Monday, July 05, 2004

Free Loaner Car

I drive past a lot of body shops on my way to work every morning.  The body shops seem to differentiate themselves by performing work on specific types of automobiles (using the auto manufacturers logos) and/or offering free loaner cars.  Thinking about this post I wrote in April about car manufacturers providing hotels with their cars in order to get guest to drive them, I got to wondering why the manufacturers don't provide cars to body shops.

If I was a car manufacturer, I would find the non-dealer body shop that did the highest volume business in fixing cars manufactured by my main competitor -- if I were BMW, I'd go find the high volume Mercedes repair shop -- and I would provide that body shop with a bunch of my cars to use as loaners.  I know people that have had some pretty serious damage done to their cars and almost all of those people, once the car has gotten out of the body shop, have traded the car in, myself included.  Why do you trade it once it's fixed?  Because it never feels quite the same as it did before.

It stands to reason that if luxury car manufacturers are getting good return on their hotel investments that they would probably get pretty good return on a body shop investment.

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