Let me start out by saying I am a Honda person. We own two acuras and two Hondas and have a mower powered by Honda. My father is also about to be a Honda owner. I love my Hondas and want success at the company.
This post is specifically about dealer service department training. But sales staff training is also lacking is most instances (both at Acura and at Honda).
Dealer trainning is vital to the success of the company. While they are not owned by Honda, they ARE the face of Honda. This is especially truck regarding the service department.
The service department of the dealership I went to (THE largest in the Houston Metro area) appears to be very unaware of the new maintenance minder feature of the new Hondas. One the first occation, I stopped by asking for the cost of the "B6 service" for the Honda Ridgeline. They asked me how many miles I have and proceeded to say "well that is close to the xxx mile service and it would cost xxx". The trouble with thsi is, the B6 calls for a rear diff change and this was not on their list.
The second encounter was this morning, same dealership. I figured I would go in and just get the oil and rear diff changed. I can handle the rest myself as I am fairly good under the hood. As I pull in and told them what I wanted... they said "well we don't change the rear diff fluid till 15,000 usually". My response was: "the minder is telling me to change it now and that's what I would like done". "ok sir, but we don't normally...." If they were a little better trained, this conversation would have stopped at the minder said to do it now.
Now imagine the issues down the road? If the rear diff fails, the owner would wonder why, "hey I took it in for regular service". Then would proceed to qualify this as a by Honda product.
I usually don't take my vehicals in to service at dealerships EXACTLY because of poor training. S2000's have gone in and come out with busted rear diff because they put VTM-4 fluid instead of 90W fluid. And that's just one example.
Sales and customer service is important. But remember, poor service department is also a HUGE reflection on Honda reliability and Honda's name in general.