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Makers look to retain older SMR business

Date: 08 January 2010

Epyx's Ken Trinder

Car makers are set to introduce new initiatives to keep older fleet cars serviced within their franchised dealer networks, according to an industry expert.

Ken Trinder, head of business development at E-commerce specialist Epyx, believes this year will see franchised dealers increase their menu servicing offers to stop fleets from sending older cars to independent garages.

Trinder, explained: "A fleet that runs its vehicles on a three year cycle is likely to stay with franchise dealers because a proper manufacturer service history is an important factor in strong residual values and also because the vehicle is probably covered by a three year warranty.

"However, as fleets extend their cycles, these factors become less important and turning to independent garages for service and maintenance becomes a strong option for reasons of cost."

Several manufacturers already operate menu pricing schemes, claimed Trinder.

He added: "Menu pricing is the obvious way for manufacturers to help their franchise dealers fight back against any potential 'defections' to independent garages. By offering value for money, fixed cost SMR for older vehicles, they can retain fleet business."