Service Departments Try To Keep Up With Rising Sales, Recalls
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 37.5 million cars have been recalled in the United States so far this year. This shatters the previous record of 30.8 million vehicles recalled in 2004. NHTSA expects the total to continue rising as Japanese automakers complete the evaluation of their worldwide fleets for potential faulty air-bag inflators. Historically, recalls range from 10 million to 20 million U.S. vehicles each year, according to NHTSA. By comparison, there were 22 million vehicles recalled in 2013 and 16.4 million in 2012. Besides 2004, there’s been only one other year in which the total number of vehicles recalled passed 30 million—in 1981.The unprecedented wave of vehicle recalls this year is keeping many dealership service departments full of vehicles in need of repair. Add in the continued growth of automotive sales and service departments are busier than ever.Some dealerships are expanding service hours or staff. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), new car dealers in the U.S. employed 262,896 service technicians in 2013, up from 254,200 in 2012.