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Last month, in an effort to maximize recall completion percentages, FCA US announced that it would offer $100 gift cards, or extra trade incentives, to owners of recalled vehicles if they come in and get the work done. This is the perfect opportunity for FCA US dealers to piggyback on this OEM program to increase service revenue and capture more business. Undoubtedly, customers have experienced frustration in past attempts to get the recall work completed, simply due to lack of resources and parts availability, that’s if they were even aware of the recall in the first place. Now that the parts are readily available, these same customers are ripe for dealerships to reach out to.
However, to make the most of this opportunity, it helps to know that OEMs can only reach out to whatever owner they have listed in their databases for these recalled vehicles. Since some of these vehicles date back as far as 1993, chances are very good that these vehicles have switched hands at least once and are no longer with the original owner. It’s therefore very possible that the current owner has not been notified and is unaware of the recall. FCA US dealers would be wise to also make an effort to identify the current owners of these vehicles to identify eligibility for the $100 spiff. This could greatly increase the potential opportunity.
Another benefit that FCA US dealers should focus on is the increased trade value that FCA US will kick in for new vehicle purchases - up to $2,000 according to Automotive News. This double whammy presents opportunities to generate increased service revenue and also pick up additional sales. That customer with the 22 year old vehicle which has little value in a trade-in situation, could easily use that as a nice down payment -- rather than sell it privately for substantially less.
This program is a great opportunity for FCA US dealers. Those that act on it through an extensive outreach effort will undoubtedly benefit through increased business in both sales and service. Don’t delay -- every moment your dealership isn't contacting these consumers in your PMA is an opportunity for your competition to get a head start. There’s no better opportunity to gain new service and sales customers than when you can offer added value at no cost to your dealership, with the manufacturer footing the bill. Take advantage of this development and you will see that your efforts are well rewarded.