Carlisle & Company is a consulting and research firm specializing in motor vehicle aftersales that conducts a number of comprehensive dealership benchmarking surveys.
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Michael Sachs, a partner at the company, spoke to Aftermarket Business World about some of the company's findings relative to dealership technician staffing.
What are the general trends when it comes to technician staffing levels among dealerships?
For the last four years, most companies are increasing. What is interesting is that the brands that already have larger than average dealer staffs are also the ones that are growing their technician count. It's mixed, but generally the ones that have the largest presence are typically increasing fairly steadily.
What are the factors contributing to technician staffing level growth?
Some companies downsized their networks during the downturn, so they are in the process of adding technicians. In general, this is a result of selling 17 million-plus cars per year. Many of these dealerships are playing catch up. The dealers are seeing more vehicles in the first three to five years, so the most recent three to five years of production is driving a lot of this.
What are the average dealership labor rates for technicians?
Looking at customer pay only, I'd say most dealers are at roughly $100-plus on the luxury side, and between $90 and $100 for non-luxury. There's not a lot of variation.
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