Since F & R will be able to service any vehicle on the road, including motorcycles and campers, it does not make any sense to segment our market. Our potential customer includes every household in Seattle that owns one or more vehicles. The industry does not have any seasonality that affects it.
The following table and chart show the market analysis for F & R Auto Repair.
This section is covered in the Competitive Comparison section of the Plan.
While many customers looking to purchase automotive repair services are concerned with price, the primary concern is with building a relationship of trust between themselves and their service provider. A large number of people within the country have experienced or heard of bad service encounters within this market. As a person's car is usually connected in one way or another with that individual's livelihood, a dependable automobile is crucial. Therefore, many clients are willing to pay a little more for a mechanic they feel does a quality job and understands their needs.
An automotive repair company that can anticipate, meet, and even exceed customer's needs can build a defensible position within the market place and acquire market share at the expense of other rivals.
As stated before, the automotive repair market is very fragmented. The chief competitors in this industry for F & R are the high quality automobile dealerships and licensed service reps. This includes Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, and other major brand names. Within F & R's immediate service vicinity, There is Rodham's Toyota, Lester Ford and Woodmark's Chrysler dealerships. Each of these direct competitors have a service facility. These competitors dominate the market place, have the largest market share, and have advantages such as specially trained personnel, access to lower priced parts and tools, and deep pockets. The other competitors are mostly "mom & pop" style outfits that make up the majority of the competition. For F & R this includes Dave's Auto Repair, The Taller Mechanico, Kirkland Auto and Body, and Vancouver Auto. The advantages of these firms is that they can seek a low cost leadership strategy due to lower personnel costs. However, they have a much more fluid customer base and higher customer turnover.
F & R will seek to compete initially in the low cost strategy. At the same time, it will seek to provide a higher level of customer satisfaction by having more rigorous quality control and seeking ways to enhance the entire service experience (not just repairing a person's car). In this way it will lock in a loyal customer base who value the client-service provider relationship.
The auto repair industry is highly fragmented. In fact, there are so many small providers that any company in this industry is facing a purely competitive environment. It is very difficult to create a differentiation, or niche, strategy in this environment and until F & R is able to establish a reputation for quality, on time, superior customer service, the company will seek a low cost role. Once it has achieved what management believes to be a sufficient reputation for its services along with a profitable customer base, the company plans to leverage this advantage into a differentiation strategy that will be able to charge more for its services.