Why Get Automotive Insurance

Many people have a car of some description, it could be a hatchback, bakkie, sedan or any of a dozen other types of vehicle available for purchase. Most of these people have got automotive insurance, but why? It’s expensive and a bother to try and get quotes for. Then try and claim! Why then do people carry out automotive insurance?Firstly, it is required by law to sign up for an automotive insurance policy with the purchase of a new car. This is because banks want to be able to be certain of getting their loaned money back even if the car is written off. If your car is written off, then automotive insurance will compensate the value the vehicle was insured for. This money can be used to pay off the remainder of the loan taken to buy the car initially or to buy a new car, it really is your decision and your financial circumstances.Another reason for taking out automotive insurance is to safeguard your money against mending damage caused in a car accident. In the event you are ever in an accident and your car is damaged, either you have to cover for it or you can demand it from your insurance company. For minimal damages, it may be better ultimately to pay for it by yourself since if the repair service cost is lower than your excess payment, the insurance won’t pay out at any rate but you will be listed as having claimed which could potentially cause your premiums to rise. If however your vehicle sustains damages which would likely cost thousands to fix your insurance will pay for those repairs to be done at an approved mechanic and panel beater, all you would be liable for is the excess fee.There are various types of automotive insurance. The first one is third party cover. What this means is that you are covered entirely against claims by other parties should you be involved in a car accident. This means that you won’t be liable to be charged the other parties’ damages should they claim you were to blame. The other option is comprehensive cover. This type is much more flexible. You are able to change your excess cost to an amount to suit your budget. You can claim for damages caused by either yourself or someone else and get paid out for the repairs. Comprehensive covers many more areas of potential damage and loss than third party does, it is however far more expensive, particularly if you happen to be below the age of 25 or have had your license for fewer than five years.Automotive insurance is unquestionably worth the expense and effort. It will save you a lot of heartache and expense in case of accidents. You are able to use a payout when your car has been written off to pay off the car or obtain a new car. If you should be caught up in an accident, all you are responsible for is the excess payment you decided to pay. Automotive insurance may cost you a tad each month, but you will not ever have to worry about having to mend the harms caused by a reckless driver.

5 Automotive Industry Trends Which Will Put Pedal to Metal

A new technological decade has unfolded, and businesses are gearing up to keep pace with the emerging trends and evolving user requisites of this era. Industry giants are claiming to have their strategies in place, in order to mitigate any risks which the year 2013 may pose. But are all industries indeed ready?As of March 2013, the US automotive industry has recorded a sale of 3,689,089, but will the pace be maintained throughout? Are mobility firms prepared for the next decade? In order to determine this, automakers will need to keep an eye in the emerging trends of the industry and adopt them into their business models. Here are 5 key trends which every mobility firm must be mindful about as it strategizes for the upcoming financial year. Governments will regulate the need for safer and cleaner transportation. As far as secure individual mobility is concerned, governments are currently focusing on three core areas- environmental compatibility, preservation of resources and safety. This will prompt original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to render a diversified range of safer and cleaner vehicles, especially zero-emission transportation. While, consumers will weigh their vehicle-buying decisions based on penalties and incentives at their disposal.
New players will set foot in the automotive sector. The evolving consumer needs, introduction of Automotive IT solutions and advancing technology have paved way for new entrants to set foot in the mobility market. Even non-automotive firms are rendering services like mobility integration, car-sharing and ‘black box insurance’ based on usage, which decides the premium limit based on electric vehicle integration, real-time evaluation of driving performance and advanced car entertainment systems. The evolution of these new business models will allow the new players to become an integrated part of the traditional automotive value chain.
Automotive marketing will get an edge with social media initiatives. The marketing trends in the automotive industry have witnessed a major shift. From showcasing a gleaming car in a 30-second slot, the means of marketing have become more social. Lately, consumers have been doing a thorough research before deciding upon which vehicle to invest in. Social media platforms have facilitated the access to a plethora of information, including perceptions and opinions of other consumers. Buyers are resting their decisions on reviews which they acquire from influential blogs and websites, other consumers and news features- sources on which the mobility firms can’t exercise any control. At the same time, OEMs are harnessing social platforms to develop closer bonds with consumers. They are adapting to the paradigm shift and utilizing it to market their products to a wider audience base.
OEMs will look forward to rationalizing their portfolios. Post surviving the recession blues, most OEMs will shift their focus from volume to sustainability and profits. Emerging OEMs will look forward to climbing up the scale as soon as possible, by either acquiring in their home market or eyeing the developed nations, in order to build a global presence.
Globalization of the sector will result into emergence of new risks. Globalization is paving way for new risks and OEMs are continuously devising radical operational strategies in order to mitigate these risks. Whether it’s the volatile prices of raw materials and misalignment of demand and supply, or it’s the shortage of qualified workers and changing regulatory prices, automotive firms are facing a reality check pertaining to their globalization efforts. In the wake of these challenges, industry must gear up to implement mitigation strategies in order to simplify the adaption of the value chain. And implementation of automotive software solutions is being viewed as one of the prime solutions to these challenges.Planning is the key to success in the times to come. The automotive industry needs to study the evolving trends circumspectly and prepare their business strategies accordingly.

Adding Express Detailing Services to Your Already Successful Car Wash or Automotive Business

Express Detailing is a term, which has been marketed and inevitably defined by fixed site car washes in their attempt to increase average per ticket transactions. By using express detailing as an “add-on” service for between $35.00-$60.00 they are able to up sell a $4.99 exterior wash direct mail coupon that a customer brings in to a $40.00- 70.00 charge. Their theory is sound and tends to work well for them. A car wash in and out wash which takes 10-15 minutes for vacuum, tunnel wash and dry and then another 15-20 minutes for a solvent polymer wax, with dash and tire dressing is consistent with their industry $/hour goals. Now car wash owners have gone one step further with The Blue Coral Wax Treatment.This is a wax put on while the car is still wet, thus eliminating the drying step. The wax is rubbed on the wet car, dries to a haze and is wiped off which dramatically increases efficiency and adds even greater revenue. Thus by speeding up the process they cater even more to the new consumers attitude. “I want it now”, the quicker the better, give me my detail, I have things to do, I’m outta here. Similar customer attitudes are found in the demands of e-commerce where you buy a product today and it shows up at your doorstep next morning guaranteed by Fed EX or Two day service by RPS, Airbourne, UPS, Emery Express, or Fed EX.In a world of co-branding, point of destination strategies and co-op marketing, all industries are evolving and diversifying to capture greater profits within a single brick and mortar location or as is appearing more commonly on Internet web sites. In general much of the new thinking has been customer driven due to lifestyle changes, low unemployment, time factors and quality of life issues of the consumer. If you look at amazon.com which now sells tapes, records and toys when previously it was strictly a books sales site. It can quickly add new revenue streams by offering it’s customer base more reasons to buy more things. You to see the revolutionizing effect of this trend? We have on-line search engines being paid million dollars from car companies and furniture companies for their industries exclusive rights to e-commerce directly on those sites. As Starbucks begins to sell housewares on their web site, and Home Depots add McDonalds inside their stores and Bank of Wal-Mart opening it’s own brand of bank within its 5 superstores; you have to think that ‘express detailing’ at car washes is simply a natural progression. Many professional detailers would disagree saying these types of services are different animals. Some complain that fixed site car washes have ruined the true definition of the term detailing. Yet if you look closely this is nothing more than true capitalism in a free market system generating additional revenues with existing resources.Think about it for a minute. Professional Detailing Centers often do glass repair, window tinting, pin-striping and graphics, gold plating, ozone treatment, dent repair, color sanding, upholstery repair, wood grain paneling, and even after market auto accessories. These are all industries in their own right and these industry leaders with their own definitions and trade publications and accepted operational procedures complain about us offering similar services as professional detailers. They say we are stealing their customers and not providing the same quality workmanship as the craftsmen do in those industries, which may or may not be true. For example a person specializing in upholstery repair for twenty years can obviously do a better quality job than a detailer on fabrics of almost any type. You are affecting his bottom line with an inferior service since you don’t have 20 years experience in upholstery repair understanding the dynamics of thirty different types of fabric, dyes, and manufacturers suggestions for preservation.Should he be mad at you for offering a greater array of service to you customers? No, the upholstery craftsman will need to have his own set of value added services and products he can offer to his customers such as removing and replacing seats and headliners and using the highest grade fabrics and stainless steel screws. You must have a specialty or an area of expertise, but you must also understand and then cater to the needs and more importantly the wants of your customer. If you don’t know their wants and needs, ask your customers directly in an informal survey or indirectly during conversations.Saying that fixed site car washes have destroyed the meaning of the word detailing may be true to some extent. Yet one must ask, “Did McDonalds destroy the definition of a hearty breakfast when it introduced the ‘Egg McMuffin’ in Santa Barbara, CA?” Comparing ‘express detailing’ with a complete detailing service is merely another apples and oranges issue. We as professional detailers realize that there is no comparison. Why does this make so many of us angry? It is all those years of perfection being thrown out the window? But do not look at it that way, look at it as an incredible opportunity. Channel the frustration and anger into energy and perseverance. The fixed site car washes with their quick wax, ‘express detail’ have popularized the phrase ‘detailing’ to an entirely new group of consumers who normally might not be interested in your services prior to this introduction. It is up to us to expand upon this and take advantage of the fact that now the general workforce is buying detailing services. Sure it’s inferior, but a need, a want and desire to spend money for detailing has been formally introduced. This has opportunity written all over it as Bud Abraham said in a speech he delivered at the ICA (International Carwash Association) annual conference in Las Vegas.Many feel that this new spin on the old terminology of detailing has adversely affected the professional detailers retail business. Fixed detailers must adapt to this market challenge or loose a large percentage of their retail detail volume and thus have their profitability affected. By differentiating their service and educating customers to the definition of a ‘Full Detail’ or ‘Complete Detailing Service’ the professional detailer is able to cater to the ideal retail customer in the middle to upper income classes. Generally members of this market segment understand the difference and are aware of the value of a real detail versus an express service. This high-end crowd can be as much as 15-35% of the professional detailers retail clientele. Let’s say that a Professional Detailer has 70% of its business in new and used Car Dealerships and other fleet customers who occasionally need detailing. Vehicles such as rent-a-cars, work vans, or sales cars for corporations and 30% in individual retail, the higher per car profit of all services offered. It is not good business sense for a Professional Detailer to simply ignore that much of their customer base, and therefore they must develop a strategy to help customers and clients understand the difference between the express service and full detail.Some of the communication problems come into play when a customer is convinced that the $50.00-$60.00 (sometimes as low as $35.00) he or she paid for an express detail is the same service they will get when they pay a $100.00+ complete detailing service. Even when the higher price comes from a professional and reputable detailing establishment and not a 30 minute ‘express service’ from a car wash. Unfortunately unless otherwise educated, perception becomes reality.The problems are compounded when you throw the mobile detailer into the loop. Usually charging $60.00-$80.00 and then calling his detailing services a ‘full detail’. This market player is fiercely competitive for price as he attempts to establish his new business and has the advantage of on-site service. Many of these new small companies will be in business for a summer or two, or at most a couple of years. Many opt later to establish fixed sites and raise their prices due to increased capital expenditures such as a phone system, fixtures, electrical work, reclaim devises and work benches and increased overhead or rent, electricity, office supplies, water, and reclaim waste water removal. Established mobile detailers who last over two years generally develop a larger clientele and raise their prices simply because of supply and demand economics. Their prices will usually be $100.00+ for a complete detail.Many also offer a monthly program including washes, detailing services and monthly billing. Most mobile operations have not adopted the term Express Detailing because they believe they do a better job than the car washes with regard to quality. Many mobile operations will continue the low price of their original full detail of $60.00-$80.00, but now use the term ‘mini-detail’. This allows them to charge a full detail price to new customers but still offer previous customers and those original customers’ word of mouth referrals a low price without giving away services. It also allows them to tap into the customers that may not be able to afford a real detail but still wish to have detailing services for ego reasons, being able to tell friends, “I had my car detailed.” Why own a BMW if you can’t have it detailed. This appeals to the young executive on his way up the ladder.A few mobile detailers have used the term ‘express detailing’, which adds even more confusion to the issue. “What is an Express Detail anyway?” Most of the new mobile detailers eventually go out of business or raise prices due to environmental reclaim issues, competition, seasonal weather, lack proper image, inferior learn as you go training or lack of industry knowledge. Many of the new professional detailers in our industry come from the mobile sector and they tend to price and deliver whatever they can sell to the customer, using the word detail whenever they think it will command a higher price. They will use the word detailing loosely to sell the job.I think it would be fair to say that the word ‘detail’ has been over used for marketing purposes at fixed site car washes and has caused problems with the definition and mystique of professional automobile detailing. It has caused havoc for those true professionals who have worked hard and sacrificed to keep the word sacred for many years and have prided themselves in the most excellent service.Many Old Time Detailing Professionals have been forced to address this express detailing issue by adding express services to their menu of services. This appeases the customer’s desire for quick and affordable service between quarterly of semi-annual full detailing appointments. Sometimes this cannibalizes full detailing services but if done correctly it can attract new customers to your business ho will eventually try the real thing. Once they do they will be hooked forever. By letting your customer’s experience a full detailing service you will build your complete detailing customer base.See the chart provided to us by Nicholas J. Vacco, a seasoned detailing veteran. These are the things most full and complete detailing services include:FULL DETAILING-INSPECTION CHECK-LISTEXTERIOR:_____ Make sure all wax is removed_____ Check for wax dust_____ Check emblems and crevices_____ Check to see if \chrome has been polished_____ Check grill and all front areas for bug removal_____ Look at rocker panels for tar_____ Check wheels for brake dust_____ Check white walls_____ Make sure tires are dressed evenly_____ Check wheel wells_____ Make sure wheel well lips are clean_____ Check all bezels for wax removal and cleanliness_____ Check windows for smears/paint overspray_____ Look at mirrors for cleanliness_____ Check headlights/tail lights for cleanliness_____ Check moldings, weather striping, front air dams, bumper strips for dressing_____ Make sure vinyl top is clean and conditioned_____ Check wipers for oversprayINTERIOR:_____ Make sure carpet is vacuumed_____ Check under seats_____ Check ash trays_____ Check rear shelf_____ Check carpet for stains and cleanliness_____ Check seats for stains and cleanliness_____ Look at door panes for cleanliness_____ Check dash board; ac vents, gauges, radio knobs, steering column, levers, crevices_____ Check all chrome including seat belt ends, door handles, step plates_____ Make sure all vinyl and leather has been evenly dressed_____ Check headliner, visors, sail panels_____ Check dome light area_____ Check seat belts_____ Make sure all pedals are cleaned_____ Check lower dash for dressing_____ Check all door jambs for cleanliness and tar removal_____ Check consoles and glove compartment for cleanliness_____ Check windows; below inspection stickers, inside rear brake lights, window tips_____ Check rear view mirror_____ Check vanity mirrors_____ Make sure mats are in trunk_____ Check to see that personal items are placed in clear plastic bag_____ Check for plastic drivers seat cover_____ Check for paper mats_____ Be sure a hand-out flyer has been placed in car——–If a professional detailer will simply look past customer perception that “a detail is a detail” and educate them on the differences, then that professional will get the best of all worlds. By letting car washes introduce the idea and market to the consumers of the world, you will get free advertising. By car washes using the term detailing, even if it is out of context and even if they lower the once high standards in the minds of consumers, they still have opened the market ten fold. Now that this market is wide open and almost everyone has become in their own minds a detailing customer; it is up to the professional detailers to show them ‘a real detail’. It is up to us to expand our retail market mix, to expand that percentage of our business’ total sales.Once the customer experiences the difference, they will see our point and know that an ‘express detail’ is merely a glorified wash with a hand wax, some extra dressings, and perhaps some carpet cleaning thrown in for good measure. It is hardly what professional detailers call a ‘complete and full detail’. Once your customer has become accustomed to a real detail and received a service which has exceeded their wildest expectations, that person will be a walking, talking one-person sales army for you and every other professional detailer in our industry. So press on! Let’s make believer out of our retail clientele one customer at a time.