Auto Repair and Women

Auto Repair and Women
Courtesy of Daniel Dullum:

“More and more, auto repair garages are seeing the advantages of marketing to the female consumer.

Cruise the Internet, and a site for a garage like Auto Repair & Fuel Systems in West Fargo, N.D., will pop up, exclaiming, “Women love our professional service!”

They’re not alone in that marketing approach. In Wilmington, Del., Christian Porter fixed his friends’ cars as a hobby while he worked full time at MBNA as a project manager in the technology department. While working on the cars of his friends and acquaintances, women confided that they were uncomfortable going to “professional” garages.

“You hear this enough, and you recognize an opportunity,” Porter told the The News Journal of Wilmington and New Castle.

When MBNA announced volunteer severance packages to trim its staff, Porter took the buyout, seized the opportunity and opened his own garage that would cater to women – Everest AutoWorks & Auto Spa – in July 2009. While Porter doesn’t turn away male customers, he estimates that 80 percent of his business comes from women.

Douglas Lee, an official with AAA Mid-Atlantic, said Porter’s strategy is smart because “despite the stereotypes, it’s women who most often decide where a car gets serviced.”

Porter’s plans included car repair workshops for women, something already being done at shops like Ponder’s Auto Repair in Johnson City, Tenn., where owner Brian Ponder presents his “Women on Wheels Seminar,” and at Accurate Auto in Hillsboro, Ore.

Rick Kersey, owner of Accurate Auto, explained to the Hillsboro Argus newspaper that he wanted to “empower” female drivers, especially for encountering roadside emergencies, when finding a reputable mechanic can be a challenge.

“Our main goal is to help educate women in the local community about repairs on their cars and get them more prepared for that unexpected breakdown or emergency,” said Kersey, who began his Women’s Car Care Clinics in April 2010.