Survey: U.S. Consumers Skeptical of Auto Dealer Service on Car Stereos
A majority of Americans would prefer not to have their car stereos repaired or upgraded at the car dealer, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of the Mobile Enhancement Retailers Association (MERA). The findings underscore the importance...
A majority of Americans would prefer not to have their car stereos repaired or upgraded at the car dealer, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of the Mobile Enhancement Retailers Association (MERA). The findings underscore the importance of ensuring greater accessibility to a vehicle’s system for allowing consumers options to upgrade or enhance their cars’ electronics, MERA says.
The Roper Poll survey of adults across all demographics found that 59 percent are skeptical of dealer service on their car stereos. Also, men (63 percent) are more reluctant than women (55 percent), and 18- to 24-year-olds (77 percent) are the most pessimistic group when it comes to visiting a car dealer for repairs or upgrades.
Two out of three (67 percent) of Americans surveyed said they believe a car dealer charges more for repairs and upgrades than outside retailers.
The consumer perception is that dealer services are at least twice as costly, according to the survey. The perception is not far off, according to MERA, which estimates that a dealer charges an average of $US 670 for labor and parts on a typical car stereo installation. The same parts and labor by an aftermarket retailer cost an average of $US 385.
Wright pointed out that a retailer’s fees would increase if integration difficulties require costly interfaces. But in some cases, the original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) vehicle system configurations are so confining that upgrades are not even possible. This is particularly common with luxury vehicles (especially imports) and some domestic trucks.
Some of the more common technical roadblocks that shut out retailers from working on vehicle electronics include connecting audio and video systems to important vehicle functions such as air conditioning and safety control circuitry systems.