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Discussion Starter #1
read this {paragraph 2} What if they were to return to this as a business model? Would this improve matters?

For the record I think this has real merit - it's simple, reactive, brings back accountability. Please discuss.
 

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I'm afraid to say I think the world has moved on a lot since those times and there are infrastructures in place that would make a return to that model very difficult.
I remember when young going to the local garage in my village when the Hillman Imp was released. They explained you could get the engine out in 20 minutes.. and promptly did just that. Imagine that now?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Why are you reading old Datsun adverts...? :)

Ralf S.
Ah. Soft spot for old Datsuns as I grew up with them. Was looking for an old Bluebird 910 SSS Hardtop while also drooling over the old Skyline 240K GT
 
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in order to make a manufacturer truly responsible the outlet would be owned by the manufacturer.....

Franchising is where it goes wrong IMO, the franchisee is only interested in making money, i know that's why they are in business but the Marque comes a distant second, with customer service coming in last........

I know businesses are in it to make money, but i still reckon it would be possible to make money and still be professional about the marque and offer high levels of customer satisfaction
 

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Yeas... it doesn't seem too unobtainable, does it?

I reckon you can buy a reasonable size plot on a trading estate and stick a showroom on it for circa £2 million... Multiply that by 100 dealers = £200 Million for your very own completely controlled dealer network (or part).

They don't need to even do it all at once.. one or two here and there as the cash allows.. You can start in the areas where there's no (or no "good") dealer coverage and gradually build up the coverage until you have complemented the existing dealers that you want to keep.

You'd have no problems with consistent "message" or "dealer experience" and you can shuffle your staff and stock around to where you need them.

Apart from having to find £200M (not a huuuuge amount by car industry standards?) I can't see the problem with it.


Ralf S.
 

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I agree that franchising introduces the sort of problems that we see in many car dealerships.

The problem is that the management mantra of "focus on what you do best" has caused many companies (not just motor manufacturers) to withdraw from the "customer support" end of their business and concentrate on manufacturing only, hence the feeling from many consumers that they've been abandoned once they've got their product/service.

The customer end of most businesses is both the most difficult to manage/execute AND the most critical for your success. Seems strange then that consistent management text book focus over the last 30 years has been on trying to get out of that end of the business.

Car makers, utilities, financial services - They all do it. They believe that they are responsible for manufacture and supply and that the "people end" of the business isn't their "core function" so they can hand that off to someone else who SUPPOSEDLY excels in that work.....

It's a flawed model. We all know that now - call centres, franchised "dealerships", contracted out support services - they all continue to **** off customers and provide poor customer experience. The cycle will turn (slowly) and the management mantra will start to preach about "owning your customer experience" and someday people will look back and laugh at the business model whereby companies spent billions on product development and design, and then expected a ten bob outfit to sell it, maintain it and support it....

We're starting to see it now - some companies advertising "UK call centres" is the first step in recognizing the problem.

Maybe one large scale auto maker could get "first mover advantage" in pioneering their own version of this?

(btw Aston Martin still provide "Works Service" if you prefer to have your car maintained directly by them as manufacturer rather than through their franchised dealer or independent specialist network. It's frighteningly expensive to use, but people still use it for exactly the sort of reasons above and cars that are maintained there carry a big premium on the used market)
 
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