Used Hybrids Source of Sales and Maintenance Services for Dealers

Hybrid maintenance

by Jon LeSage

SITUATION:

  • Hybrid electric vehicles have been on US roads since 1999 with release of Honda Insight, then Toyota Prius in 2000 followed by Honda Civic Hybrid in 2002.
  • In 2000s, a lot more models followed from Toyota, Lexus, Ford, and other automakers and in recent years have been making up about 3% of new vehicle sales in US.
  • Edmunds.com green car editor John O’Dell says more than two million conventional hybrids have been sold since early 2000s and estimated 415K used hybrids on market now.
  • There’s a growing need for service centers that can maintain hybrids, which does require service technicians with specific training and skill sets.
  • It’s also becoming an important used car niche for dealers to stock up and remarket – while their used car prices can drop with gasoline prices, they’re still a great product to offer.

SIGNIFICANCE:

  • For servicing, important to have knowledgeable mechanic inspect vehicle – with knowledge being critical as these cars employ some complex technology.
  • Auto Career Development Center has become good source and lists qualified hybrid repair shops.
  • Their braking systems, sometimes regenerative braking, usually last longer than conventional braking.
  • But important to have maintenance records to see if frequent brake jobs have been done, indicating hard driving by prior owner – this could indicate other mechanical parts are worn excessively, too.
  • All hybrids are required by federal regulations to carry a minimum of a 100K-mile, eight-year battery warranty; some states, like California, require even longer warranty periods.
  • Some tests have shown that the batteries used to power hybrids’ electric motors last much longer.
  • Replacement battery for Toyota’s 2004-9 Prius models sells for less than $2,200, Edmunds found. Honda sells replacement batteries for the 2005 to 2011 Civic hybrids for $1,700 – and there’s always finding them at auto salvage yards for as little as $500

Source:  New York Times

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  • Great information! Thanks for come up with these sources of sale and significance of auto repair dealership.