Even though U.S. is not in a recession that’s exactly what dealerships are doing nowadays. As a percentage of a dealership’s total gross, profits fell in the new- and used-vehicle departments, but rose in service and parts.
The profit gains come after about a third of all U.S. light-vehicle dealerships expanded their service departments by at least one bay in the past 18 months to capture more service revenue. And with new- and used-vehicle price competition remaining intense. Going into a sales plateauing year, customer loyalty is going to be very key for dealers. That loyalty will come from expanding fixed operations’ revenues.