Current challenges for after-sales
The brand network of workshops is designed to ensure that servicing and repair work can be completed and the parts and accessories business operated as part of after-sales. In 2014, the service business once again recorded good growth. The number of workshop hours and motor parts sold has taken a good upward trend over the past few years. The after-sales business is not directly affected by the volatility of new and used car business and has therefore recorded stable business volume as a result of the continuous demand on the part of customers for servicing work. The after-sales business is more affected by medium-term changes and is therefore a sort of stability factor within the automotive industry as a whole. According to the DAT report for 2015, workshop business is still a major source of revenues for motor businesses. The annual costs of servicing work, the rectification of signs of wear, repairs and accident damage has now reached a level of over 37 billion euros. A stable situation at a high level is expected in service business for 2015.
The increase in the intensity of competition in after-sales cannot be ignored. Vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, the parts trade and workshops make a valuable contribution to creating attractive market conditions for automotive customers with their innovative offerings. The amount of servicing work required for many new vehicle models continues to fall since servicing intervals are stretching. This may mean a further fall in revenues for workshops. The ever-greater use of electronics also means increased complexity in automotive engineering, which means that owners can carry out less and less servicing work themselves.
The sustained marketing of cars and commercials by manufacturers can only succeed if there is a nationwide and competent service organization for servicing and repairing those vehicles. The service organization continues to supply a comprehensive range of spare parts that must work correctly as soon as new models are launched on to the market. Buying a car often results in customers considering whether the dealership making the sale will also be a reliable service partner. In many cases, the workshop services of a dealership will result in a new purchase from the business of the same brand.
After-sales service remains a “round the clock” requirement for commercial vehicles with nationwide coverage essential. The strategies that have been adopted by manufacturers of commercial vehicles therefore include 24-hour service, extended warranties, full-service leasing, a range of service packages and also telematic services. The aim is to create customer loyalty for the entire life cycle of the vehicle, which must remain functional at all times for forwarding contractors as it represents their main investment.