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Old 01-13-2008, 10:53 PM   #1
XDCX
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Default How difficult is it to find new technicians?

The Auto Industry is in the midst of some major changes. Some franchises are experiencing over a decade of vehicle sales growth while others are experiencing record low market share.

The purpose of this post will be to survey the Service Managers to determine how difficult it is for them to find new technicians?

The survey will be posted in each franchise group in an effort to determine whether it's easier to find technicians for some franchises than for others. As an example, is it harder to find a Toyota Technician because the brand has experienced so much growth? Or, is it easier to find a Toyota Technician because of the popularity of the brand?

So, here's the question for the Service Managers: How difficult is it for you to find new technicians?

Please take a moment and post your thoughts. It will be interesting to determine if there are any trends based on franchise or location.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:51 PM   #2
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I can't speak for our service manager, however I do know that our dealership sees a new technician added every couple of months. It doesn't seem to be too difficult to find new technicians, however finding ones that are a good fit and want to stick around seems to be the challenge. I have been there for the last year and a half, and since my arrival i have seen 5 or 6 guys start then either quit or get fired because they weren't right for the brand or the learning curve that comes with it.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:24 PM   #3
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The last time I was in Alaska, the north slope oil fields were stealing all of the technicians because those positions paid at least $10 to $15 more per hour. For those dealerships in Anchorage, it was nearly impossible to find a good tech without offering at least $35 to $45 an hour. Those Service Managers kissed the rings of their technicians on a daily basis.
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:42 AM   #4
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Hahaha, if it werent Alaska, that wouldn't sound so bad. The disparity between construction trade and Automotive may not be as wide in Canada, but there is still a difference. I started off in the construction industry before getting into automotive, and I took a loss in doing so. Apprentice technicians start in the $12-15 Range, and thats with an expectation of having some base knowledge or having taken a 10month full time Foundations course. The construction job I came from started guys with no experience at $18/h. Within 3 years I'd moved from that to $26/h plus new company truck and gas card...
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:40 PM   #5
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I once worked for a BMW/Land Rover/Jag/Mini/Buick dealership as a technician and when GM took the Buick franchise back, thus eliminating our service department, I was tentatively offered a position on the BMW side working on those cars, but it was rescinded once they found out they'd have to send me to New Jersey on their dime to get "certified" to do warranty work. I guess that suggests I failed the cost/benefit comparison, but I got the last laugh on that one. That is a story for another day.

Apparently their business model is to hire kids straight out of trade school who are balls-deep in student loan debt. About a third of the kids stick around, and it takes around 6 months to a year before the sharper ones really start to be productive. It is a tough business for anyone to get into, that is for sure...

As far as pay goes, they were doing OK over on the BMW side, but considering what the dealership charged per hour for labor rates ($125/hr) and the education required, it wasn't that great.

Last edited by mr4t60e; 03-08-2011 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:24 PM   #6
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Things are different north of the border, as all the dealers are reimbursed for the cost of sending staff for training, as long as the technicians have completed the online segment of their training prior to the start of classes. We also have split the country into 3 zones, west, central, east, so that the distances from training centers is reduced.

You are right in saying that it takes about a year before guys become productive, however that applies to any tech that's new to the product. Benz is our only real similar crossover, but Licenced technicians that have been in the trade for years and years still face a steep learning curve. I was just in training with a guy that was fresh over from GM saying they are just starting to see BUS communication systems in GMs, maybe 1 or 2 in a vehicle... You should have seen the look on his face when hearing that we use 17 different BUS systems in our vehicles.... Priceless.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutDrive.ca View Post
Things are different north of the border, as all the dealers are reimbursed for the cost of sending staff for training, as long as the technicians have completed the online segment of their training prior to the start of classes.
That's interesting, can you share more details?

In the U.S., most OEMS provide free technical training but the dealers have to pay for the technician's food, transportation, lodging and lost wages. What expenses would an OEM in Canada be willing to cover?
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:49 AM   #8
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As far as i know, the cost of travel, lodging, and food during the day (not including dinners after training has ended) are all covered by BMW... or at least that's the impression I'm given. when technicians go out of town on travel the travel arrangements and hotels are all arranged by head office, not at the dealership level.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutDrive.ca View Post
As far as i know, the cost of travel, lodging, and food during the day (not including dinners after training has ended) are all covered by BMW... or at least that's the impression I'm given. when technicians go out of town on travel the travel arrangements and hotels are all arranged by head office, not at the dealership level.
Thanks for the update - that's interesting.

I wonder if the BMW stores in the U.S. handle training the same way?
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