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Honda Auto Center of Bellevue saves 47% by replacing shuttles with Uber

As the largest-volume Honda dealership in the Pacific Northwest, Honda Auto Center of Bellevue services between 120 and 150 cars a day. Each of the owners of these cars needs a way to get home or to work, and they often have a tight timeline to reach their next obligation.

The challenges

In the past, the dealership offered 2 courtesy shuttles for this purpose. There was often a wait for customers, both at the service center and once they got on the shuttle, especially in the morning. This led to a lot of frustration for customers and staff.

“Our first shuttle didn’t run until 7:40am, and even if we told a customer this ahead of time, they were often upset if they were ready 20 minutes earlier and had to wait,” says Janine Zimmerman, Parts and Service Director of Honda Auto Center of Bellevue.

Ride availability was also a challenge in the late afternoons and evenings. Although the center is open until 8pm, the shuttle drivers generally ended their shifts by 4pm due to local traffic congestion.

Cost was another issue. “At one point we did an analysis of all of the costs that went into the courtesy shuttle service, and I was stunned with the results,” says Zimmerman. “When we added it together, it was a lot higher than we originally anticipated.”

Honda Auto Center of Bellevue also struggled to find and retain dependable shuttle drivers. When they left, the company decided to give the Uber platform a try.

The solution

The service department of Honda Auto Center of Bellevue now uses Uber Central to quickly and efficiently request rides for customers. Their customers don’t need the Uber app to get the ride details or even a smartphone, just a mobile device with SMS capabilities. If a customer doesn’t have one, the service adviser can share the information in person.

“Our customers really like being able to find a ride with Uber as soon as they are ready, and our team has found it very simple to use,” says Zimmerman.

The results

Since replacing both of their shuttles with rides with Uber Central, the dealership has realized cost savings of almost $45,000 a year. It has also reduced the liability associated with maintaining, running, and insuring the vehicles. “Our dealership is always looking for new ways to stay competitive and improve our customers’ experience," says Janine By replacing our shuttles with rides with Uber Central, we’ve done both of these things while reducing our spend by 47%.”

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