At the beginning of 2010 about 60 percent of Chrysler dealers were open on Saturdays, but as 2010 comes to a close that number now sits at 69 percent. So what's driving the move towards the six day work week? Autoweek reports that Chrysler corporate has been on the soap box extolling the virtues of working Saturdays; a move that could drive profits for dealers, more money for technicians and a bit more profit for Team Pentastar's Mopar parts unit.

Chrysler helped dealers see things their way by directing employees to travel on Saturdays around the area of the dealership with cameras, taking pictures of Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Chrysler vehicles on competitor lifts. And many of those customers don't stop at oil changes; instead opting for fresh filters, fluid flushes, alignments and more. Brent Locey at Courtesy Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge in Grand Rapids, MI told AW that Saturday service didn't work when he last tried it five years ago, but only two months after reconsidering the idea he's averaging about 55 vehicles a day, or about 70 percent of the typical weekday. The key, he says, is support from corporate and proper staffing. And dealers have found that about one third of those customers get more than an oil change, further boosting the dealer's bottom line while also padding the pockets of Mopar.

In a perfect world every technician would get the weekend off. But with many Chrysler dealers happy to have survived the company's retail store downsizing and others fighting through a prolonged auto sales slump, we're thinking that it's tougher than ever to pass on a chance to make a buck.

[Source: Autoweek | Image: Karin Zeitvogel/AFP/Getty]

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