Diagnostics ‘hard sell’ isn’t helping garages, says factor

Aggressive sales tactics from suppliers is 'acting against the best interests of the independent aftermarket'

Diagnostics ‘hard sell’ isn’t helping garages, says factor
GSF Car Parts say more garages are being sold diagnostics equipment that doesn’t fit their needs and are concerned this might deter essential investment. Image: Bigstock.

The warning comes from GSF Car Parts who say diagnostic equipment is easy to miss-sell due to inherent complexity.

According to GSF, this can occur both accidentally, through lack of knowledge or through sellers being ‘economical with the truth’ about the real-world functionality garages can expect.

The motor factor has identified three primary problem areas.

The first issue is exaggeration of vehicle or system coverage.

Secondly, there’s simplification of the process of setting or up or learning to use these tools to their full potential.

Finally, come claims over future support or software and data updates.

‘Getting worse’

John Wright, head of garage equipment and customer development at GSF, said: “These problems have been getting worse lately.

“Diagnostics are now more main-stream, with lots of suppliers tending to compete on price.”

John cautions garages over what GSF describe as ‘too-good-to-be-true deals’, adding: “These offers happen because the motor factor, or the manufacturer has a lot of stock of a particular product to shift.

“This is when we most often find garages get sold something that isn’t right for their needs; so even if the initial price looked appealing, it’s poor value when the kit they buy doesn’t do what they need it to, or what they expected.”

‘Essential investment’

The danger, according to GSF, is that garages are then put off making essential investment in the diagnostics products they increasingly need to work profitably on modern vehicle systems.

The motor factor says it offers a comprehensive range of diagnostic solutions from a range of leading brands but because the products are not directly stocked, GSF say they are able to offer an impartial ‘consultative’ sales process.

Branch staff are trained to advise customers on the pros and cons of different options, so garages can reach an informed buying decision.

Technician skill

John added: “Workshops can sometimes fall into the trap too of buying a tool to ‘save technician time’ but it never replaces a good technician.

“Even the right diagnostic tool can only identify components performing outside parameters and suggest possible causes, so it’s essential the technicians have the skills sets in place too.”

Details of GSF’s programme can be found in their quarterly Garage Essentials publication, find the nearest branch to pick up a copy by clicking ‘more details’ below.

Are suppliers giving you the ‘hard sell’? Please leave your comments and any concerns below.

2 Comments

  1. Their prices are too high on equipment and they time out after a year and you have to pay for an update which is too expensive. I dont buy any that time out after a year, will not even look at them. Had a rep in, I told him i was not interested in looking at his gear as it all timed out after a year £350.00 to update not on.

    Reply
  2. Their prices are too high on equipment and they time out after a year and you have to pay for an update which is too expensive. I dont buy any that time out after a year, will not even look at them. Had a rep in, I told him i was not interested in looking at his gear as it all timed out after a year £350.00 to update not on.

    Reply

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