Can’t bring the E class in for service? Beck Imports will bring the service to you. The Mercedes-Benz dealership in Charlotte, N.C., now offers mobile maintenance and repair. Two Sprinter vans, each carrying $30,000 worth of service equipment, meet customers at their homes or offices — or, in one recent instance, the golf course. Other dealerships across the country offer mobile service. But Richard Mikels, Beck Import’s general manager, said the service his store rolled out in November is the state of the art.
“It wows the customers, absolutely blows them away,” Mikels told Automotive News.
Customers call a toll-free number or send an e-mail message to schedule mobile service appointments. The vans are linked by computer and cell phone to the dealership’s service department.
The vans carry parts and equipment that enable technicians to change oil and filters and to fix belts, brake pads, rotors, windshield wipers and exterior light bulbs. If a repair requires a hydraulic lift, the dealership transports the vehicle to the shop and delivers a loaner vehicle to the customer.
The two vans together average about eight calls a day, Mikels said. The dealership assesses a $50 surcharge for mobile service.
“You’ve got to set yourself apart in the marketplace,” Mikels said. “Time is very much of the essence to our customers. The service maximizes their time.”
The mobile service also benefits the dealership, Mikels said. The service vans can deliver special-order parts to customers and install them right away, he said. Otherwise the parts take up space on service department shelves, he said.
Mikels said the convenience of mobile service is a tool to woo on-the-fence buyers. He estimates that he has closed 10 sales since the program began just by explaining the service. [Auto Week]