New COVID-19 programs focus on service departments


Two new auto service programs are now available to help dealers during the COVID-19 pandemic, one providing data on closed repair order volume, which could help new-car dealerships understand and respond to changes in demand for vehicle maintenance and repairs.

DriveSure is a customer retention product designed for new car dealerships, and it has compiled data on closed repair order volume.

The data is a seven-day moving average of the weekly number of closed repair orders per dealership.

It is a compilation of nearly 100 U.S. new-car dealerships. Updated daily, the data is meant to help dealership general managers and service directors understand rapid market changes.

DriveSure says that on average since late February, reporting dealerships have shown a 40% drop in closed repair orders.

“This is a time of uncertainty for all of us,” DriveSure president Bill Springer said in a news release.

Springer continued, “We are sharing this aggregated information to help dealerships get some clear answers and be able to make decisions based on trends they are seeing relative to other dealerships throughout the United States.”

DriveSure will also offer and curate tips for minimizing the long-term negative effects on fixed operations.

“We know dealerships will be relying heavily on service revenue as vehicle sales sharply decline,” Springer said.

Springer continued, “This information will give decision makers an opportunity to stay ahead of changes to service demand as much as they can and come out strong on the other side.”

In other news, CarAdvise, which describes itself as “the nation’s largest consumer fleet,” has launched No Contact Car Care, which is an expansion of its digital technology in response to COVID-19.

CarAdvise designed No Contact Car Care to protect people still relying on their vehicle for essential goods and services.

The company said many of its customers are gig economy workers such as shoppers and others in areas such as rideshare and delivery.

“Their current role is absolutely critical during this pandemic as they have been instrumental in maintaining the supply chain and supporting the economy,” CarShare writes.

The company describes No Contact Car Care as an automated, digital process.

During that process, the user schedules, approves services and pays all from his or her smartphone. The process requires no human interaction.

CarAdvise says that with No Contact Car Care, consumers and automotive service center employees can maintain a high level of safety and operate under governmental distinction as an essential business.

The company features a network of more than 20,000 shops nationwide.

It is working with each national brand, franchise location and independent shop to adopt and become certified in No Contact Car Care.

CarAdvise says it designed the effort to exceed CDC and local safety guidelines “because it removes human interaction entirely.”

The company says No Contact Car Care is a fully digitized avenue that promotes social distancing beyond the recommended six feet.

CarAdvise customers take the following steps:

— Schedule service online through CarAdvise.

— Drop keys at the counter or dropbox at the shop.

— Electronically approve and pay for services.

— Pick up the vehicle upon completion of service, with no direct human interaction.

CarAdvise electronically stores all receipts in the CarAdvise dashboard. That requires no signing or receiving a paper receipt.

“Now is a time for not just every company in the automotive industry to unite, but also for every citizen in the United States to do their part to ensure we do everything we can to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” said CarAdvise founder and chief executive officer Greg Tepas.

Tepas continued, “No Contact Car Care is our way of helping protect those who are continuing to provide crucial supply chain services to every American, as well as those who help keep those drivers on the road by servicing their vehicles.”

CarAdvise has also pledged to donate $1 for every No Contact Car Care service performed now until Dec. 31. That is an effort to help COVID-19 victims. The company will also allocate the funding toward the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Response Fund. CarAdvise said it has asked additional industry leaders to join in and donate to the cause.

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