In a small, free market country, with entrepeneurial culture:
MB's new car sales have been growing by a strong 20% average during the last
five years in this country. In 2005, sales grew by a dramatic 75% (mostly C
Class), almost doubling the sales volume in two years.
The new cars are sold under a two years warranty, and the dealer offers a
maintenance contract up to three years or 30 kmiles, from USD 500 a year.
Although the (only) official dealer has invested in service equipment
and training, the number of its service centers has remained practically the
same for decades. Consequently, the quality of the service has been
deteriorating, especially with respect to fast and on-time delivery. One can
see in the mornings, long rows of MBs crowding around the dealer's
facilities, waiting. In addition, customers are complaining that the dealer
has raised its service prices to insane levels. This way, an unsatisfied
demand for MB service keeps growing.
Interestingly, the number of MB independent shops has remained also the
same, which IMO, clearly shows that there are unbeatable entry barriers for
them. I mean, one can understand the dealer´s lack of interest to invest in
new facilities, I can´t imagine a better business scenario for them. But
what about potential competitors, where are they?.
So the questions are, which are those high barriers preventing more
independent shops to get into the business? Is this just a local phenomenon,
or a tendency everywhere? How is it where you live?
What do you think is going on here? Is that barrier the more and more
complex engine electronics and equipment / technicians /
to deal with it?, MB's proprietary technologies?. What about the influence
of the official dealer stamp on the service record book?. How important
could that be?.
Please give me an opinion.