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.