Your inside look into the world of car repair and Volkswagen Dealer service

Next week my dealership will be adding a “Quick Lube” team. The team will actually be called our Service Express team. The idea behind the Service Express team will be to provide another option for customers to get their cars serviced.

The way my dealership works now is, 90% by appointment. Basically, you would call and talk to a service advisor, schedule a time and date to bring your car in for whatever it needs. They do leave some open times for a limited amount of walk-ins, or emergencies.

The Service Express team will be another option. Customers will be able to walk-in and get an oil change, a bulb replaced, or wipers changed. They will be a dedicated team that will ONLY do that type of stuff. The team will have 2 service advisors, and 4 or 5 mechanics(not sure if that is what they will be called but they work on cars, so I am cool with it).  VW has a full training program for this team. They will have a strict routine to follow to be sure every car is done the right way in around 30 minutes.

I think it will be a good thing overall for our customers. It will give a lot more flexibility for customers to get their cars serviced. It will also help us compete with the Jiffy Service type places. Our prices are better, now the service can be more convenient.

The talk around the shop however is on the negative side. When you tell mechanics that the dealer is adding more people, most see only 1 thing. They see work being taken from them and given to someone else. Our pay plan is similar to a commission based plan(post about that coming soon). So more mechanics means the work is spread out between more guys. To be honest, they are right. Even doing an oil change pays more that not doing anything.

My thinking is slightly different. It is not that I breathe the “corporate air” that comes along with programs like this, it is more about the bigger picture. The advisors have a habit of not taking walk-in customers(side note, there is not many things that piss me off more than that). Any work that the Service Express team sells, other than bulbs ect, will be divided out to the shop. More cars in the shop will equal more work for everyone. I also think the advisors will not want to give work up to the Service Express team. They will find a way to help customers that they “could not” find before.

If the quality of their work is as good as ours, I think it will be a great thing. What do you guys think?

  • Does having a “Quick Lube” style option work better for you?
  • Would you feel like the service would not be as good as a certified VW mechanic?
  • Do you think the price should be the same VW mechanic VS non VW mechanic?

Post your thoughts in the comments, I am really curious to see what everyone thinks

11 replies
  1. Brett
    Brett says:

    I’m not a VW owner, but this seems like a great idea to me. If the service at the dealership can be a better price and just as quick as the service at a quick stop oil change place, I would much rather have the dealership take care of my car with their specially trained mechanics. If the Service Express team does stick to minor maintenance jobs, I also think you’re right that it’s likely to increase the amount of work the rest of the shop sees, or at the very least not take work from you guys.

    Reply
  2. Jer
    Jer says:

    I think it’s a great way for the dealer to pull in business that they might not otherwise get. In turn possibly giving the certified mechanics more work if the larger jobs are seen needed from the express team. I agree that if I didn’t change my own oil when it’s not already included with my service intervals I would be far more likely to use the dealer over the quick lube across the street. Heck, I might have to try it out. Those of us that don’t trust your every day jiffy shop would be much more likely to utilize something like this. Cool stuff.

    Reply
  3. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    I think it sounds like a good idea, more business is more money available for everyone, so long as they keep the same standards….

    will your regular customers still be able to have small jobs like an oil change done by the one they trust? or do they have to go to the “quick lube”?

    Reply
    • Humble Mechanic
      Humble Mechanic says:

      Thanks for the comment Stephen! The Service Express team will only handle walk in customers.

      If you have someone that you want to work on your car, you can make an appointment and request them.

      All the feedback has been really great. I am starting to look forward to how this program will go.

      Reply
  4. Jeremy Bechtold
    Jeremy Bechtold says:

    I think it’s a good thing… my dealership doesn’t get my oil change business (though I usually do it myself in recent years) strictly because of the time it takes to do anything, even with an appt. I’ve had an appt for a state inspection take over two hours when the car was exempt from checking certain things due to low mileage on the year, AND I was waiting. that is not acceptable. perhaps it was because I request a certain tech do all my work when there, but to be fair, he’s the reason I started going there in the first place. it’s not exactly close (well, there are two others closer), but I trust him, and he hooks me up with extra work on weekends to save me some cash. to know that I could go to a vw shop, get certified techs even just doing oil changes, using genuine parts, I think I might like it.

    and to you point about other techs being concerned about losing work, chances are it will increase their workload. I cannot imagine and place not doing a courtesy inspection when checking oil, changing blades, etc… and everyone know that always leads to upsell opportunities. if those people weren’t coming there for an oil change, then midas/jiffymonkeys/etc would get the opp to do your soon-to-be-critical brake pads, traces of fluid leaks, etc… just because they can, and they’re already there anyway.

    Reply
  5. Marshall
    Marshall says:

    I think its a good idea, especially for those customers who just want an oil change or a bulb replaced. I know Honda has what they call Express Lane. Had used several times especially when all I needed was my scheduled oil change. IN & OUT in 45 mins. That was great for me especially if you’re on your lunch break. I wouldn’t trust Jiffy Lube for anything. Had two horrible experiences with them. Never again.

    Reply
    • Humble Mechanic
      Humble Mechanic says:

      Yeah, I have seen some bad things from Jiffy Lube. Mostly transmission fluid drained, and double filled engine oil.
      Its working pretty well so far. I agree that it will be a great thing when in full swing.

      Our Honda store does it too. The must service a million cars a month. VWs are a little trickier than Hondas, but the service is cool!

      Reply
  6. Jason Weidner
    Jason Weidner says:

    I’ve worked at tires plus, Walmart, and Ryan Chevrolet in Minnesota. In all honesty, even having to wait, I trust an A.S.E. certified mechanic over a trained lube or tire technician. I’ve never personally had any quick change problems but, while working at wm, our service advisor wanted us to lie about screwing up a car we forgot to put the drain plug back in. I was not working that day, however I disagreed to take any part in not taking blame as we screwed it up, we should be responsible, it’s the right thing to do, yet, I was demoted to produce, lesser pay, as I was there longer than my service advisor. I goto quick lane with the ford and gm for my truck. Never an issue, no up selling unless it actually needs it also. Just my .02$

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] 2012 by Humble Mechanic Yesterday my serivce manager asked me for some help. He said that the Service Express guys needed some practice, and wanted to know if they could use my Passat. I was not really due for […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.