The flat-rate pay system, which assigns specific amounts of time to do vehicle repair and maintenance work, was a key issue in last year's strike of service technicians at Chicago-area auto dealerships. Flat-rate is a blessing to techs who can regularly beat “book times,” but a curse to others who can't always complete jobs in the allotted times.
Fixed Ops Journal Editor Dave Kushma juxtaposes two trends: Savvy dealers who are increasingly relying on parts and accessories to shore up profits, and a potentially ruinous tide of discontent among service technicians.
Before selling cars, the Kari family opened a bicycle garage in the late 1920s that expanded to vehicle maintenance and repair. As this late 1920s photo shows, the family also sold gasoline: 16.6 cents a gallon.