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Yamaha launches prepaid maintenance program

Dave McMahon, Editor in Chief
September 20, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Latest F&I product geared at repeat visits to dealership

Yamaha Extended Service is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013. Now, the revenue-generating favorite has a new younger sibling to welcome to the Yamaha F&I family. Earlier this summer, Yamaha announced the launch of a new factory-backed prepaid maintenance program: Y.E.S. Maintenance.

The prepaid maintenance program allows Yamaha dealers to capitalize on the growing number of customers who are opting to pre-pay for regular factory-recommended services.

Yamaha designed Y.E.S. Maintenance exclusively for Yamaha customers using the periodic maintenance schedule in their vehicle’s owner’s manual. Customers can include the cost of Y.E.S. Maintenance as part of their financing program on purchases of new vehicles (motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides only).

Yamaha claims savings of up to 30 percent on labor vs. pay-as-you-go maintenance, along with service with Yamaha Genuine Parts and Yamalube products.

Julia McCarthy and Tom McCarthy from Motorcycle Management Consulting Services, Inc., assisted with the formation of the program.

“We’re always looking for ways to expand the suite of products that Yamaha can offer,” Julia McCarthy said. “We’re looking for ways to tie the customer to the dealer and increase the opportunity for the dealer to see that customer again and keep him coming back, and buying a new Yamaha when he’s ready to buy a new bike. This is a perfect fit for that philosophy.”

Consumers who purchase Y.E.S. Maintenance are allowed to use the program with the dealership at which it was purchased.

“One of the big things with Yamaha in launching this was building that lifetime relationship between the dealership and the customer, not between Yamaha and the customer,” said Colin Haugh, Y.E.S. department manager. “The dealership is going to touch the customer the most. It has to be program that’s sold and not forgotten about.”

And while some prepaid maintenance programs can be formulated with the intention of profiting on the forfeiture of prepaid services, the Y.E.S. Maintenance solution simply drives consumers multiple times back to the dealership.

“The opinion among dealers of what prepaid maintenance should be is divided,” McCarthy said. “Some dealers want to collect the money, and they don’t want the customer to come back because they get to keep the money if the customer doesn’t come back. When prepaid maintenance was originally conjured up as an F&I product, the real purpose was to bring the customer back. You want to see them over and over again, because they’re going to buy apparel, or parts, or kick tires on their next dream machine. Yamaha has a very clear focus with this.”

Yamaha’s new Y.E.S. prepaid maintenance plan applies to the company’s motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides.

Yamaha’s new Y.E.S. prepaid maintenance plan applies to the company’s motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides.

As part of the OEM’s commitment, the Y.E.S. department will send Y.E.S. Maintenance customers a reminder directing them back to the dealership when services are due. It’s available in 4-year service and 6-year service plans. Registration occurs online through the Yamaha Dealer System.

And after 30 years of selling extended warranties, Yamaha and its dealer network should be able to profit from an added F&I product.

“I think in terms of the penetration rate, the number of contracts sold to the number of units, we’re in better shape today than we ever have been,” Haugh said.

And while other OEMs have launched prepaid maintenance programs, Haugh says Yamaha plans to aggressively market it and encourage dealers to take advantage of it.

“The dealer feedback has been really positive,” he said. “We didn’t know what the dealers’ response would be, because dealers can do their own prepaid maintenance plans. There are also aftermarket plans. But we wanted to offer a plan so that Yamaha dealers who do not have such a program could easily get involved, and allow that customer to return again and again to the dealership.”

A variety of factors will determine which dealers opt in, Haugh said.

“To those dealers that have a successful prepaid maintenance program, more power to them. I’m glad they’re successful,” he said. “But some states are very restrictive on these type of things. Other dealers may not have the volume. This allows the dealership to take part in Y.E.S. Maintenance, whether you sell one contract a month or 10 or more. It’s another F&I product that you can offer.”

In addition, McCarthy says that lenders “are extremely fond of extended service products and prepaid maintenance. They’re going to keep the vehicle operating and paying for it.”

And Haugh says that customers who buy Yamaha extended warranties have a better history of paying off their loans.

Haugh added that while the list of maintenance tasks performs appears exhaustive, dealers are already asking for a more entry-level maintenance plan, and Yamaha is already considering those options.

 

Star Motorcycles 4-year Service Plan

Up to 12,000 miles/18 months

Service at:
600 miles/30 days
4,000 miles/6 months
8,000 miles/12 months
12,000 miles/18 months

Services covered:
Oil & filter change
Transfer case/final drive oil change
Spark plug replacement
Fuel injection synchronization
Lubricate all pivot points

Star Motorcycles 6-year Service Plan

Service at:
600 miles/30 days
4,000 miles/6 months
8,000 miles/12 months
12,000 miles/18 months

Services covered:
Oil & filter change
Valve adjustment
Spark plug replacement
Fuel injection synchronization
Brake master cylinder rebuild
Coolant system flush
Clutch master cylinder rebuild
Brake caliper rebuild
Steering bearing repack
Transfer case/final drive oil change
Lubricate all pivot points

 

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