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QUICK LANE STORES FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE, STRENGTHENING FORD, LINCOLN MERCURY DEALERS
- Quick Lane® Tire and Auto Centers are opening at a record pace across the country, with the total number of stores topping 500 this week.
- Quick Lane is providing Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealers with opportunity to attract customers who don't normally return to the dealer for service, providing an additional revenue stream. Parts and labor revenue for this year is expected to reach $385 million.
- Success of Quick Lane is attributed to its strong customer focus, Ford trained mechanics and genuine Motorcraft® parts.
DEARBORN, Mich., July 9, 2008 – When Bill Vann, owner of Albion Motors Ford Mercury, Inc., opened up a Quick Lane® Tire and Auto Center at his dealership in Albion, Mich., he hoped it would provide a convenience for his customers that would bring them back to the dealership for routine maintenance and maybe even a new vehicle.
Three years later, Vann says his Quick Lane business is surpassing his original expectations.
"We've been able to retain twice the number of service customers we had in the past, and we're selling three to eight new or used cars a month to customers that we've received from our Quick Lane store," he said. "The biggest surprise to us is the number of non-Ford vehicles. Almost half of our customers bring in competitors' vehicles."
Vann's success with Quick Lane is not unique. In fact, despite today's sluggish economy, Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers are opening up across the country at a record pace, with the total number of stores topping 500 this week.
"We started out with two stores in 1997, and the concept has just taken off since then," said Tom Suttles, Quick Lane business manager, who estimates Quick Lane parts and labor revenue for this year will be $385 million. "The number of franchises is growing because Quick Lane is providing dealers with a profit opportunity in an otherwise difficult market."
Due to the steady decline in warranty repairs that coincides with higher-quality vehicles, utilization of traditional service facilities at Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealerships throughout the country hovers around 50 percent, according to Suttles.
Quick Lane offers routine vehicle maintenance and simple light repair services, such as oil and filter changes, brake repairs and tire rotations. Some dealers – including Vann -- build the shops into their existing facilities, while others construct standalone stores on dealer property or at offsite locations.
Suttles says Quick Lane is a lucrative business because it is focused squarely on meeting the needs of the customer.
"There are no appointments necessary. Customers receive service while they wait. All makes and models of vehicles are accepted, and the stores are open evening and weekend hours," he said. "All of those factors resonate with consumers."
According to Suttles, customers also appreciate the fact that all of the service and repairs are performed by Ford factory-trained experts using quality Motorcraft parts.
"We have better trained technicians than the aftermarket, and we use premium parts," he said. "Combine those two things with convenience, and suddenly you have convenience with confidence, and that's something that gives us a real advantage versus our competitors."
Vann agrees. "Even though Quick Lane® is separate from the dealership, it still falls under the umbrella of the dealership," he said. "People trust the quality, and that enhances the business."
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 228,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.