One of the most significant—yet often ignored—sources of lost income at a car dealership can be battery replacements. A vehicle’s battery charge starts to reduce when it sits on a lot without being started or driven for days or weeks at a time. Once the battery can no longer provide sufficient electricity to start the vehicle, it must either be jumpstarted or replaced depending on the severity of the power drain. The cost of replacements can quickly add up to become a major expense for any dealership. For this reason and others, it’s critical for auto dealers to integrate a dealership lot management plan that includes a car battery management system.
The True Cost of Dying Batteries
Let’s do some math. The average cost of replacing just one battery is $200 not including labor costs, and the average car dealership holds about 279 new vehicles and 317 used cars at one time. That means if just 1/3 of the used cars on your lot required a battery replacement each year, it would cost you around $20,922.
A car battery should last 3 to 5 years if properly cared for, but its lifespan can be reduced to just a fraction of that without proper maintenance. If a dealership effectively integrates their dealership lot management system to consistently track battery levels and get the most out of their vehicle’s battery life span, substantial expense can be saved each year.
“In 2017 across our 15 stores we spent over $600,000 on replacement batteries and after installing Elo GPS in 2018 we spent less than $20,000 in battery replacements.” — Corporate Fixed Operations Director, Southern California
$580,000 of annual savings can significantly benefit any dealership. You could use these savings to help grow and improve your business by reallocating the savings to cover more costly ongoing expenses like advertising or improvements to the showroom floor.
The most significant factor in keeping a vehicle battery healthy is consistently keeping track of its charge level. Every time a vehicle battery falls below 10.5 volts (a couple volts below the required amount to start the vehicle), the sulfate inside of it will begin to crystallize and reduce its possible output, shortening the lifespan of the battery in an irreversible way. After this has occurred enough times, the battery will reach a point where it can no longer be revived and must be replaced.
Additionally, vehicle batteries play a key role in the test drive process for a dealership. With the advancements in technology and the current availability of most car dealership inventories online, many consumers are visiting dealerships already knowing the exact vehicle on the lot they want to test drive. Nothing can kill a consumer’s enthusiasm and desire to purchase quite like when the car they’re interested in is stuck with a dead battery. Not only does this look unprofessional—and potentially make the consumer think you’re trying to sell them a dud—it also makes the customer painfully aware of the fact that this vehicle has been sitting on the lot for weeks with no one interested in taking it for a test drive.
Maintaining Optimal Battery Levels
Attempting to manually keep track of how long each vehicle has sat on the lot without being started is not an effective method of car battery management. Every battery in a vehicle on a dealership lot is in a different phase of its life, meaning some can stay alive for longer than others while sitting idle. There truly is no rule of thumb as to how long a vehicle battery can maintain a charge. Not to mention the overwhelming challenge of attempting to manually keep track of the battery level of hundreds of vehicles on your lot is simply not a feasible task and would be extremely demanding.
Integrating a dealership lot management system is the most effective way to ensure that every vehicle in your dealership has a well charged battery. The Elo GPS system includes multiple features that help dealerships intelligently manage car batteries. Smart alerts are the first step, as they alert dealership employees which vehicles require attention to their batteries. Next, the GPS technology guides employees to exactly where they can find the specific vehicles on the lot. This dealership lot management system streamlines the car battery management system in an exceptionally efficient way, making sure every vehicle on the lot is charged with minimal labor for employees.
Every penny saved is crucial when running a business, and a car battery management system presents a valuable opportunity to save thousands of dollars for any car dealership. Given that a dealership profits an average of $2,000 per sale, the potential savings of an effective car battery management system can equate to ten cars sold annually at the average car dealership.
Elo GPS enables dealers to track and manage inventories across multiple dealerships, increase customer satisfaction through smarter lot management, and save a significant amount of money with a car battery management system. For more information about the many benefits of an automotive management system, or to try It out yourself, contact our team today.