The AutoNation acquisition is a wake-up call for the auto retail industry, said Scot Wingo, CEO of mobile repair startup Spiffy. Spiffy offers bright blue self-driving vans and mobile repairs through its franchise customers and white-label “digital services.”
Since the AutoNation acquisition was announced, “we have been inundated with requests from dealers to learn more about our digital service offerings,” he said.
Serial entrepreneur Wingo co-founded Spiffy in 2014 after launching and exiting three other ecommerce-focused startups. When e-commerce became the norm for old companies as well as start-ups, Wingo figured car sales would follow suit.
Dealers either build their own mobile repair services or leverage third-party software, he said. Spiffy has no intention of being acquired, he added.
“Our plan with Spiffy is to create a large independent company and then go public,” Wingo said.
Dealer customers prefer mobile repair options, according to 2022 JD Power Customer Service Index study. According to Chris Sutton, VP of Retail Automotive at JD Power, 22% of his Tesla’s were mobile, although mobile repair penetration across service events is still fairly low.
Tesla’s mobile-only score in this study was 920 out of 1,000. According to Sutton, Mobile has so low usage of his service overall that it has no score to match the industry. However, the average score for industry services in this survey is 848.
Sutton said the addition of mobile service offerings not only improves dealer customer satisfaction and loyalty, but also allows dealers to take their share of older car repair work that is typically outsourced to independent repair shops. can also help you earn
Ford backs mobile services
Mobile repairs are gaining the attention of automakers. One-fifth of Ford’s 2,985 dealerships offer mobile repairs through Mobile Van Service, said Todd Rabourn, Ford’s North American regional CX director. Another third are committed to doing so.
“Customers have told us they want an easier, more convenient and more personalized way to service their vehicles,” said Rabourn.
Ford announced in January that it would be increasing support for mobile repairs at dealers. This includes he can take up to 6 repair orders per day per mobile service unit and offset all pickup and delivery costs. Payments are based on store guaranteed labor costs, which vary by market. Ford dealerships have deployed 828 mobile service vans.
Central Ford, located in South Gate, near Los Angeles, California, has been providing cell phone repairs for over a year, said service manager Rudy Benavidez. While his dealers struggle to find, train and retain enough mobile repair technicians, Benavidez said that once the team is fully staffed, not only will his service be mobile, but , said his earnings will improve.
“Tell me you need an oil change, [the technicians] “They send it back to the dealer,” he said.
Fleet maintenance is where Benavides sees a real opportunity for mobile repair.
“From a productivity standpoint, being able to do three or four oil changes at once with a mobile van is a huge help,” he said.
Bill Demaree also sees opportunities for mobile repairs in fleets. Tom Wood is part of an Indianapolis-based group with 27 businesses including dealerships, tire sales and collision repair.He is Corporate Director of Automotive’s Fixed Business Unit.
Tom Wood signed a deal with Spiffy in 2021 to use their mobile repair platform.
The group operates Spiffy mobile repairs as a separate business, unaffiliated with dealerships, out of the old Enterprise rental car premises owned by the company.
“Our goal is to provide a ‘Tom Wood mobile service powered by Spiffy,'” said Demaree.
A nifty van is an advantage for dealers, especially in fleet repair work, Demaree says. He said a typical dealer might have one or two detailers.At Spiffy, “I have five of his vans. [a car] In a day or two,” he added.
Soon Tom Wood’s Spiffy Van will be busier.
The company just leased a building on the grounds of the Indianapolis International Airport. Demarie said Tom Wood handles half of the airport’s rental fleet. With the new building, “you don’t even have to leave the airport.”
The group also just launched a new mobile tire service, which is “going very well,” Demaree said.
“It’s contactless and it’s all done through an app,” he said. [the customer] is working. They change tires and leave. ”
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