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Old 03-19-2015, 03:08 PM   #1
XDCX
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Default The Five Worst Brands for Service all under one roof....

Phil LeBeau from CNBC reports that the latest J.D. Powers Customer Service Index score has the five FCA brands ranked dead last. For a link to the full report - click here

Ironically, some pundits think Auburn Hill's Project Alpha is partially to blame. Having all five brands (or at least four) under one roof makes it hard for the Service and Parts Departments to have knowledgeable staff to cover the complete product line.

It will be interesting to see how Auburn Hills responds. Will FCA rehire the SGS mafia or have they learned from their last experience that the SGS initiative was a massive waste of resources?

Who knows, maybe if FCA had another 789 dealers in their network they'd be able to do a better job.
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:09 PM   #2
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[QUOTE Who knows, maybe if FCA had another 789 dealers in their network they'd be able to do a better job.[/QUOTE]

That would be a great place to start..

I would think each and everyone of the 789 would say that they were Chrysler people true to heart, possibly willing to forgive and forget what transpired to have a another shot at making the dream on both sides possible again.

It is a very inspiring thought for many to say the least :

Last edited by rd3311; 03-19-2015 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:29 PM   #3
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[QUOTE Who knows, maybe if FCA had another 789 dealers in their network they'd be able to do a better job.
That would be a great place to start..

I would think each and everyone of the 789 would say that they were Chrysler people true to heart, possibly willing to forgive and forget what transpired to have a another shot at making the dream on both sides possible again.

It is a very inspiring thought for many to say the least :[/QUOTE]

Like many, we were Jeep-Eagle people who learned to become Chrysler people... but still, I am not sure -- but I think Initial Quality and other measures were all higher with standalone stores pre-BK.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:24 AM   #4
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[QUOTE Who knows, maybe if FCA had another 789 dealers in their network they'd be able to do a better job.
Quote:
That would be a great place to start..

I would think each and everyone of the 789 would say that they were Chrysler people true to heart, possibly willing to forgive and forget what transpired to have a another shot at making the dream on both sides possible again.

It is a very inspiring thought for many to say the least :
Sadly, I'm quite certain the current FCA management team has long forgotten the OLDCO dealers and wouldn't give them much consideration even if FCA wanted to create an open point in their market.

I just made the comment about the 789 OLDCO cut in an effort to rebuke some of Auburn Hills' arrogance. There's no question that FCA has done well but that's not to say that all of their decisions have been smart and/or ethical.

Concerning the 789, that's an interesting question. I'm sure 100% of them wished what happened back in 2009 would have never happened but I'm not sure how many of them would want to be a franchisee of FCA in light of everything that happened.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:38 AM   #5
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Like many, we were Jeep-Eagle people who learned to become Chrysler people... but still, I am not sure -- but I think Initial Quality and other measures were all higher with standalone stores pre-BK.
I have mixed thoughts on the whole Project 2000/Project Alpha initiative.

Intellectually, the concept makes sense. Having all of the brands under one roof theoretically increases throughput which increases dealer profits which allows Chrysler to better compete in the market - e.g. better facilities, better people, better training, better advertising, etc.

Additionally, the concept is easy to sell since brands like Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota all do well by selling every segment of vehicle under one roof.

In actuality, however, most of the consolidations I've witnessed over the years resulted in Chrysler giving up market share. It wasn't a situation where 1 + 1 = 3, it was more of a 1 + 1 = 1.75.

In my opinion the Chrysler Dealer Network was optimized when they had full-line CJDR dealers in the rural markets with CJ and DR standalones in the metro markets.

Granted, it's water under the bridge, I just thought it was amusing that some pundits think Project Alpha is a contributing factor to Chrysler's poor customer service scores. As the old adage goes, "Be careful what you wish for..."
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:46 PM   #6
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[QUOTE Who knows, maybe if FCA had another 789 dealers in their network they'd be able to do a better job.
They might have even been able to learn something from the 789. Many of them were some of the longest tenured dealers and many had some of the highest CSI ratings in the country.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:33 PM   #7
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They might have even been able to learn something from the 789. Many of them were some of the longest tenured dealers and many had some of the highest CSI ratings in the country.
I remember in 1987 the zone managers wanted all dealers to re-sign franchise agreements waiving the right to sue Chrysler, and accept arbitration in lieu of using the court system to protect themselves (the dealers).

No one that had been around forever would sign the new agreements (example: older Chrysler dealers and the majority of the AMC dealers that were brought on board in 1987) because of this issue.

Older Chrysler Corp dealers that did have previous litigation with the factory and still had an old original agreement were tossed in the Chrysler bk.

It did not matter if they were profitable, debt free, or good CSI, MSR, Charger, Pacesetter whatever.. they were let go in the bk
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:13 AM   #8
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They might have even been able to learn something from the 789. Many of them were some of the longest tenured dealers and many had some of the highest CSI ratings in the country.
Great point.

I'd also bet that many of those OLDCO dealers who had the happiest/most loyal customers were not operating out of a state of the art facility. Proving, at least in my mind, that investing in fancy facilities isn't always the right approach for all markets.
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:49 AM   #9
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I have mixed thoughts on the whole Project 2000/Project Alpha initiative.

Intellectually, the concept makes sense. Having all of the brands under one roof theoretically increases throughput which increases dealer profits which allows Chrysler to better compete in the market - e.g. better facilities, better people, better training, better advertising, etc.

Additionally, the concept is easy to sell since brands like Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota all do well by selling every segment of vehicle under one roof.

In actuality, however, most of the consolidations I've witnessed over the years resulted in Chrysler giving up market share. It wasn't a situation where 1 + 1 = 3, it was more of a 1 + 1 = 1.75.

In my opinion the Chrysler Dealer Network was optimized when they had full-line CJDR dealers in the rural markets with CJ and DR standalones in the metro markets.

Granted, it's water under the bridge, I just thought it was amusing that some pundits think Project Alpha is a contributing factor to Chrysler's poor customer service scores. As the old adage goes, "Be careful what you wish for..."
I can't think of too many markets where the Alpha store does what the three separate stores did combined in 2009 and earlier.

I thought I saved more pre-BK sales results Excel files for the Great Lakes Business Center, but evidently I didn't or I can't find them...

If I ever find them, I'll do a comparison!
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:59 PM   #10
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Sadly, I'm quite certain the current FCA management team has long forgotten the OLDCO dealers and wouldn't give them much consideration even if FCA wanted to create an open point in their market.

I just made the comment about the 789 OLDCO cut in an effort to rebuke some of Auburn Hills' arrogance. There's no question that FCA has done well but that's not to say that all of their decisions have been smart and/or ethical.

Concerning the 789, that's an interesting question. I'm sure 100% of them wished what happened back in 2009 would have never happened but I'm not sure how many of them would want to be a franchisee of FCA in light of everything that happened.
These are business people. The hate is directed at the anointed one, everybody but he and "the Rat", can be forgiven, if the life of Humpty Dumpty can be put back together. They are not listening to us, gone on to private lives trying to change the TV Chanel from auto commercials. They have the strongest thumbs in the world and cross eyed wives😇!
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:40 AM   #11
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I can't think of too many markets where the Alpha store does what the three separate stores did combined in 2009 and earlier.

I thought I saved more pre-BK sales results Excel files for the Great Lakes Business Center, but evidently I didn't or I can't find them...

If I ever find them, I'll do a comparison!
I remember working in the Portland, OR market back in the 90s and Chrysler had three single point dealers Beaverton - a single point Dodge, a single point Chrysler/Plymouth and a single point Jeep dealer. All of the points were owned by different Dealer Principals and they were fiercely competitive. They all carried deep inventories, had top quality GMs and had Service and Parts Managers that knew the idiosyncrasies of each carline.

Chrysler Corporation sold a lot of vehicles in that market, had a strong physical presence and the Dealers all made good money.

Flash forward to current times and Project Genesis has been completed. Two of the three points now sell competitive vehicles and what was once the single point Jeep Dealer now houses all of the CJDR brands.

In the eyes of the public Chrysler's presence has been reduced by 67%. I believe the Jeep Dealer is still using the same facility which means the depth of inventory, both vehicles and parts, is no where near what it used to be.
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:19 PM   #12
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Default So, what's the real problem....?

I was thinking about this thread over the weekend and started to ponder all of the possible reasons why FCA scored so poorly in the J.D. Powers Customer Service Index.

While the obvious answer for many people would be that it's the dealers' fault that's not necessarily the correct vantage point to take if FCA really wants to address the problem.

While having FCA get tough with their dealers would likely be a solution that appeals to the masses, anyone with an inside perspective will remember how Auburn Hills had to abandon their Dealer Standards program because the corporation was paying incentives for a program that didn't generate measurable results. Dealer Standards proved, in my opinion, that Micro-management and secret shoppers did nothing but waste resources.

So, what is the real problem?

First, it could be the dealers. Maybe FCA's sales success has resulted in too many customers for the available service stalls or the dealers have become complacent because there's so much service business available?

Second, maybe it's a vehicle quality issue. While skeptics will point to the fact this J.D. Powers index is intended to rate Dealership satisfaction, I'd contend it's often difficult for customers to separate the two issues. It's no different than going to a restaurant for a meal - poor wait staff service reflects poorly on the kitchen and vise versa.

Third, maybe it's a vehicle design issue. Not every customer complaint can be fixed - sometimes the customer's concern is just the nature of the beast and the dealership can't do anything to repair the vehicle. In my opinion the CVT transmission Chrysler used in the old Dodge Caliber is a great example. Some customers hated the way that transmission shifted but there was nothing a Service Advisor could do to address the customer's concern.

Fourth, maybe it's a parts availability issue. No matter how attentive and kind a Service Advisor is, customers don't like to return to have the same item repaired twice. Does FCA have sufficient inventory in the depots to prevent back order problems, are the dealer left with stale inventory that doesn't meet their current needs?

Fifth, maybe it's a demographic issue. It's no secret that two of the reasons for Chrysler's sales success are large rebates and subvented/deep buying financing. In my experience, customers who were super-excited to squeak by and qualify for a loan on a new car can quickly turn to hate that car when they can't afford the payments.

In a perfect world, FCA will examine all five issues (and perhaps others) as they look to take corrective actions.

In an imperfect world, FCA will blame the dealers and the SGS team will be reassembled and it will be 2010 all over again...
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:59 PM   #13
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I was thinking about this thread over the weekend and started to ponder all of the possible reasons why FCA scored so poorly in the J.D. Powers Customer Service Index.

While the obvious answer for many people would be that it's the dealers' fault that's not necessarily the correct vantage point to take if FCA really wants to address the problem.

While having FCA get tough with their dealers would likely be a solution that appeals to the masses, anyone with an inside perspective will remember how Auburn Hills had to abandon their Dealer Standards program because the corporation was paying incentives for a program that didn't generate measurable results. Dealer Standards proved, in my opinion, that Micro-management and secret shoppers did nothing but waste resources.

So, what is the real problem?

First, it could be the dealers. Maybe FCA's sales success has resulted in too many customers for the available service stalls or the dealers have become complacent because there's so much service business available?

Second, maybe it's a vehicle quality issue. While skeptics will point to the fact this J.D. Powers index is intended to rate Dealership satisfaction, I'd contend it's often difficult for customers to separate the two issues. It's no different than going to a restaurant for a meal - poor wait staff service reflects poorly on the kitchen and vise versa.

Third, maybe it's a vehicle design issue. Not every customer complaint can be fixed - sometimes the customer's concern is just the nature of the beast and the dealership can't do anything to repair the vehicle. In my opinion the CVT transmission Chrysler used in the old Dodge Caliber is a great example. Some customers hated the way that transmission shifted but there was nothing a Service Advisor could do to address the customer's concern.

Fourth, maybe it's a parts availability issue. No matter how attentive and kind a Service Advisor is, customers don't like to return to have the same item repaired twice. Does FCA have sufficient inventory in the depots to prevent back order problems, are the dealer left with stale inventory that doesn't meet their current needs?

Fifth, maybe it's a demographic issue. It's no secret that two of the reasons for Chrysler's sales success are large rebates and subvented/deep buying financing. In my experience, customers who were super-excited to squeak by and qualify for a loan on a new car can quickly turn to hate that car when they can't afford the payments.

In a perfect world, FCA will examine all five issues (and perhaps others) as they look to take corrective actions.

In an imperfect world, FCA will blame the dealers and the SGS team will be reassembled and it will be 2010 all over again...
SIXTH

Maybe it's recalls that have (a) no parts available, or,(b) a high skill level necessary to perform the task when training is not yet available in the area for tech's to achieve the skill level needed, or maybe (c) dealers don't want to do them all at one time because they take so long and pay so little. OR... ALL OF THE ABOVE
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:11 AM   #14
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It think there is a corollary to item (5);

In my experience, customers do not understand it is their decision to "BUY" a car, not the dealers. The dealer has an "OBLIGATION" to sell a car to every opportunity that presents itself. If the customer can fog a mirror, go for it.

The dealer is not running a credit clinic, to encourage a buyer not to spend more money that he can afford.

The net result...the way an buried customer gets even is to find fault in everyone but himself.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:17 AM   #15
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The net result...the way an buried customer gets even is to find fault in everyone but himself.
The lack of personal responsibility will eventually kill our country and way of life.
Not in my lifetime but I do worry about my kids and especially my grandson, due any day now.
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