Take Advantage of the Silver LiningPosted 11/19/2007
By Aaron Clements, AAM, Chairman
I believe most clouds have a silver lining. However, when the words "super warranty" come up, most independent automotive repair facilities have a hard time finding that silver lining.
Maybe we should look a little deeper, though. We may find it.
It is true that super warranties will take jobs away from independent shops, and I certainly won't sugarcoat that possibility. But is it not also true that most warranties require that the necessary maintenance items be performed? In addition, it is my understanding that any independent repair facility that uses original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts - or parts that meet or exceed OEM specifications - can perform the needed maintenance or repairs. The work should be well documented, including part numbers and descriptions of items such as special fluids or parts.
Now, because it is our job to serve the consumer, we should let them know that because of the longer warranties, all maintenance should be performed and documented to protect that warranty. And if you are one of those many shops that use parts that meet or exceed OEM specifications, you should let consumers know you are able to perform those services for them. Furthermore, many consumers may thank you for helping them to keep the warranty in effect.
Let me be clear. I'm not for super warranties. But, if there is a silver lining to be found in these seemingly dark clouds, I want our industry - especially my ASA colleagues - to take advantage of it.
Of course, with some vehicles there may still be a downside - even if the owner brings the car to you for all of the normal repairs and maintenance. You may not get that engine or transmission job when it hits 150,000 to 200,000 miles. I can live with that, how about you?
Some of you may be reading this issue of AutoInc. upon returning from ASA's NACE and CARS shows. If so, I hope we had the chance to meet! If not, the shows keep getting better and better, and I hope you will make plans now to attend in 2008. You won't regret it!
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