President's Message - May 2015
If you didn’t know yet, I make my living as a new car dealership mechanic. This world has really changed, and I want to give you a little behind the scenes peek. Back in
the day of our little British cars, there was basically no warranty and lots of constant maintenance that the owners either
paid for or did themselves, or likely somewhere in between. Now cars come with 100,000-mile warranties and little maintenance.
Even the cheapest car lines cost tens of thousands of dollars and customers’ expectations are very high. Customers expect
that the car’s complicated electrical and powertrains systems are repaired while they wait. A lot of our work is warranty,
which pays us less. Mechanics are not paid hourly. If business is slow and I stand around all day waiting for a job then,
I get paid nothing. Sometimes just trying to make back our gas and lunch money. Do not get me wrong, I have made a good living
working on cars but at the expense of my back. When a car owner does have to pay for a repair, you see
those big numbers and think I make bank, think twice. Most of my customer pay work is largely correcting work done by someone
else that you paid to save a buck on a repair you did not want to take to the dealership to begin with. If you look at the
bill, I get no portion of the parts price and about 25% of the labor, but I spent tens of thousands of dollars on tools to
fix the car.
I did not make the car, sell you the
car, break the car or own the car. I am just the poor guy trying to fix the thing and make you
happy. Are you happy when we are done? If you get a survey about the repair and grade us on a scale of
0-1000 most people think 800 is a good score but it is not. To the manufacturers, a passing score is usually about 950 and
anything else actually has a negative effect on our pay. I want you to love your car and trust me, but I need you to understand
that mechanics are people too, although you may not see us back there. Get to know your mechanic and judge them on a personal
and individual basis. Spring is here and happy motoring.