From the Editors

A service department opportunity this winter

Neil PascaleIt’s a pretty rare time when something pushed as a win for the environment doesn’t actually translate into a loss for the small business owner. However, a new law that will impact California dealers in the new year and other dealers nationwide in years to come could actually be a service department boon this winter

That is, if you pitch it right

See, California recently outlawed the use of lead wheel weights on all vehicles, including two-wheelers. You’ll read much more about this issue in this coming Powersports Business but suffice to say the aftermarket has already come up with solutions — one of which is steel wheel weights

As mentioned earlier, the whole issue revolves around a federal effort to remove lead from the environment. Wheel weights are known to come off vehicles, and thus they get into our waterways

No matter how often an occurrence that is, the whole issue does provide a dealer with the opportunity to become an “environmentally friendly” business owner by alerting their consumers of this issue. Come in, Mr. Consumer, and we’ll switch out your lead wheel weights for a more environmentally friendly option. And by the way, did you notice the tire promotion we’re currently running

One issue to consider with this marketing pitch: Do you do this service for free, in hopes of driving store traffic and making it up through added sales, or do you charge for the service?

The cost of steel wheel weights is not wholly different than lead, I’m told, although you may have to deal with more sizes because steel, unlike lead, can not be cut.

One other thought in this idea: How easy will it be to switch out a stick-on wheel weight? One service department general manager told me the potential weight differences between the lead and steel would make him nervous about doing a switch without taking the wheel off to balance it again, meaning some potentially costly tech time.

With that in mind, should it a free service, in hopes of driving store traffic and generating more winter sales, or charge as usual and hope the issue will drive our environmentally conscious riders into the store?

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One Comment

  1. Hi Neil-
    Great advice! You may also like to let your readers know about the service department profit potential that exists through auctions. Pick-up some pre-owned machines (either at auction or from off of the street) that will benefit from some service department love. Sell spruced-up units for a profit in the dead of winter at auctions. Good day, Matt.

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