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Mighty: 'Car dealers pushing preventative maintenance harder than ever'

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New car dealerships aren't just competing with tire dealers for tire sales. They're also trying to snatch away as many repair jobs as they can by pushing preventative maintenance, an official from Mighty Auto Parts told dealers at the Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC's annual meeting this past weekend.

"The goal is to tie the consumer to the dealership well after the warranty period expires," said Mike Hudgins, Mighty's director of sales.

"Five years ago, less than 10% of consumers went back to car dealerships for service after (their car's) warranty period expired. That number has grown to 33%."

Sample campaigns designed to keep car owners coming back include "tires for life, free oil changes for as long as you own your car, free vehicle inspections, and free maintenance for 36 months or longer."

The campaigns serve bigger ticket purposes. According to Mighty Auto Parts research, more than 90% of consumers browse the new car showroom while having their current vehicle's oil changed.

"Over 30% of consumers decided to buy a new vehicle from the servicing dealer within 24 months of having a quick oil change performed," says Hudgins.

"Dealers are going outside for customers. They had a closed customer base."

The Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC's meeting was held May 19-21 in Monterey, Calif.

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