Service a top priority


FANCY a cuddle from your friendly car dealer? It may not happen literally but car companies and their dealer networks are spending up big to embrace existing owners like never before, aiming to turn their loyalty into repeat business.

And an increasingly vital tool in their armoury is servicing.

Getting your car serviced isn't the simple afterthought it used to be. And given it's one of the greatest costs of ownership - it could set you back anywhere from $1000 to $5000 during the warranty period alone - it's an important decision for a new car owner to make.

With new-car profit margins being constantly squeezed, industry experts say the service bay - not the showroom - is where ''the next big battle'' is being fought.

Car dealers are looking to encourage customer loyalty - and extend their earning potential from each customer - by treating car owners like they're part of an exclusive club.


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