Executive Interview

Jan. 1, 2020
A brief talk with Frank Ordonez, president, Delphi Product and Service Solutions.
Executive Interview
Frank Ordonez
President, Delphi Product and Service Solutions
Motor Age: What will a car be 10 years from now? Ordonez: A car will be a finely tuned, highly efficient machine, perhaps using electricity instead of gas. It will be so advanced you will almost be able to walk away from any accident.

[It will be] a powerhouse of electronics, and the consumer will tell [us] what they want in a vehicle – [we] won’t tell them. That space on the dashboard for audio will be the consumers’ space, and they will decide what they want in there. The electronics in a five-year-old car are pretty old technology now.

[We have technology] to detect drowsy drivers, alcohol, text-to-speech…The vehicle will be a safety cocoon, an entertainment and communications center.

For certain [regions] in Europe, the winner is the diesel powerplant. It could be here too because the economics of the hybrid are not working out like they were supposed to. By-wire controls will advance, too.
The vehicle will be an electronic masterpiece.

Motor Age: How will this affect the business of aftermarket automotive service? Ordonez: College degrees will be more important. Look at a vehicle today; it’s not a trivial thing. Electronics will control the whole vehicle, almost like a nervous system.

If I were starting out [in the repair business] today, I would start with computer-based diagnostics, not scan tool diagnostics, and I would put a lot of emphasis on [employee] training. I would pay well [because] electronics are unpredictable, and the average repair bill will be higher [and] the consumer will want the repair done right now.

When you look at all those things, you can put together a winning formula and be at the forefront of the aftermarket.

— Interviewed by Jacques Gordon, Technical Editor

WEIGHING INWhat is your greatest fear or anxiety when choosing an automotive service provider?
“When you walk into a place, there is a certain apprehension. You’re afraid they’re going to tell you that you need this and this and that. I have a friend who is a mechanic. I used to always check with him. I stopped going to the dealership. When I bought this car new, I read about the Moss-Magnuson Act [that prevents manufacturers from insisting on the use of OE parts and/or service to honor warranties]. So I found this shop, which is less expensive than the dealership.”
Richard Kunkle, West Chester, PA
Customer of: Francis Automotive Services, Inc.
“My greatest anxiety is that the selected service facility will perform inferior or unsafe repairs. Prior to October 2002, all of my service work, including oil changes, etc, was performed by my local Ford dealer. To say I was unhappy is an understatement. Workmanship was shoddy, work was not performed as requested, my car was always dirty after service (particularly the interior), and I was quite frustrated. One day I heard about C&M . . . and I have never gone anywhere else since.”
John W. Keister, Vernon Hills, IL
Customer of: C&M Auto

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