Thu, 14 Mar 2013 17:44:00 EST
During the economic downturn, many car dealerships counteracted their slowing income by focusing on things that would set them apart from competition - things like the quality of customer service they provide. When the economy picked up and more sales and service followed, many also first invested those funds back into the business, improving their dealership facilities and service centers.
Sun, 06 Oct 2013 13:02:00 EST
It looks like those investments are paying off, as J.D. Power and Associates' latest Customer Service Index Study shows that overall consumer satisfaction with dealer service has increased to 797 (on a 1,000-point scale), up from 787 in 2012 and 29 points higher than the score in 2011. The study also finds that people are more satisfied with the service they get at dealerships compared to independent service providers, despite the much higher average out-of-pocket cost per visit ($118 vs. $44).
Note, however, that this study only looks at how people are treated by a dealer's service department during the first three years of ownership (the survey is based on responses from 91,000 owners and lessees of 2008 to 2012 model year vehicles), so we're talking about the experience had when bringing a car in for repair or maintenance work, most likely under warranty. In fact, maintenance work is increasing in share and accounted for 77 percent of service visits (up from 72 percent in 2012 and 63 percent in 2011). This helps explain why customer satisfaction has also risen, since a properly maintained car is one that's less likely to require a dealer visit for an unexpected repair.
American servicemen and women interested in a new vehicle from Chevrolet, Buick or GMC now have a bit more incentive to head down to their local dealer, as General Motors has announced plans to improve its military discount program.
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:15:00 EST
The new GM Military Discount Program offers eligible consumers a new Chevy, Buick or GMC at invoice pricing, which in some cases can take very large chunks out of a car's retail price. When factored in with other incentives, most of which are available with the Military Discount, the bargains are thick on the ground for members of the US armed forces.
GM's Retail Sales and Marketing Support general manager, Chuck Thomson, said, "GM has long supported the military and military families, and we hope this simplified and enhanced discount will show our appreciation for their service and help make it easier for them to own one of our great new vehicles." The program is open to all active duty and reserve members in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard, as well as veterans that have been out of the service for less than a year. Military retirees and their spouses are also eligible for the discount.
There is no doubting that fuel economy has become an important factor in the highly competitive fullsize truck market, with the Ford F-150 EcoBoost V6 and Pentastar V6-powered Ram 1500 setting quite a precedent in recent years. Now it's General Motors' turn. The General has just announced that the new base V6 used in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 models will return an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway in two-wheel drive trim, regardless of cab configuration.
While these figures don't go so far as to earn GM any "best-in-class" fuel economy claims (thanks to the 25-mpg Ram 1500 HFE), this new 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 does edge the F-150 and Toyota Tundra while boasting best-in-class numbers for torque, payload and towing capacity among six-cylinder rivals. This all-new engine produces 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, and it gives the 2014 Silverado and Sierra the highest towing rating among standard V6 models with a 7,200-pound towing capacity - besting the Ram by 700 pounds, the base F-150 by 1,100 pounds and coming within 200 pounds of the V8-powered Nissan Titan. Scroll down for the official press releases from Chevrolet and GMC.