Shop talk

We asked fixed ops managers: What was the biggest challenge you faced in 2017?

“Not just in ’17 but pretty much always, it’s staff replacements, trying to get the right people in the right places. Especially with technicians — when you find a new one, it’s difficult trying to get them trained up. Replacing service advisers is the same way. When they go, it’s very difficult to try to replace them.”

BLAKE CROMWELL, Service manager, Briggs Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram, Lawrence, Kan.

“Technician recruitment. A lot of young men think they want to do this, but when they see how complicated the vehicles are, they run from it. And the way technicians are paid is way out of date. The more you’re certified, the less you make. The certified people get all the hard work, and the uncertified guy gets the easy, less time-consuming work.”

JOHN CLONINGER, Fixed operations manager, Cloninger Ford, Hickory, N.C.

“Not enough repair technicians to handle all the customers. Trying to pull technicians out of our very small community, or from other areas of the state, has been extremely difficult. I’ve had three [techs] retire within the last year who were over 65. A lot of people are saving their older vehicles, not trading them in, so we’ve just seen a lot more of them coming through.”

TERRY WAYLAND, Fixed operations manager, Power Ford, Albuquerque, N.M.

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