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Tim Dahle Nissan: Fixed Ops | DrivingSales News

Part 1: Tim Dahle Nissan Sees Benefit Focusing On Fixed Ops

June 25, 2015 0 Comments

“Fixed ops, service and parts makes it possible to take away some of the risk of owning a dealership.” Those are the words of the dealership Managing Partner, Tyler Slade, who alludes to the subject at hand: fixed ops.

We recently stopped by Tim Dahle Southtowne Nissan in South Jordan, Utah to find out how a progressive store has grown their fixed operations at their brand new facility. They’ve only been in their building for six months, thus this is a great opportunity to speak to the fixed ops director, service manager and Managing Partner about how they’ve been so successful in growing their fixed ops business.

Tim Dahle Nissan moved into their facility in January of this year and since that time has experienced 20 percent growth month-over-month in fixed ops. They’ve been able to achieve this through their service and parts processes, their marketing and culture. Slade explained that part of that growth has been due to an investment in fixed ops.

Slade told DrivingSales News, “The more money, the more assets, the more time you spend in growing your service and parts business, the more stable your dealership is. For us, it’s like hey, that is the key. It is the key cause sales, we know, is variable. It’s going to go up and down. When its up and you have sales rocking and rolling, life is really good. But if its down and you have a strong fixed ops, life is still good.”

Certainly all dealers want life to be the type of “good” that Slade describes. One way to do that is to compete with the competitors of the automotive repair world such as Jiffy Lube.

Slade talked about the cost of dealership repairs saying, “the perception is that if I go to the dealership this is going to cost me twice as much. It’s not true. It’s not true. But we have to work with the customers to help them understand that its not, it’s actually in many cases less than going to a Jiffy lube or what not.”

Another move that Tim Dahle Nissan has made in order to compete with the Jiffy Lubes’ of the world is to offer extended service center hours. “Our hours are probably more than most of the surrounding Nissan dealers near us,” Mark Tuttle Service Manager at Tim Dahle Nissan explained, “We’re open a full day, from seven o’clock in the morning to eight o’clock at night. Part of that extension into those evening hours has allowed us to bring a little bit more a convenience factor to our customers where not everybody can get here during the day. We quickly learned the need for a Saturday service and we’re open a full day from eight o’clock in the morning till five o’clock in the evening.”

Once that customer drives away from the store on a test drive the hope is that they will not only purchase the vehicle but also return for fixed ops repairs. For both parts and service and purchase customers, Tim Dahle opens up usage of their car wash in hopes that customers will return because they feel comfortable.

Slade explained, “Having the free car washes for all the customers of Tim Dahle, it’s like OK, yeah that costs you money, but I’m after customers coming back and feeling comfortable at this lot because when they need a car we’re going to be on their shopping list and when they need to fix their car they’re going to think of us.”

Another reason that customers may think of Tim Dahle Nissan is because they are planning a “tire hotel.” Customers will be able to store winter or summer tires at their dealership at no cost. “A lot of these people don’t have the capacity to store four tires in their garage,” Josh Worthington, Fixed Ops Director at Tim Dahle explained. “What we’ve done is that we’ve put the shelving in so that we can store these customers tires for them. When they come in summer we’ll put their tires back on, when they come in winter, we’ll put their winter tires back on.”

The question on your mind might be, what kind of results is this store seeing with their commitment to fixed ops? According to Worthington, the results have been excellent. Josh explained, “Since we’ve moved in here we’ve averaged 20-25 percent increase in fixed ops per month.” Worthington also added that he personally practices data mining to find repeat business. Worthington spoke about this facet of his duties, when he said, “I’ll go in and data mine every month. I’ll go in and look at my database and say OK these 528 customers, one visit and they’re considered retained to Nissan so I’m going to be a little more aggressive with those 528 customers than I am with the other 10,000.”

If you liked what you saw and or read, we have good news for you, this is only the beginning. Coming up in Part II of our Tim Dahle Nissan series, we explore their news state-of-the-art building.

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

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