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A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

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Comments

  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    So how much do you know about their cost of doing business

    Let me turn that around. Do you think (the shops) they would provide me a breakdown of their hourly rate, so I, as a consumer, can truly evaluate whether I think the rate is fair or not?

    Direct salary
    health care (if any)
    workman's comp
    retirement (if any)
    capital expenses (several categoried here)
    overhead (secretary, etc)
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    I'd gladly welcome my daughter to work in my shop if she desired it. I would not want her to work for a dealer under the current system. There are some independents that I would be happy if she worked for them.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    Having that information in hand, my accountant constantly tells me that we average 30-40% under priced..... The amount varies because some jobs simply produce greater revenues per hour.

    whether I think the rate is fair or not?

    To do that you have to put yourself into a position where you also dictate the standard of living for the business owner. That's wouldn't be "fair" in anyone's book. You wouldn't tolerate someone else (like me) deciding that for you would you?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    Some state laws now require the manufacturer to pay retail prices to the dealers for repair work. That costs the consumer more

    Now wait one minute, you've tried to push the idea that warranty work was "free" to the consumer when challenging some of my posts. :)
    I've always said, nothing is free, someone is paying for it somewhere.

    discourages the manufacturer from investing more in repair training.

    The technicians don't work for the manufacturer, they work for the dealer. When it comes to warranty pay rates the manufacturers labor times are according to certain manufacturers an agreement between the O.E. and the dealership and are not intended to have any reflection on a dealership employee's wages. That they say is a seperate agreement between the dealer and the employee.

    And woe be to any manufacturer who tries to come up with some way to bypass the dealer and fix car problems directly

    Why would they want to do that and have to pay real wages and benefits?

    I'm surprised the dealers haven't sued GM for remote diagnosing car problems with OnStar.

    I'm not surprised that you still hang onto the idea that OnStar is actually capable of really performing diagnostics.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    Microsoft sells their products

    Look at what that says, and then think about this over all issue. If it doesn't occur to you what the difference is then think about it some more.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,986
    The technicians don't work for the manufacturer, they work for the dealer.

    And the state franchise laws won't let the manufacturers open repair shops.

    I don't understand your MSFT comment - they sell service too and will be happy to diagnose your computer problems for $60 and up depending on whether it's a software install issue or an "advanced" issue. The "advanced" rates are like $260 an incident.
  • Steve, the cost of a Lexus franchise is staggering. No one in his right mind is going to sign a franchise contract that would allow Lexus to sell the car direct to consumer. There ARE "factory stores" (Lexus stores owned by Lexus itself) but those are halo stores in high rent areas where a profitable business might not be possible for a franchisee.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,986
    edited February 2013
    Lexus can have some of those stores because they were late to the game and could work around existing state laws. The domestics manufacturers are locked into lousy franchise agreements limiting their ability to innovate because of those laws. Chrysler tried it and failed. (Autoblog)

    And guess who recently sued Tesla? (am-online.com)

    "According to NADA there are 48 states in the USA which have laws preventing manufacturer-owned dealerships."

    The reason dealerships are worth so much money is because they are a protected class of business.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    And guess who recently sued Tesla? (am-online.com)

    "According to NADA there are 48 states in the USA which have laws preventing manufacturer-owned dealerships."

    Who won?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,986
    47 to go. :-)

    Guess who has pockets as deep as NADA too? Mr. Musk. :D
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    You wouldn't tolerate someone else (like me) deciding that for you would you?

    Our customers do that all the time, when it comes time to negotiating our rates.

    So then, how do I, the consumer, determine if $80/hr, $100/hr, or $130/hr is a reasonable rate?
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    One of the questions will be; Would you want your son/daughter to become a technician in your shop? Yes or No

    Well, I've answered that question for my profession - electrical engineering. I told all my kids NO, don't become an engineer. While I have had great success, both financially and in having a job that I really like, I do not see the same future for them as I had. Outsourcing is one issue. Along with that is that in many companies, even so-called high tech ones, the engineering dept is considered a cost center rather than a resource, and that engineers are just another fungible resource.

    My son just finished his residency last year and started his medical practice. His income expectations have been cut in half from what those in his field were making 9 years ago when he started medical school. While he is still making a good salary, he has doubts as to whether or not it will be worth all the pain and costs he went through.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,986
    edited February 2013
    By the way, it's not over. (Boston Globe)

    The decision you linked to is being appealed and they've filed a second suit against Tesla. Maybe the Right to Repair crowd will join in with Musk. :D
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    edited February 2013
    If the Nada win, how much would that raise the price of the Telsa to the consumer? 20%?? 30%???
  • NADA has heavily influenced state legislatures to protect themselves.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,986
    edited February 2013
    A link I saw the other day estimated 6% iirc.

    So, about $3,600 for a Tesla S.

    They have 13,000 orders booked. Let's assume 10,000 of them sell this year.

    So there's $36,000,000 out of consumer pockets into dealer pockets for a niche model. Even 1% is a big number. [Edit - an FTC study in 89 found "that the (franchise laws have had a detrimental effect on consumers, increasing prices by about 6 percent." (pdf link)]

    You can do your own exercise with the Big Three.

    Now we can think about how Tesla will handle warranty claims. One thing they could do is open up shops where they sell lots of cars and hire their own mechanics and "really" factory train them. If state laws let them.

    Wiki says you must have your Tesla inspected by a Tesla certified tech annually. If you don't or if you get it repaired by an indy, you forfeit the warranty.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    Wiki says you must have your Tesla inspected by a Tesla certified tech annually. If you don't or if you get it repaired by an indy, you forfeit the warranty.

    That's a "who cares" IMO. First it makes absolutely no sense to invest anything in the way of time to study or for the tools for a car that has about a .000001% chance of ever visiting our shop. (about 1 in 100,000,000, or something close to the chances of winning the powerball) :)

    Now we can think about how Tesla will handle warranty claims. One thing they could do is open up shops where they sell lots of cars and hire their own mechanics and "really" factory train them. If state laws let them

    They would have to sell lots of those cars to support a shop. It would make sense to cross train their techs to be able to support other manufacturers EV's and hybrids in order to try have a steady workflow. Even then they would probably have to use a tiered labor rate.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    I could not, in good conscience, encourage him to become a professional automotive technician.

    Sad isn't it? If someone likes to be challenged to learn something new all of the time, there are few careers that can even come close to what we have to do today. It should be a very rewarding career but all people usually find in it is unsecure dead end jobs....
  • I don't see Tesla as being around too much longer anyway. Don't get me wrong, it's a great product, but you can't survive selling so few units and to ramp up requires enormous, staggering amounts of capital.

    As a GM executive once said of Henry Kaiser when he decided to go into the auto business in the 1940s, and announced his "We have X millions in capital to begin!"----the remark was

    "give that man one poker chip"
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