CHICAGO, Jan. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Cars.com announced today it will unveil its first program designed specifically to help differentiate dealership service departments. RepairPal Certified, launching at NADA 2015 in San Francisco, is a certification badge developed in partnership with RepairPal, for qualified franchise dealerships that distinctively verifies trusted service departments. The badge assures consumers that a dealership's service department has strong customer satisfaction scores and offers guaranteed fair prices, warranties for its work and qualified technicians.
"We're excited to launch RepairPal Certified for franchise dealers and help them take back their service business," said Alex Vetter, CEO of Cars.com. "We've always dedicated ourselves to building a trusted platform for car shoppers, and consumers have come to rely on us at all stages of the buying process. Now our goal is to transform the service and repair category by providing much-needed resources for car owners seeking help and advice when it comes to maintaining their vehicles, and for dealerships looking to boost their service business and regain their market share from national service chains."
More than 86 percent of cars on the road today are past warranty¹, and dealers are undoubtedly losing service revenue as these vehicles age. In fact, dealers lose an average of 60 to 78 percent of revenue on three- to six-year-old cars, and 82 to 92 percent of revenue on cars more than seven years old².
"Car owners leave the dealership for service because they're skeptical of high prices. This misperception is only amplified by national chains that are exceedingly effective in communicating a consistent fair-price message online," said Vetter. "With RepairPal Certified, Cars.com is offering dealers a way to promote quality work and fair prices, giving consumers the trust they need and flipping preconceived notions about dealership service."
To earn and maintain RepairPal certification, a dealership's service department must complete an assessment every 90 days covering four key areas: Technical Assessment, Minimum Warranty, Customer Satisfaction and Price Guarantee. A RepairPal Certified dealer must have OEM-certified technicians, at least a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty, a minimum number of Cars.com Service Reviews with an overall 4-star rating in sales or service, and pricing that falls within the RepairPal Estimator. When a dealer earns the new certification badge, it will be prominently featured on Cars.com and RepairPal.com and can be used offline in their own marketing materials.
RepairPal Certified will be available in select markets at NADA 2015 and will roll out nationwide in March. For more information, visit the Cars.com booth #3003N at NADA 2015 or dealers.cars.com.
¹Experian Automotive's Vehicles in Operation (VIO) database, 2011
²DMEautomotive: The Changing Service Loyalty Landscape, 2012
Cars.com is a leading independent research site for car shoppers with approximately 30 million visits per month. The Chicago-based company provides shoppers with credible and easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts. Leveraging its growing audience, Cars.com informs digital marketing strategies through consumer insights and innovative products, helping automotive dealers and manufacturers more effectively reach in-market car shoppers. Cars.com is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI). For more information, visit www.dealers.cars.com.
RepairPal's mission is to take the mystery out of auto repair. Launched in 2007, RepairPal developed a patented auto repair price estimator that educated consumers about the fair cost of auto repair. Arming consumers with knowledge of this kind was revolutionary in an industry that is riddled with negative stereotypes and poor consumer satisfaction. RepairPal has since expanded their product offering to build a nationwide network of certified repair shops that strive for a better car care experience marked by transparency and trust. All RepairPal Certified shops are pre-screened for quality, tools, training, and a commitment to honor the price guidelines set by the estimator. Learn more at www.repairpal.com.