Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cars Guide Confidential - Twit­ter: @JoshuaDowl­ing

CAR ser­vic­ing has be­come the new bat­tle­ground for the auto in­dus­try.

As mod­ern cars get safer and dif­fer­ences in tech­nol­ogy be­tween the big brands lessen, all that’s left to win buy­ers is the “cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence”.

Per­haps we shouldn’t be ap­plaud­ing this new­found in­ter­est in cus­tomer care (shouldn’t this have been hap­pen­ing all along?) but nev­er­the­less it’s wel­come.

Ford, mod­el­ling its show­room and ser­vice drive­way ex­pe­ri­ence on Ap­ple stores, last week an­nounced free loan cars for ser­vice cus­tomers.

This week Holden an­nounced capped price ser­vic­ing on ev­ery model since 1948.

Mean­while, the ACCC has taken an in­ter­est in ser­vic­ing costs af­ter find­ing cer­tain Kia deal­ers hadn’t capped the price.

Some deal­ers across all brands have be­come ac­cus­tomed to “up­selling” ser­vice items be­yond what is on the rate card.

Ser­vice and parts — not car sales — make up most dealer profit.

Kia wasn’t fined as it acted quickly. But the ACCC is now look­ing at all brands. We wel­come the move. The ACCC might want to start with brands that don’t in­clude all ser­vice items on their menu pric­ing. Some brands split other fixed el­e­ments of the ser­vice in an­other ta­ble to dis­guise the true cost. Surely that’s not help­ing cus­tomers.

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