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As Chrysler moves ahead with its "consolidation strategy" (a.k.a. Project Genesis), it's apparently had enough foresight to realize that shutting down dealerships seriously handicaps your ability to service your customers. According to Steven Landry, Chrysler executive vice president of North American sales, the company's solution will be "stand-alone service stores" -- it is easiest to think of them as dealerships that have closed, but the service department still remains open.

While the first stand-alone service store is still about two years from opening its doors, Chrysler is in active talks with a handful of other retailers about the strategy with customer service as their goal. "If we all of a sudden go from 80 stalls to 40 stalls we don't want to do our customers a disservice," says Landry. "You need to have the right number of stalls." Funny, any woman at a professional sporting event could have told you that.

[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Kinda like the Commissaries/PX/BXs staying open on closed us military bases.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford is doing this as well I think. We just got a mailer from our dealer about it, but I cannot remember the name.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Standalone service centers are quite common in some Asian countries, they are also known as "Authorized service centers" to differentiate them from some shade tree mechanics posing as service center for a particular automaker. Seems like a good idea to emulate in the US as they tend to be often cheaper than a dealership.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wooohooo, now make it that I can get a car delivered to my nearest service center so I don't have to pay the large markup by the dealership, only a small fee to keep the service center running.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is probably a great idea from a profitability standpoint as well. Many dealers actually lose money on new car sales and only turn a profit because of the revenues drawn in by the service and parts departments.

      Consolidate the weaker profit generation function into the larger dealerships that can actually make money selling cars, and maintain a network of small, profitable service centers without the burden of new car franchises? Seems like a good idea for Chrysler.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Coming up with a good business plan (not ripping people off) will help - GM/Goodwrench (Ontario anyway) is making huge pushes in the media to show they are just as competitive as any shop. A similar strat. will do wonders.

        I don't think most people mind paying for quality service - but it has to be just that. Quality, reliable and not being hosed.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Chrysler: Build better autos and you wont need as many serivce centers period. One local dearler here is now charging $120.00 per hour for shop labour. At those rates they will be doing only warranty work.