

To learn more about our services, all you need to do is fill in our short online contact form or give us a call at (424) 232-0728. Our friendly representatives will be more than happy to assist you!

4 Ways to Keep Your Dealership Bustling Despite Inventory Issues (1)

  • Has your dealership been struggling with inventory problems over the last few months? Then you are not alone. Across the automotive industry, new car inventory is down about 48 percent from 2020 – with trucks and SUVs hit particularly hard.
  • What is causing the global vehicle shortage? The problem began last year when the COVID-19 pandemic created production problems at plants and factories throughout the world. However, the issue worsened when a chip shortage made it just about impossible for automakers to build new cars.
  • Unfortunately, it might be a while before inventory levels return to normal. Sam Fiorani, Vice President of Global Vehicle Forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, believes it is unlikely inventory will return to full capacity before the second or third quarter of 2022.
  • What can you do to make sure your dealership continues to thrive until life returns to normal in 2022? At fusionZONE, we recommend following these steps to keep your revenue up and your showroom bustling: 

1. Source and Sell High-Quality Used Cars

  • The global shortage of new vehicles means there is probably a great deal of empty space on your lot. That empty space won’t make your dealership any money – so you would be wise to try to fill it with used cars as quickly as possible.
  • Of course, sourcing pre-owned vehicles is a little bit tricky at the moment. The unavailability of new vehicles means fewer drivers are trading in their old cars, trucks, and SUVs.
  • To get your hands on a sizable selection of used cars, you will likely need to use a variety of sourcing techniques. The following methods are among the most effective:
    • Offer to buy vehicles that come in for servicing or repair
    • Tell customers you are happy to allow them to end their lease early
    • Import vehicles from countries less impacted by the shortage
    • Send your sourcing manager to out-of-state vehicle auctions
    • Set up an online “Buy My Car” portal for your customers to use
  • When sourcing a pre-owned vehicle, try to avoid focusing entirely on your potential markup. It’s also vital to pay close attention to the quality of the car. You do not want to develop a reputation as a car dealership that sells unreliable vehicles.

2. Focus on Your Finance and Insurance Department

  • The number of vehicles you sell each month is likely to drop as the global inventory shortage continues. However, you can still keep your dealership revenue steady by increasing your per-customer income. The finance and insurance department is the best place to accomplish this goal.
  • You can increase the amount of money you make from every customer by focusing on selling the following products:
    • Extended warranties
    • Gap insurance
    • Scheduled maintenance plans
    • Paint and fabric protection
    • Payment protection
  • To keep your revenue high, you should try to ensure at least three-fourths of your buyers purchase one or more F&I products.

3. Promote Your Service Department

  • The inventory shortage has made it more difficult for motorists to buy the vehicles they want. As a result, many of them are choosing to continue to drive their old cars for another couple of years.
  • Those older vehicles will require regular servicing, and you can keep your revenue up by being the dealership to provide it.
  • You can use the following techniques to promote your service department to the motorists in your area:
    • Launch a Google Ads campaign
    • Mail out flyers detailing the services you offer
    • Add service-related videos and pictures to your social media
    • Post car maintenance tips and advice on your dealership’s blog
  • Once you get motorists into your service department, don’t forget to have a sales associate ask them if they are interested in buying a new vehicle.

4. Offer a Selection of Accessories

  • Don’t force your customers to turn to Walmart or Amazon when they want to buy an accessory for their car. By offering a wide selection of products at your showroom, you can increase your overall revenue and build better relationships with the motorists in your area.
  • The following accessories are particularly popular with drivers:
    • Phone mounts and chargers
    • Seat covers
    • Dash cams
    • Trunk storage organizers 
    • Cup holder trash cans
  • Should you decide to start stocking accessories like these, don’t forget to promote them on your social media profiles and add a dedicated page for them to your dealership’s website.

Need Help Boosting Your Dealership’s Revenue? Contact the Experts at fusionZONE!

  • Would you like some help generating the revenue you need to get through the vehicle inventory shortage? Then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at fusionZONE. We have years of experience in the industry and offer a range of products that can make your dealership thrive – even in this challenging business climate.
  • To learn more about our services, please fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (424) 232-0728. We look forward to working with you!

5 Tips for A Profitable Service Center

When summer approaches, it can only mean one thing: road trip season is almost here. Given the recent travel restrictions that spanned every corner of the country, it should come as no shock that there’s plenty of pent-up demand for summer travel and road trips this year and beyond.

But how can your car dealership and service department help your customers prepare for summer road trips? The team at fusionZONE Automotive has compiled a list of tried-and-true tips that can benefit both your customers and your business’s bottom line.

Here’s to a fun and safe road trip season for your customers and a profitable summer for your service center!

1. Time For Another Oil and Filter Change?

Every motorist knows that oil changes are regularly required and a crucial component of vehicle maintenance. What they may not know, though, is that oil change intervals aren’t just about mileage.

While maintenance schedules for oil and filter changes will vary by make, model, year, mileage and driving style and conditions, most will still recommend an oil change every six months at a minimum.

Perhaps a customer dusted off their garaged sports car and is planning a weeklong summer road trip, and the car hasn’t been driven much since the previous summer. Or, maybe a family’s secondary vehicle is finally going to see some open-road action after a long hiatus. Either way, this could be the right time to recommend a quick oil change, complete with a new oil filter, so that these drivers can hit the road with confidence.

2. Better Get the A/C Checked

No matter where your dealership and service facility is located in the States, the summer season is bringing with it hotter temperatures than what you, your road-trip crew and your car are accustomed to for most of any given year.

What better time to have their vehicle’s air conditioning or A/C system checked than before the heat arrives and they’re spending more time on the road? After all, no one wants to discover their car’s A/C system is struggling when they’re hours out of town and have a tight road trip schedule.

Since a car’s air conditioning can seem plenty adequate when outdoor temperatures are cool, remind your customers that it’s smart to have their A/C system tested and inspected before every summer season.

3. Tire Pressure and Wheel Alignment Check

There’s so much riding on our cars’ wheels and tires, especially when a family summer road trip and precious cargo are involved. That’s why your customers will surely appreciate the care and attention you provide to their vehicle’s tires and wheels during a summer auto service visit.

From checking for proper tire pressure and tread wear to inspecting the alignment, routine wheel and tire maintenance can help prevent a range of on-road issues that could dampen any summer travel plans.

Wheels that are out of alignment or underinflated tires can be a driving hazard and can lead to premature tire wear and early replacement. Plus, if your customers want to maximize their MPGs and make fewer pit-stops on their cross-country journeys this summer, it pays to have properly inflated tires!

4. Battery Testing and Inspections

Summer heat can be hard on a car’s battery. And a dead battery will certainly stop a summer road trip in its tracks. But you can help your customers avoid such inconveniences with a battery test before they head off on the open road.

Since the average car battery only lasts about three years, your customer’s late-model crossover or SUV may be due for a battery replacement. Of course, battery life also depends on the local climate, driving patterns and other factors. Still, it’s best to remind motorists that it never hurts to get a battery test and inspection to help ensure they won’t be left stranded at a gas station off exit 37 in Timbuktu.

5. Wrap It All Up in a Road Trip Bundle

What if your customers don’t know what pre-travel auto maintenance their vehicle may be missing? That’s where your service advisors come in with expertise, recommendations and even a nifty road trip bundle!

Packaging an array of worthwhile summer auto care procedures into an affordable bundle can make it easier for your customers to decide on important car maintenance. It could also bring in more summer business for your service lanes!

Consider bundling tire inspections, battery testing, oil changes, A/C checks and other auto care items together to help your customers and your service center traffic this summer.

For more tips, tricks and insights from the fusionZONE team, reach out online or by phone. We’re industry experts, so whether you want to brainstorm your next service special or need assistance with your website or digital marketing, we’ve got your back.

10 Tips to Increase Service Department Profitability

In last week’s fusionZONE blog post, we covered several ways to increase service profitability. This week, we’re diving deeper with even more tips to enhance your dealership’s fixed operations revenue.

If the challenges of 2020 and what’s followed have taught us all anything, it’s that nothing is certain. The auto industry faces unprecedented changes, including a shift to electrified and autonomous vehicles, as well as the digital-first age.
But few in the industry were expecting such challenges as supply shortages.

For many dealerships, fixed operations like their service department have become even more vital than ever. Most service centers produce roughly 50% of a dealership’s gross profit, and with recent shortages in new and used cars for sale, fixed ops have undoubtedly saved the day for some.

So, how can you ensure that you’re maximizing your service center’s profitability in 2021 and beyond? Here are 10 tips for doing just that!

  1. Increase upselling and lines per RO. It’s great to boost your total ROs or Repair Orders, but are you also trying to maximize the services per RO? Whether through upselling or creating bundles that customers can’t afford to pass up, there are many ways to improve in this area.
  2. Motivate your Service Advisors. Are you incentivizing your client-facing service staff to upsell or increase lines per RO? Consider weekly or monthly gift cards or bonuses to the Service Advisor that knocks it out of the park!
  3. Make your services visible online to local motorists. Depending on your market, you may be missing out on potential service center customers outside of your city or immediate area. By implementing effective SEO and targeting key serving cities around your dealership, you could attract drivers who are looking for a new service department for everything from routine maintenance to high-ticket repair work.
  4. Allow access to all of your services via your website. Are you promoting all of your top services online? Whether your auto service center is known for certain procedures or you’re looking to bring in more business for certain services like multi-point inspections or tire installation, you should make it clear what you offer through your website.
  5. Inform customers about your services through text and video content. You can educate drivers about your services and why it’s important to keep up on routine maintenance through online video and text content on your website. A customer may already know that it’s time for an oil change, but you could potentially upsell online by providing more details about other complementary maintenance you offer.
  6. Reach out to customers regularly. Utilize your customer email list, social media channels and text or SMS-based marketing to keep your customers in the loop of current promotions. Sometimes a simple reminder and a deal or coupon are all that it takes to get someone to make that overdue service appointment.
  7. Don’t forget about free marketing options. Have you updated your Google My Business and social media profiles and pages lately? There are plenty of free ways to keep your dealership’s service department top-of-mind for customers when it’s about time for a tune-up.
  8. Invest more of your marketing budget on fixed operations. It’s true that completely free marketing will only take you so far. If your dealership’s marketing budget is heavily focused on new and used car sales, consider simply shifting some of your marketing spend to the department that generates the most revenue. Or, you could increase your total budget to accommodate a greater focus on service center marketing.
  9. Promote customer loyalty through rewards. Since acquiring a new customer is five times more expensive than retaining an existing one, you’d better have a plan to keep your sales and service department customers around when it’s time for car repair or maintenance. A VIP loyalty program with rewards toward parts and service could help keep your current customers from ever looking elsewhere for oil changes or inspections.
  10. Encourage new and returning customers to convert. Lastly, your website’s service-related pages should be designed to encourage service appointment scheduling. Make it easy for customers to book a service visit, find your current offers and coupons and contact your service team with questions.

For more tips on how to increase the profitability of your service department and other fixed operations, turn to the team at fusionZONE. Reach out if you’d like assistance with enhancing your SEO, website or digital marketing initiatives.