More and more dealership service departments keep Saturday hours as many manufacturers “pressure” dealers to be open then.

But few dealers, who are currently closed Saturdays, plan to extend their hours, and Chrysler dealerships are most likely to be dark that day for service and Ford dealer-ships are most likely to be open.

That's according to a survey overseen by Carl Woodward of Woodward & Associates, a Bloomington, IL CPA firm specializing in dealerships.

SURVEY RESULTS
Chrysler Ford GM Imports
% Open for Saturday service: 40 65 55 60
% Open all day Saturday: 40 20 10 10
% Planning to open Saturday: 15 20 15 0
No. of techs during week: 12 8 10 11
No. of techs working Saturday: 3 3 2 3
% Saturday techs vs. Monday-Friday: 25 35 25 30
Note: One hundred respondents reporting.

He says that most people, if asked, would say they wanted dealerships to stay open on Saturday to service vehicles. But it's uncertain whether the public, in large numbers, will use the dealer's service department on Saturday versus doing something else on a day off.

“The factories seem to believe the dealers' customers will strongly support Saturday service hours,” says Woodward.

His firm surveyed 300 dealers in more than 25 states on whether they keep Saturday hours (see chart).

The overall survey results indicate that more than 50% of new-vehicle dealers are open Saturday, and staff an average of 10 technicians during the week but only three on Saturdays.

Several dealerships who've maintained Saturday service hours for years only have a small percentage of technicians working that day “due to lack of work,” says Woodward.