Peter Sweatman is director of the University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center (MTC), which conducted a July grand opening ceremony for its Mcity project, a public/private partnership that aims to speed along development and widespread adaptation of connected and automated vehicles.
Lang Marketing Resources issued an update on service bay trends, noting that even though millions of additional cars and light trucks have hit the road over the past 10 years, the light vehicle service bay population shrank by 36,000.
The Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI), an association of automotive tool and equipment manufacturers, technical information providers and training organizations, is moving its global headquarters from Illinois to Michigan to strengthen its ties to global automakers.
In January the organization released its More American Than Ever 2014-2015 contributions report detailing the continued growth and involvement of Japanese-branded autos in the U.S., covering production, investment, jobs, sales, exports and alternative-powered/environmentally friendly vehicles while offering a window into the increasing U.S. presence of Japanese autos.
Foresight Research published the results of its Channel Immersion and Perspective Study (CHIPS), which includes data on automotive accessories. Previous accessory sales research has shown that while customer spend on accessories is increasing, dealerships have only recently targeted the market as a potential source of new revenues.
UPS has one of the largest private fleets of compressed natural gas vehicles in the U.S., with more than 1,100 CNG package delivery vehicles on the road. The company recently announced that it is increasing its CNG fleet by 1,400 units, which is a 30 percent increase of UPS’ entire fleet of 5,088 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.
After a $500,000 expansion that added a new dedicated quick service building (along with new tablet computers for service advisors and buzzers for customers), Texas-based Greg May Honda saw a 9 percent increase in customer pay repair orders in three months and a jump in customer satisfaction scores of 4 percentage points.
Crown Point Honda of Southpoint in Durham, N.C., offers a unique after-hours service guarantee. The dealership allows customers to drop off vehicles for routine service as late as 9 p.m. during the week and pick up their vehicles the next day by 7 a.m., or the service is free.
In 2014 the full-service Motorcars automotive network established its Motorcars Mobility Sales & Service center to accommodate the needs of disabled drivers requiring specialized vehicles, repairs and maintenance. General Manager Ken Rainey recently answered a series of questions about the conversion process and how the marketing mix was implemented.
Although a tentative agreement has been reached to settle a slowdown at 29 U.S. West Coast shipping ports, UPS is projecting that it will take up to five months before wharf operations return to normal levels.
Automotive marketing firm DMEautomotive has released an analysis of overflow and after-hours service calls at 172 dealerships that found service departments were missing out on significant customer opportunities by mishandling these calls.
The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) has ramped-up the content of its website to provide heightened levels of information about proper on-the-job procedures, equipment performance and vendor certification standards.
Telematics continues to be the most discussed topic at most industry meetings that I attend. There are a variety of initiatives currently in play, both in trying to work with the OEMs to give the aftermarket access to the information the built-in telematics devices can access and third parties utilizing the OBD2 port to install their own telematics devices.
Timken's Demand Insight leverages sales and industry data to improve forecasts and reduce costs. Timken's catalog team matches parts and vehicles, and combines that information with vehicle registration and replacement/failure rates, along with internal sales data.