Some dealer groups are investing to add capacity and efficiency as times remain good.

Number 1 Cochran Automotive in Monroeville, Pa., near Pittsburgh, is adding 27,000 square feet to its existing wholesale parts distribution center, CEO Rob Cochran said.

The dealership group centralized its wholesale parts business about five years ago, in part to support its own body repair business, Cochran said. As the collision business grew and attracted more sales from independent body shops, the aftermarket operation outgrew the space.

The parts wholesale business has an annual turnover of about $45 million, he said. The group expects the business to reach $65-70 million with more space.

“It’s going to put us in a position to really expand and grow this wholesale parts business,” Cochran said.

Beyer Auto Group in Virginia was able to add two hours of evening service at most of its stores after offering technicians the option of working four 10-hour days, rather than eight-hour Monday-Friday shifts, Patrick said. Brooke, Director of Fixed Operations. This change has been in place for about a year, allowing the group to support an additional 180 to 200 repair orders per month.

The group, which sells Kia, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo vehicles at five locations, has also stepped up efforts to call customers who have not been in service for several months or who have declined a prior service. He hired a company to handle calls and schedule appointments after hours and during peak periods, which made that process more efficient, Brooke said.


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