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Does the Auto Repair Industry Get Women Wrong Too?

Brian England, Mon, Mar 25, 2013

I came across this article the other day on Slate.com highlighting how the auto industry gets it wrong when it comes to women.

Does the Auto Industry Get Women WrongThe article goes on to list how the auto industry thinks women only care about “asthetics” or more trivial things like cup holders than real performance or safety features when in fact, the opposite is true.

It got me thinking…. does the same hold true for the auto repair industry?

There are definitely some stereotypes about women and auto repair.  Here are some of the myths or perceptions:

  • Women don’t know anything about cars so, just keep to basics when explaining what’s wrong.
  • Women are great targets for “add-on” or “extra” services because they don’t know what they need.
  • Women don’t work on their cars because they don’t want to mess up their nails or clothes.
  • A woman wouldn’t know the difference between the engine oil and the transmission fluid.

These are just some of the myths.  I’m sure there are others.

Of course, here at BA Auto Care, we begin with basic courtesy for all our customers. Everyone gets a through explanation of what’s going on with their vehicle unless they request otherwise.

We don’t use gender as a factor in delivering excellent service to our customers. In all cases, our recommendations for service are based on what our examination of the condition of your vehicle reveals. We highlight services needed for safety that should be performed right away, and those that can wait — no matter what your gender.

Also, given that one of our technicians is a female (who has received received compliments from customers by the way), there’s no way we buy into the “women don’t work on cars” myth or buy into the fact that they don’t know about some automotive basics.

Conversely, there are some very real physical and cultural gender differences. The Slate article points these out and notes that auto manufacturers that pay attention to these differences could end up with products that are more appealing to some women. I’m talking about things like the 2011 study that showed that women were more likely to be injured in an automobile because safety features were designed for men’s larger bodies or the fact that women carry purses and might want a place to put them.

Are there corollaries for auto repair?

What are your thoughts? Do you think, overall, the auto repair industry gets women right or wrong? And, if the the auto repair industry does get it wrong, what are they getting wrong and how do they fix it.

Comment below, and let us know.

 

About Brian England

 

Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care) got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in the northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD, and a few years later, started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. A big believer in preventive auto maintenance, Brian's philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of adhering to a regular maintenance plan.