Today's Consumers are being driven to independent repair facilities over their local dealership mainly due to increased levels of personalized attention as well as more competitive pricing.
This article appears in the August 2013 issue of Ratchet+Wrench.
"It is no secret that consumers are holding on to their vehicles longer for record lengths of time, meaning more visits to the repair shop or dealer service center," says Brian Hafer, vice president of marketing for AutoMD.com, the organization that produced the survey. "[We] found that price and relationships are making consumers pull the independent trigger."
Relationships Are Key
The largest reason why 67% of vehicle owners prefer independent shops over dealerships is trust and familiarity. Forty percent of survey participants reported a relationship with their local mechanic to be the leading factor that brings them to independent facilities.
Hafer says independent repairers tend to operate with transparent strategies compared to dealerships, and have stronger relationships with their customer base due to more personalized interactions. In some cases, customers of independent shops even have opportunities to interact with the technical staff.
The second advantage that independent shops have over dealerships is price. According to AutoMD.com’s survey, 78 percent of participants compared estimates between independent and dealership operations, and 87 percent reported independent quotes to be more affordable.
In addition, more than 90 percent of vehicle owners believe they can save at least 10 percent by visiting an independent repairer over a dealership, while 66 percent believe they can save 20 percent.
"Independent shops can focus on the fact that they’re still capable of offering quality work, quality parts and quality customer service—all at a more competitive price," Hafer says.
This article appears in the August 2013 issue of Ratchet+Wrench, the full article is available for viewing here.