Trends – Aftermarket Round Table [THA 239]

Greg Buckley is the CEO of the 50 + year young Buckley Personalized Auto Care in Wilmington, DE. He’s a member of ASA, an ATI Coach, a member of the Delaware Automotive Service Professionals, past member of the NAPA advisory board council, is vice-president of NAPA business development groups, and is involved as an advisory board member of Kukui, along with AutoVitals. Hear Greg’s previous episodes HERE.

John Manelas and wife, Karen Manelas, purchased their first location in April 2004. They expanded into their 2nd location in 2011. They bought out a former 20 group member in Maine in 2013 as their 3rd location. They purchased a former Chevy/Chrysler 14 bay dealership in 2014. In 2016, they purchased an import auto service business and converted it to an Auto Care Plus (store #5). In 2017, they purchased a Volvo Specialty Repair Shop which they decided to then re-brand and create a new brand for us calling it Euro Care Plus. In 2019, we did our first non-acquisition “build to suit” venture erecting an 8 bay facility with upstairs offices for their Corporate headquarters. They also decided to lease the rest of that building where we are preparing to open a Hybrid/EV specialty division to be named Electrified Auto Care. They now have 7 locations (5 of which they own the dirt). 6 Locations in NH and one in ME. Listen to John’s previous episodes HERE.

Gene Morrill, owner of Certified Automotive in Glendora, CA. Hear Gene’s previous episodes HERE.

Donnie Hudson, owner of Troy Auto Care, 3 locations, Troy, MI. Listen to Donnie’s previous episodes HERE

Key Talking Points

  • Labor- the cost of labor is the only thing we have left to control. Most profitable, but how many minutes walk out the door daily? Track the cost of the minutes wasted- $5 per minute. You can’t put a price tag on a technician’s ability. How do you affect efficiency? 1 person working 8 hours- 7.2 hours per day of production at 125% efficiency which equals 9 hours per day production.  
  • Managed chaos? Don’t make promises you can’t deliver on. Giving customer’s hope that you’ll look at their car but not promising same day repair because you’re unsure of what repair will be
  • The younger generation- typically wants structure and not be “beat up” every minute of the day. 
  • Dealership vs independent- dissatisfaction in the dealership world. Benefits and the work environment for independent shops is unparalleled. Technicians aren’t “machines” that are rented. 
  • Career opportunity- showing path after school outside of attending colleges. Did you know technicians can make more than engineers? Consider onboard quick applications for career days. 
  • The professionalism of industry- be proud of industry and craft. Be passionate. Anyone can open an auto repair business without being trained or licensed or certified. Accomplish your goals with help (groups, network, training). There are no secrets.
  • DVI’s- embrace it, the most important part is the pictures and inspection is sent to customers. Visualization of issues brings a different perspective to customers. “Seeing is believing.” DVI pictures can also be used in your social media marketing campaigns for future customers to see. “Letting the car tell the story, DVI writes the tale for us.” Helps customers manage their budget for repairs when they can get updated on what is still in working order and what needs to be repaired. 4,000 cars per year with per 7 locations by $100 ticket increase sales= $2.8 million in an increase of sales. 
  • A special thanks to Greg Buckley, John Manelas, Gene Morrill and Donnie Hudson for their contribution to the aftermarket.

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

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