Product differentiation in automotive repair equates to specialization in service offerings. As in any business model there are pros and cons to this strategy. Specialization narrows focus thus simplifying things in some respects but also presenting challenges such as attracting a big enough target market and hiring personnel with specific skill sets. Many successful automotive repair shops employ a product differentiation strategy.
Vehicle specialization can be a strong differentiating factor in automotive repair. Shops that specialize in certain makes of vehicles will appeal to owners as they equate specialization to expertise. Specialization in this area has the effect of narrowing the target market but also can result in lower operating costs as equipment needs can be reduced. Of course the geographic area must have enough of the selected vehicles to support the business.
Service specialization can be another area of differentiation in auto repair. Examples are performance upgrades, diesel engine maintenance, tires and many more. Full service shops can offer specialized services in addition to regular maintenance and repair. But promoting specialization can result in the perception that the shop is limited by focus on that area. This depends on the environment and the overall reputation of the shop.
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