DETROIT (April 5, 2004) — Ford Motor Co. plans to expand its Quick Lane automotive service program by 100 shops this year.
Quick Lane is Ford´s program to win back business lost to independent oil change and repair shops. The auto maker is pushing the Quick Lane concept aggressively at its 4,400 U.S. dealerships to get more than warranty work for service bays.
"Now that their warranty work is dropping, dealers must look at other ways to recoup that business," said Sherman Levitt, alternative service project manager for Ford´s Customer Service Division.
Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealers opened 80 Quick Lane shops last year—the most in any year since the program began as a pilot in 1997—bringing the total number of Quick Lanes to 279. The shops offer tires and tire rotation, oil changes, brake repair, struts and shock absorbers, batteries, tune-ups, exhaust systems and cooling system service.
Nationally, Quick Lane shops last year had 1.75 million customers, who bought 315,000 tires.
Ford´s Quick Lane goal is $10,000 per bay per month in revenue. The 279 Quick Lane stores are exceeding that goal, Mr. Levitt said.
Ford said the program works because many consumers have the perception that dealership service takes too long, costs too much and is less convenient than going to an independent repair facility.
Quick Lanes can be stand-alone service operations or attached to a dealership. They have a dedicated manager and technicians, as well as their own signs and advertising campaigns. About one in three Quick Lanes is a stand-alone shop, Ford said.