- Acura and Honda are asking dealers to expand their service hours in an effort to boost customer service.
- Dealers are being asked to offer full-service operation on weekends.
- "The main reason is convenience," Chuck Kendig, Acura Division assistant vice president, told Edmunds.
DETROIT — Acura and Honda are asking dealers to expand their service hours in an effort to boost customer service.
Dealers are being asked to offer full-service operation on weekends. While many Honda and Acura dealers perform oil changes and minor maintenance for a few hours on Saturday, the automaker wants dealers to extend their hours to a full day. More importantly, it wants dealers to offer a full complement of repair services on Saturdays, and, where legal, on Sundays.
Some cities and states prohibit car sales and related operations on Sunday.
"The main reason is convenience," Chuck Kendig, Acura Division assistant vice president, told Edmunds.
Some Acura and Honda dealers have expanded their weekday hours into late evening. On the Acura side, 8 percent of dealers offer hours later than 7 p.m. at least one day a week. Honda has 1,044 dealers and Acura 273.
Today, about 93 percent of Acura's dealers are open for several hours on Saturdays, most performing light maintenance work. Of those dealers, about 20 percent offer a full-service operation on Saturdays. Additionally, about 4 percent of Acura's dealers perform some service work on Sundays.
"We are looking for more and more (dealers) to be open Saturdays and even Sundays," Kendig said. "In fact, Saturday for those dealers who have jumped in with both feet is their biggest day."
Dealers are not required to expand their service hours.
Besides expanded hours, dealers are encouraged to adopt the automaker's Accelerated Service program that reduces the time a customer is waiting for a vehicle. Two technicians work as a team and are assigned to service one car. Most of the maintenance work can be completed in less than 30 minutes, which Kendig calls a "big improvement."
So far, Acura has 95 dealers that have adopted the program. The goal is participation by all dealers.
The new service initiative is expected to have an effect on new-car sales.
"If you are in the service drive twice a year and I get a chance to show you the next version of the car you are driving, and maybe you come up front and have a cup of coffee, and you see some new shiny car, you are much more apt to say 'Maybe it is time for a new car,'" Kendig said.
Edmunds says: Expanding the service hours at Acura and Honda dealerships is a win-win. There's more convenience for car owners and a potentially bigger revenue stream for dealers.