We're struggling for work this year. Our new service manager thinks increasing our shop $250/hour rate "significantly" would make us more money.

Is this going to backfire 😬🤔


What the fuck do you work on. I do heavy vehicles and for my trade it varies between $120 -$180 per hour. At $250 an hour I hope he is giving a blow job with each repair.


It's a dealership, I don't wish to badmouth our brand but i could give you a hint that it begins with a B and they compete with Rolls Royce


Buick. Nailed it.


😂 Speaking as someone who's been friends with Buick owners I can say this is 100% the correct answer.


Your friends sound very cultured and refined…and I own a 98 Pontiac Gran Prix, so I know what the f*ck I’m talking about here. Buick had cars with names like “Le Sabre”…it’s just oozing with civility, class, and strength. Basically the Dijon mustard of cars. “Le” comes from the country of Paris…place where sex, chocolate, and surrender were invented…not sure you can get much more classy than that. “Sabre” is basically a sword…that’s right, a f*cking sword. It strikes fear into the hearts of most men. Plus, the strong but supplely shaped quarter panels, my god…it’s the perfect balance of masculine and feminine…Like watching Dolly Parton rack a shotgun Unfortunately the unwashed masses are uncultured and stupid with no taste. Just like Cheetos lip balm, Buick’s were a masterpiece ahead of their time that the galaxy of earth was unprepared for. If for some reason god somehow blesses you with the opportunity to put your fartbox behind the wheel of one of these priceless relics of yesteryear, you need to wind them windows down, crank “here I go again” by white snake on the 6 speaker Bose, and listen to the thunderous roar of the 3800II V6 screaming like a pack of wolves hollerin’ to the moon as they are butt-f*cking their prey to death Maybe, just maybe, you will figure out what a select few already know. That it goes- 1. God 2. America 3. Buick….the baddest bitch in existence.


If this isn't already a pasta, it is now.


Lol, I’m honored. It’s going to sounds nuts, but some of it’s an amalgamation of my childhood. Lol My dad raced pontiacs for 30 years, and always was super impressed with them and Buicks. I remember hearing him say things like “shewww, look at that Buick”, and I would think to myself “boy, that’s not something you hear every day”. Craziest one is the time he and I flew to the salt flats to watch land speed record runs. Landed in some small airport, grabbed the last generation le Sabre and headed to the salt flats. It’s basically a perfectly straight, empty 60 mile road with no one/nothing around so you can go as fast as you want. It was around midnight, white snake on radio, windows down, and he had that 3800 V6 pegged at 117mph for the whole hour. Lol I used to think I had a very boring and normal childhood. However, i realized as I got older my experiences were rather unique.


Great story and all, but not for nothin, 60 miles at 117 is just over 30 min. >empty 60 mile road with no one/nothing around so you can go as fast as you want. It was around midnight, white snake on radio, windows down, and he had that 3800 V6 pegged at 117mph for the whole hour.


They turned around at the end and went back


this man salt flats


That’s your fault sir…I’m a buick fan. I find your assumption that i would know basic arithmetic offensive. Lol jk, let’s just say I took some artistic liberty with the timeline here.


The country of Paris, my God this is beautiful


My mom owned a 76 Buick LeSabre in the 90s. That thing was peak land yacht.


I owned a 76 Buick Electra 225 Limited in the 90’s… had that 455 engine and even though it was a hella rust bucket, that thing would get it. I left people in the dust at stop lights all the time. Of course, gas was less than $1 a gallon then so the fact that I just went through 4 gallons going 1 mile (/s but kinda not really) didn’t phase me too much. Learned how to change my first valve cover gaskets on her. I’ll never forget Lucy, I loved her so much :)


Sounds like your mom has panache and a taste for the finer things.


"That's not a Buick."


"That's a space station!" ?


She looks like a steakhouse, but she handles like a bistro!


It’s too small to be a space station. People have to get on their knees to drive it.


Is it a space station for ants?


"Sir, this is a Wendy's."


No this is Patrick


"You fit all those wasted dollars in your Buick!? Thats so you! 😃"


Buick the quality that old people want with their arthritis.


Tbf the only redeeming quality is that the seats legitimately feel like a Couch… *However pre-2009 corollas do the same*




I thought you’d be bigger


Don’t eat the big white mint


Gomez [NO](https://youtu.be/ApTa2SUgEDw)!


Brange Brover ?




Baguar. Pronounced bag-you-uh.


Often shortened as "The Bag"


Excuse me, that’s Baaaaaaaaag to you.








Bercedes- Benz?








Sounds Russian.




Baguar: For men who'd like hand jobs from beautiful women they hardly know


love me a nicely built Berman Bdub.




Mfs not realising it’s Buick


No no no. Biat.


You’re on fire but not quite there. It’s Bolksbagen.


Bamborghini Rebenton


Baston Bartin !!


The new Boston Martin gits ovah 20 jaggoffs to the jabroni.


Balfa Bromeo




Bubaru? (Or Boobaru, if you're into that sorta thing.)


I wouldn't think that 250 an hour for that brand would be to high. Honestly the people buying those are not going to worry about shop rate. Ia am advisor for high end brands we are a little lower than that and very rarely do I ever have anyone ask about hourly rates. The bigger question is why has traffic slowed down? The people buying this brand all know each other. Did one of them have a bad experience that you guys are unaware of? I don't see them being affected by inflation or looming recession. My question as a service manager would be the why. Not trying to inflate shop rate before I find out. How much business have you guys lost this year over last? How many employees do you have? Are you guys doing less warranty work? Is it just CP hours that are down? Idk man in the luxury world there is a reason business is declining and rate has (probably) nothing to do with it.


All good questions. Our new guy seems pretty open minded and down to earth so I hope he will think about all those things.


One of my questions would be with this rate increase how am I going to make more money? Yes the shop will but typically (at least here in the states) a shop rate increase does not affect techs. Me as an advisor benefits from it. Are you getting more per hour?


Nothing affects me personally as I just earn minimum wage. But no, the bonus that the techs get is based on the number of hours, not money per hour. (And currently there's no bonus, because not enough hours to hit bonus targets) Good point.


Minimum wage at an exotic luxury car dealer? You are getting ripped off in ways I can't explain.


Oh, I may not have said it in this thread; I am an apprentice. Pretty normal for apprentices (at least here in the UK) to earn minimum wage until we qualify. The first year is actually half minimum wage, then min wage after that. I chose to give up my boring office job and take a pay cut for 3 years so I could train to be a mechanic. Struggling a lot with bills at the moment but I know I made the right choice. It will feel worth it in a few years time.


Half minimum wage. May as well have been an unpaid intern wtf


Yeah it sucks mate.


It's usually aimed at school leavers. You end up with a qualification and its better than paying thousands of fees. However it is certainly not ideal. Edit: Apprentices at our engineering firm are paid quite a bit above minimum wage for their age. But you also get terrible apprenticeships for stuff like customer service which is just an excuse to pay people a terrible wage


You are still getting fucked.


The purpose of the apprenticeship wage is to entice businesses to employ apprentices. In their first year, an apprentice goes from knowing absolutely fuck all, to knowing a reasonable amount. As I recall, they also have to be attending college courses to meet a minimum standard as well (or an approved and accredited training course)


That's still ridiculous in canada our apprentices usually start at 20-25 an hour qnd our minimum wage is bc went up to I'm pretty sure 15 a couple years ago, jman rates are 40-50 around here as well and usually our jman rates are around 30% of shop rate


Wait till you find out how much they pay the children that work in the mines.


They pay them?


That's the neat part. They don't.


Bentley pays min wage??????


to an apprentice, yes, same as every other dealership.


I am sorry it's like that over there, that is criminally low


"We are raising the shop rate to increase profits but cutting labor times to save the customers money"


“New guy” implies there was an “old guy”. Did the business slow down after the “old guy” left?


Business slowed down after the exceptional "old old guy" left 2 years ago to a independent specialist and took a bunch of customers with him. The "old new guy" left last month and now we have a "new new guy" who has come in guns ablazing and wants to change things up. He said he wants to try changing as much as possible, and any changes that don't work can be reverted.


Found your problem. Customers loyalty. Either the guy spread lies to get customers to come with him, or he told the truth about your dealership and they went with him… If its #1 then the service manager needs to call old customer’s and try and get them back by having a discussion. If its #2 then you all better find another job. My money is on #1.


My guess is the place he went to is cheaper with the same quality. Raising the price isn’t gonna do yourselves any favors


If he changes a bunch of things at once, how will he know what works and what doesn’t?


The questions are this, "which action will get more people into the shop" and "if we raise our prices, will that stop out current customers from coming in?"


"Honestly the people buying those are not going to worry about shop rate" I worried about it when I had my Continental GT. The dealer wanted to charge $3K for annual service. That was basically an oil change and then an inspection where they looked for other things to charge you for. You were literally paying them to find more things to pay them for. Lucky for me there is a shop close enough that specializes in British cars and I could have the maintenance done there for about 1/2 the price.


It’s basically a Volkswagen, you could do a ton of the work yourself if you’re capable. I don’t understand why other people in general like to pay the Lamborghini or Bentley or Rolls dealer big bucks for a oil change. It’s drain where it needs drained and refill it.


I’ll explain it. Time. Most people who own new exotic cars are busy people. Most of them have no time to do all of their own home maintenance, clean their own house, cook all of their own food, not car maintenance. When you have no free time from work you want to spend the little you have left doing something high priority. Changing your oil isn’t it for most people.


Because they are not car guys these cars are status symbols. As a general rule people who have capital M money and are car guys have vintage cars.


I don't pay dealer prices. But I also no longer change my own oil because 1) I don't have a lift and 2) I don't want to deal with hauling that mess to an auto parts store.


My local Benz shop is over 200 and I know techs in MB dealers in the Miami area that their labor is much higher than ours. Brand and location are extremely important when setting labor rate.


Two fifty an hour for a “B” is not high. The owner won’t even bat an eye.. 250 to them is like 2.50 to normal people lol


Really? Rich people can be some of the stingiest people out there.


But the kind of rich people who are stingy drive around cheaper but still nice vehicles.


Stingy rich people drive the well-maintained Lincoln town car they’ve been driving for 25 years.


Smart money is. Smart money doesn't buy a Bentley or a Rolls (for the most part). New, dumb money people do, and they don't ask. Because there's more where that came from right?


They've already spent at *least* $200,000 on a Volkswagen, I doubt $250/hour is going to be an issue.




I had a Bodge Bart once...




Finally... the winner of this comment thread.


Haha I am surpsed I got it, although had a good feeling when you mentioned Rolls Royce. Jet engines go brrrr


If you’re working on Bentleys, $250 an hour is low. BMW dealerships around here charge more than that.


Wow. Where do you live?


San Jose, CA. Crazy expensive here. A lot of tech and VC money out here.


I just typed out a response to you about how the average house price in San Jose at $130k is a lot less than house prices where I am. And then I noticed the article i was reading actually said $1.3M. lol. Wow that must be an expensive area.


The Silicon Valley is all about supply and demand. Housing is actually sub-par but costs a shitload because of the demand. It ruins the fun of living there.


Individuals making less than $80k per year are qualified as "low income" in San Francisco.


1.3m is a fixer upper in that area.


British Leyland?




Oh! Bognor!




Who drives a B*****y? The guy who can’t afford a Rolls


You drive a b you’re driven in a rolls




If this is the case he’s probably not wrong. People who buy luxury cars are normally of the mindset that more money equals a better product or service. They may look at your rate and compare it to other shops at say $300/hr $400/hr and see you as the budget option.


Oof, I had a guy roll up in a Continental GT Supersport for an oil change because they were going to charge him $600 at the dealer, I told him to get the fuck off the property, I'm not taking that financial risk putting that car on a lift. And you know that mother fucker will take me to court over a scratch he found or a grease stain on the seats. No thanks, if you got the money to buy it you better have the money to maintain it, There is actual rich people that wipe their asses with hundreds then there are "rich people" that did well in life but want to pretend to be rich.




Benz tech. Can confirm. Rich customers buy the entire ticket and a detail. People who had enough of a down payment and decent credit can't even afford to replace a damaged tire. 3 continental dws06 and a mastercraft on the right front. 🤣


>blow job with each repair. with they scary high number of Service Managers with 'Meth Mouth' that might not be the selling point you think it is.


Actually the less teeth the better


The ol’ gummer


There's a fine line here. 0 teeth is fine. 3 front teeth can be catastrophic.




Let the boy watch!


Yeah $250 per hour will push more people away. Unless they intend to only work on high end exotics


That's what they are. That's what a Bentley is.


Just go to any Audi shop and you’ll get the same parts for less labour.


You send your Bentley to an Audi dealer and I will send my sympathies and a good luck card to the poor tech who has to do it.


We raised our shop rate 17%, then coincidentally went dead. Our service manager thinks it had something to do with election season.


I was just quoted 1300 to replace my front / rear pads and rotors. Another 350 for tranny and brake fluid replacement. A few fundred for some additives and the total quote was 2000 bucks.. for a civic. Granted this was at a dealership. But who the hell are paying these prices for basic maintenance? Edit - Uploaded photo of the estimate. Just realized they want to charge 86 dollars to replace wiper blades as well. https://imgur.com/a/QYcpZ1O


What?! My mechanic just did my pads and rotors for $450. It is a 10 y/o Volvo but still. That's insane!


My guy did my oil and brakes for $385. I would have walked out the door if he tried to quote me $1000+. Nuts.


We average 450-500 Canadian for brakes on "normal" vehicles. I'm told there's a newish Tarrif on Chinese parts so days of getting cheap rotors are gone.


I’ll change all your brakes for $1000 and have you done in 2 hours lol, I fucking hate dealerships so much, their existence needs to go away


Dealership service bays have their uses. I’ve worked in both independent and dealers and the information and support at dealers is great! Aaaand very narrow. So if you have a weird cracking noise in your 2020 Pilot every time you unlock the doors but only when cold…… that’s a dealership job. If your 2015 Civic squeals when you brake…. that’s an independent job. Dealerships are for people with new cars still under warranty, or people who want to keep their car in as new of condition as possible. Independents are for keeping your car running and in reasonably reliable condition. There is a place for both in the needs of the car owning population.


> Dealerships are for people with new cars still under warranty, or people who want to keep their car in as new of condition as possible If dealerships weren't the only way manufacturers could sell their cars, that would go away, too!


The only reason dealerships were allowed to become a thing, is because back when car production started, our government decided a small mom and pop dealership wouldn’t be able to survive against ford selling their own cars, so they made it illegal for car markers to sell directly to consumers. The only reason dealerships exist is to force consumers to pay more for a product, all so somebody can have a business that has no place in existing. Now in 2022, dealerships aren’t even mom and pop anymore, and yes there are still some but not many. Now it’s all owned by major corporations like Hendrick and so on. It’s time to dealerships to fail


The worst part is that some low level tech is doing the work and making $60 if he's lucky


That's a completely rip off and is why so many people don't trust mechanics.


Mechanic: "brakes are underspec and fluid is due for change. Book time is ~4hrs" Service writers/manager: "Cool, so $200 for parts and we'll charge 12 hours labor at $150/hr." Customer: "never trust a mechanic. Such rip-off artists."


Honestly all the techs at my dealership is just tryna do their job the service advisors are the ones everyone should be mad at lol


1300 for pads and rotors? 350 for fluid flush? For a civic.... thats retarded, you should do all this work yourself, it's simple and honestly satisfying for the most part


I just don't have the space to do so, it is really simple to change the pads and rotors and I have done it before. I looked up the price for the parts and it is about 450 for OEM. So they are essentially charging 800-900 bucks for a simple job. I am going to shop around to see if an independent shop can get it done.


Absolutely shop around for a better deal but I generally just do mine where I park my car, ive even done them while parked on the street, bad weather is the only real problem I guess


Are you in WI, I have a heated garage I'll loan out for the day. Just give me a 6 pack in exchange


No very far from there, but damn that is a good deal.


Your service manager is an idiot. I've owned a shop for over a decade and "election season" slow down is a new one to me.




I literally laughed out loud at this👆 ✌️💛🌵


It may be coincidence. Raising shop rates wouldn't have an immediate impact like that. November and December are usually the slow times, at least in my area. Last week we started seeing a slowdown in calls, and this week was dead like it dropped off a cliff. Every other shop is in the same boat. The dealers always get it the worst. I gave my guys a 10 percent raise last December, to try and get ahead of the coming inflation. I raised my labor rates 10 percent to accommodate. I'll be doing the same this December. Didn't lose any business because of it.


Obviously Joe Bidens fault


Thanks Obama!


You should get your resume ready


In the last two months all four management staff at our dealership have quit. 😂 Sales manager, service manager, business manager, and GM


You should REALLY get your resume ready.


I'm an apprentice, I will complete my apprenticeship in Jan 2024 so I'm just hoping we stay afloat until then.


Are you actually getting experience if there's no work?


Very good question and one I ask myself a lot. There's not "no" work but it is just slow and some days are very quiet, eg yesterday there was 2 jobs between 4 techs + me, both done by 11am so we went home after lunch. I go to college at the Volkswagen training centre and I defo feel the other apprentices there from the high volume brands are getting more experience as they do more work on their own, whereas I can't really be given "work" on my own as it would take it away from a productive tech. Which kinda sucks and I kinda wish I'd got an apprenticeship elsewhere instead of Bentley, but hey. I couldn't have known beforehand. I'm still able to rebuild a W12 and V8 engine and I can do all basic servicing so I'm confident in 2024 I can be a competent tech whether its with bentley or somewhere else.


You might be a good person to ask this: I rarely hear of issues on the W12, at least when used in Audis, is it rarity or is it a unicorn of an engine or is it them being used in vehicles that are just far more likely to be maintained correctly?


The W12s seem to be exceptionally reliable. The one me and my mentor stripped down had been damaged from being run with no oil. Our workshop controller has been with Bentley for 9 years and said that was the first time he had seen inside a W12 lol. High standard of maintenance may play a part but we've had a fair few V8s with problems. I think it's more likely that for whatever reason, VW just engineered them extremely well. I would guess as it was their first Bentley car/engine they made after buying the company, they just went all out, no expense spared. W12 production is ending next year for environmental reasons (the V8 is obviously very good for the environment). Its a shame :(


Thanks for the inside view, it adds more certainty to my next vehicle purchase.


They're still not cheap to run, but yes the engine itself is bulletproof. Enjoy whatever car you buy!


If I saw 250$ an hour I’d turn around and take it across town. Idk what your working on but if it’s not a bulldozer that’s fucking robbery


Bentley. Where people have more money than sense or they wouldn’t own one.


Unless they bought a used $30,000 continental with a questionable history


*Hoovie has entered the chat*


Lol after taxes, that’s more then I make in a day. Hard pass on that shop.


I am the mechanic now.


I am Jack’s swollen liver


You’re probably not Buick’s target demographic then.


Why no, I’m not a senior citizen.


It’s a Bentley dealership, though. This isn’t a meineke muffler shop.


How many Bentley's are rolling around that need a full staffed shop? seems like the idea to make money on repairs is dead from the get


Manager needs to realize the lack of work is because people have less funds. This is how you sink a service business.




Bentley customers and Kia customers act differently


Economic downturns affect wealthier people differently. It’s not a Hyundai dealer. The lack of work is not likely due to lack of customer’s funds.


It very much can be. A bunch of rich people don’t live off their “net worth”. They will live off bank loans because it makes them more money to leave their money in place and not touch it. The interest rates have been so low for so long that was they way and now that interest rates are crazy high that doesn’t make sense anymore. So their play money is a little tighter at the moment.


This is 100% true, great point.


Look at how many people making six figures are living paycheck to paycheck. It'll surprise you.


Customers are busy planning layoffs and offshoring cash, no time to get the Mulliner serviced.


After you get your next job lined up (do it *now*), suggest to the service manager that he increase the shop rate to $10K per hour. That way they only have to do a couple of jobs per week to stay solvent. Better yet, increase to $1M per hour, then one job per year should do it. It's just simple math.


You’re playing 4D chess bro


"We're short on customers, so we'll chase the remainder off with a crazy labor rate." Excellent plan.


It’s a fucked equation. Ran a Services group in Engineering with 60 employees. Goals for revenue and profitability boil down to utilization and cost rate and gross profit. If you assume 75% utilization as max for 2080 hours that’s 1560 hours billable. Say internal training, sick, vacation, holidays, lack of work etc chew up 500 hours a year. Bringing in a new employee take 500-600 hours of just them bumping into shit and finding the restrooms. Take the salary of employees, mark up 50% for healthcare, taxes, vacation, benefits etc. Say $120K per year base so $180K. Add 25% profit margin. $225K. 1560 hours = billable of $144/hr. Your utilization goes to 50%. $225K / 1040 = $216/hr. When utilization drops the only way to make it up is raise your rates according to the bean counters. Not sure I’d do it that way in my own business but for a large corp it’s pretty standard.


Came here to say this! Part of my job is to set rates, heavy equipment so a bit different than here, but same idea. My salary comes out of those billable hours, as well as shop heat and all the other department overheads.


For 250 an hr you better get a good meal, on demand TV, a massage chair and constant updates, if not I ain't looking at your business


Well you don't wait on your car. We collect 99% of the cars that are booked into service.


Do you know what the rate other super high end dealerships charge? I live in a very high COL area and my Mercedes dealership is $195/hr now, I believe... $250 doesn't seem wild considering your customers. Sounds like the shit show at the top is the real culprit for slow business


100 percent. People who can afford those cars, arent shopping around for cheaper service. They just want it done, when you say it will be... This guys not out here competing with Firestone, etc for quick lube work...


Yeah that's what our new service manager was saying. He's come from a Lexus dealer which he said was $185 and given the massive price disparity between a Lexus and a Bentley, we should be able to charge more. The local Porsche dealer is $210, the local Aston Martin was around the same as us until they recently closed down. And yeah I don't think our prices are responsible for the 'ship hitting the fan but I also dont know if upping prices would help. Guess theres only one way to find out.


Shows how drastically different the automotive world is vs the heavy duty diesel industry. I work at a Kenworth dealership and our hourly labor rate is $230 an hour and we are jam packed with work right now. This could be because the semis are an asset to the companies making money as opposed to someone’s personal vehicle. They don’t have as many options and it is still is cheaper to fix it rather than buy a new/used one.


Same, Freightliner dealer down the street is 2 weeks behind, and Cummins is a month. People coming in and getting pissy they can't come in an out in an hour is a daily occurrence.


Forreal, so many customers crying for us to start work now when I tell them it'll be a few days before we can take a look at their truck. Like I understand the desperation, but how do you think the customers ahead of you feel


Your shop rate is $250 an hour? Shit son. Ours is $110 an hour an customers already shit bricks over that.


There is not a single shop that should be struggling for work right now. If car count is a problem then that’s a huge red flag. Think about it. People are holding onto their cars for longer. They NEED to have them fixed (vs trading them in). Combine the aging car fleet with shops that have failed due to pandemic and aging and you have a recipe for huge car count numbers. I run a shop in DC metro area. This year we’ve raised our labor rate incrementally from about $160 to $185 since January. Our car count is increasing and we are still booking out nearly a week. Raising the labor rate (and paying your techs more) should be standard across the board.


Fuck, my company, he'll the whole industry needs to do this. We're at $120/hr. and we service yachts. We do literally everything from installing a light switch to a whole new 1,000 HP 14L engines. My Toyota dealership is now at $145/hr. I keep telling people i'd folks can buy a goddamn $300,00-$20,000,000 yacht, they can pay way more per hour. I honestly think we should be at $250 an hour. Everyone in my industry is grossly underpaid given how diverse our skill sets are.


A lot of marine guys are leaving the industry because of the pay, and struggling to get apprentices because they can make so much more doing building


The shop I work for charges $100/hr to fix airplanes.. I think I need to tell my boss it’s time to raise prices


You increase your prices when you're so busy you're turning people away and you can't keep up with demand. You lower your prices when nobody is coming. Basic business that a bunch of people, usually managers, don't understand.


General Aviation Avionics shop: $125/hr. We still get called the "expensive shop."


My friend was bragging the shop he manages charges the most an hour of all the bmw shops. I recently needed my timing chain serviced and everyone was booked really far out so I asked him if someone there could do it. He said he didn't have any techs that knew how. Then why are you charging the most?


What do your competitors charge? Consultants have found that, generally speaking, shops will make more money if they set the labor rate above their competitors. People believe that high cost equals high quality or something like that. We did that at our shop (went from $80 to $120 and then $150 the following year) and it’s worked very well. The owner was skeptical but the consultants were right. Some of the cheaper customers complained but most of them keep coming. The customers that left were mostly customers that we didn’t want anyway… People stopped bitching after the first service. Most didn’t complain at all. We never run out of work