Why The Dealer Costs So Much?

Franchised Volkswagen ® and Audi ® dealers have a rigid organizational plan they must adhere to. This means a long line of people who are involved in the service of your car, from the Porter who moves it from the parking lot to the CFO who makes decisions about profit margins on your parts and labor. The dealer’s main motivation is to make every person down the line make as much money for the dealership as possible.For them it is a numbers game.

Most of the employees at a Volkswagen or Audi dealership are paid on a commission basis. They can only make money by finding and selling repairs for your VW or Audi vehicle . Not only are the individual employees who actually work on your vehicle motivated by these profits, the chain of managers that oversee their work are also paid on a basis of how profitable your repair service was for the business.

An average repair visit to the dealership will see your car pass through the hands of 7-10 people. First, your Service Adviser will talk to you about the car and make notes for the technician to use while he is checking out your car. Then a Porter will move your car to a waiting area away from the main parking lot. Then the Dispatch Director will assign your car to a technician, who may have another Porter move your car into the service area.

The technician will now use the notes provided by your Service Adviser to try to find the problem. Generally, if he can’t find the problem within ½ hour, he will ask the Service Adviser to contact you and ask for more labor time for diagnosis. Like most repair places, the dealership follows standard labor guides which give the average billable time for a particular kind of job. This labor time is usually longer than the time that the technician actually has to spend working on the vehicle. The technician is paid for the number of hours he bills, not necessarily the number of actual hours spent working on your car. The best dealership technicians can bill 70-80 hours of work per week while only actually working on cars for 40-50 hours

Once the technician has determined your problem, he writes up his findings and passes your ticket along to the Parts Specialist or Parts Manager. Their job is to determine which parts your repair will need while still maximizing the profit margin so they can maximize their commissions. Many times At German Car Depot we see the dealer sell a windshield washer container for $79.00 instead of a grommet that costs $1.25. And to the benefit of the technician, the labor takes 10 minutes for the grommet, but 1.5 hours to remove the inner fender and install the bottle. Another common oversell is for brakes. We often see cars come in from the dealer with an invoice for both front and rear brakes. Many times, only one set of brakes needs to be replaced (front brakes are more common than rear because they do a majority of the stopping work when you use the brakes).

The last stop on the profit-go-round is your Service Adviser. He or she gets your final list of parts and labor from the shop floor and checks rates and prices to make sure your ticket is as profitable as possible (yet another employee who makes a good deal of their money based on profit margins). Once the bill is prepared, then they will call you and try to sell you the repairs. Volkswagen and Audi dealers have lengthy training programs for the Service Advisers to improve their sales skills. They have been trained to overcome your objections and sell you the service for your vehicle. They have the additional benefit of knowing that your Volkswagen is a finely engineered machine, and not just any mechanic will have the tools and experience necessary to diagnose and repair it.

That is where German Car Depot can break the profit-go-round. We have been specializing in Volkswagen and Audi vehicles for over 25 years. Our office team is not paid on commission, so their motivation when writing your invoice is not maximizing the profit, but rather making sure your car is dependable and your experience enjoyable so that you’ll come back to us next time. We know that our customers know that there is an alternative to the Volkswagen or Audi dealership service chain. Our business plan is one that makes a small profit over the lifetime of your car instead of one that treats each of your visits like it might be the last. Come in to German Car Depot and see what it’s like to get your car repaired without all the pressure that you feel when you bring the car to the dealer.


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