Research: Efforts to stop right to repair futile

Chenenko said it’s not Ducker Carlisle’s place to take sides on the issue. Instead, he said, the company is simply interested in studying what might happen to dealerships when these measures inevitably pass.

For that, the firm compared its survey with its most recent North American Service and Parts Benchmarking data to look at customer retention. Ducker Carlisle then asked respondents whether they would change where they have their vehicle serviced if a right-to-repair law passed.

Twelve percent said they would “definitely” switch, and 46 percent said they “may” switch. Ten percent said they would not and 32 percent said they didn’t care.

“For the consumer, the reality is they don’t view themselves as trapped in the dealer channel at all,” Chenenko said. “They go to the dealer because they want to, not because they feel like they have to.”

What Ducker Carlisle found surprising — and potentially good news for dealerships — is from where those customers were switching.

Of those currently getting their vehicle serviced at a dealership, 9 percent said they would switch to an independent shop, and 36 percent said they might.

For consumers going to independent repair facilities and chain stores for repairs and maintenance, 13 percent said they would switch to a dealership service department, and 35 percent said they might.

“This makes no sense, right?” Chenenko said. “The whole point of right to repair is to make it easier, in theory, to switch away from the dealer, not easier to switch to the dealer.”

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