Although a large number of small and medium-sized businesses are focused on the automotive service and repair market, very few can boast of structured and systematic marketing. Developing such marketing requires a deep understanding of the automotive industry, which is characterized by many features that distinguish it from other sectors of the economy. Here are the main characteristics of the automotive service and repair industry that you need to understand in order to build professional marketing and achieve commercial success in the market for auto parts, tires, wheels and other automotive products:

  • Percularities of automotive market. If we divide the market into new and used cars, in many countries the used car market significantly exceeds the new car market. Open sources indicate that used car sales account for more than 90% of the market, which creates an extraordinary demand for service and repair outside the official service centers of manufacturers and major car dealers. Accordingly, on the one hand, this makes it impossible to objectively assess the volume of demand for repair and maintenance in absolute terms, and, on the other hand, it indicates that the market prospects for the car maintenance and repair business are extremely attractive in terms of the share of potential customers.
  • Specialization of market participants. The market for automotive spare parts and automotive products is an organic part of the broader market for car maintenance and repair, which is characterized by a certain specialization of market participants on the way of goods to the end consumer. The market consists of automotive manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and distributors, shops and retailers of various formats, service stations and service centers, car repair shops of various specializations, and car owners who are able to maintain their cars and carry out minor repairs on their own. Such specialization contributes to more efficient market functioning and meeting the needs of different consumer segments, but it also brings certain difficulties and requires different approaches to marketing in accordance with the specifics of the business.
  • Competition. Competition in the automotive market also has certain peculiarities. On the one hand, we can see market consolidation and an increase in the weight of large companies engaged in systematic imports, with large warehouse and logistics facilities, as well as a chain of regional offices. On the other hand, the specifics of the market are such that smaller players also have successful businesses at the local level. The fact is that in many cases, when a car is already in the process of being maintanance or repairing, it is not possible to order and wait for spare parts from another city. Spare parts are needed as soon as possible, even at a higher price. It is the geographical barrier and the need for speed that determine the success of various formats in the auto parts business. The situation with tires and wheels is quite different, as the buyer can afford to wait for delivery by mail from anywhere in the country.
  • Consumer profile. In the auto parts and automotive products market, the typical consumer varies significantly depending on the type of market player. Manufacturers are usually interested in large wholesale customers with a wide geographical coverage. Powerful importers and distributors are also focused on the B2B segment, although they may have different horizontal structures in their organization - from retail to service stations and car dealerships. Smaller retailers are focused on anyone in their location - the target audience is both business and private customers. Service stations, private shops and individual specialists are also focused on end users. The profile of the consumer also depends on the company's profile. The work of marketers consists of marketing mix and positioning around the variety and availability of automotive products, as well as the quality of service, pricing, and delivery efficiency, etc.
  • Integration of sales and service. The complexity of car repair and maintenance is often a factor in combining the efforts of several companies due to consumer demand for a comprehensive solution to their needs - from finding spare parts to the final point in the repair process. The integration of sales and service uses two main approaches - horizontal ties and full integration. In the first case, different companies cooperate and establish connections with each other to provide services to customers with greater efficiency and customer satisfaction through partnership. In the second case, companies independently create a single structure, combining sales, service and repair under a single brand, which allows for better control over the quality of services and greater customer satisfaction by providing comprehensive service and support at all stages.
  • Partial opacity of services. In the field of car repair and maintenance, partial opacity of services is reflected in the lack of clear information about the spare parts used, the work performed and its quality, which can lead to misunderstandings between the client and the spare parts supplier or service center, as well as to consumer distrust of the cost and quality of services provided. The limited understanding of the technical aspects of the car by customers, as well as distrust of the service providers, may call into question the objectivity of the cost and scope of the work required. This situation certainly does not work in favor of the industry and is not good to its overall development, but experienced marketers know how to turn the industry's shortcomings into a competitive advantage for their own company.
  • Duration of service. In the automotive repair and maintenance industry, the duration of work can vary significantly depending on the complexity and scope of the required work. It is influenced by the availability of spare parts and equipment, the qualification of the technicians, current demand and workload, etc. For example, small repairs such as oil and filter changes can be completed in a short time, while more complex repairs can take several days or even weeks. The longer and more complex the car repair, the more contact points between the customer and the contractor, where the image and trust in the company are formed at each stage. The task of marketers is to ensure the most positive experience for customers by clear understanding of their needs and prompt resolutio of any issues, which helps to maintain loyalty and positive brand perception.

The list of industry specifics can certainly be extended, but the above characteristics are essential for the formation of an effective marketing mix. So, how to compete in such conditions and how to build an effective marketing mix in the business of auto parts, tires, wheels and other automotive products? How to avoid annoying marketing mistakes that even large companies with full-time marketers make? How to prevent the company's development and success in the market from being hampered by wrong marketing decisions and choices?


In general, the following marketing strategies, approaches and tools are used in the auto parts and automotive products market:

  • Assortment policy. For large wholesale companies, the assortment policy in the auto parts and automotive products industry is mainly based on the product differentiation strategy, which consists of offering a wide range of products that differ in quality, technical characteristics, price, etc. This allows businesses to attract different target audiences and meet their needs with appropriate products. Smaller local businesses, which are much closer to the end consumer, use a different approach, focusing on the quality of goods and the duration of use, which is the key to long-term customer relationships. This approach allows local businesses to compete with large companies due to the high quality of their products.
  • Branding and positioning. Industry specifics such as the integration of sales and service, non-transparency of services, lengthy repair time, etc. create a good basis for successful branding and positioning that will help company to stand out from the competition. The task of marketers in this context is to develop and implement a positioning that will convince potential customers of what is really important: high quality spare parts, qualified selection, fast delivery, only the necessary work and services, an integrated approach, minimal downtime, qualified technicians, etc.
  • Digital marketing ecosystem. In the auto parts and automotive products industry, the digital marketing ecosystem plays a key role in attracting and retaining customers. It includes a company's website, online store, social media pages, messenger channels, mobile app, and other digital platforms for advertising, product promotion, content creation, and customer interaction. Thanks to digital tools, companies can effectively communicate with their audience by providing quick access to product information, expanding their product range, developing personalized offers and after-sales service, etc. This helps to improve customer interaction, increase sales, and enhance market competitiveness.
  • Content marketing. In the industry of auto parts, tires, wheels, and other automotive products, content marketing, in particular video content, plays a significant role in promoting products and engaging the audience. Video content allows companies to effectively demonstrate the properties of automotive products, provide useful tips on the selection and use of spare parts, and demonstrate car repair and maintenance processes. This not only helps to increase brand awareness, but also builds trust in the company, as video can help consumers understand the quality and benefits of products, as well as obtain useful information for making a purchase decision. In addition, posting video content on various platforms, such as YouTube, social media, or a company's website, allows to reach a larger audience and increase engagement, making this type of marketing extremely effective in this industry.
  • Online advertising. In the automotive industry, online advertising plays an important role in attracting new customers and increasing brand awareness. It allows for precise targeting of the audience based on their interests, car characteristics, geographic location, and other factors. Advertising campaigns can be targeted to different target groups, such as owners of specific car brands, drivers of certain categories, or those looking for specific automotive products. The use of various online platforms, including search engine advertising, social media, and specialized automotive portals, allows to reach a larger audience and ensure an effective advertising presence in the market, increasing the company's competitiveness and attracting the attention of potential customers.
  • Partnerships. Partnerships in the automotive industry play an important role, especially in terms of leveraging secondary associations with strong partner brands. Such programs include cooperation with other companies in the automotive sector, such as well-known manufacturers, service station chains, car dealerships and other market participants, which allows to expand the product range, improve service and ensure product availability to consumers. The use of secondary associations helps to increase consumer confidence in the brand, as consumers associate it with well-known and trusted partners. Such programs help to attract new customers, increase loyalty and expand business opportunities in the industry, which contributes to the overall success of the business.
  • Loyalty programs and privileges. Loyalty programs in the auto parts, tires and wheels industry are an important tool for attracting and retaining customers. These programs are usually based on the accumulation of points or bonuses for each purchase, which can be exchanged for discounts, gifts or free services. In addition, loyalty programs often include privileges and additional services for members, including priority service or technical support, exclusive discounts or special offers, free delivery or installation, and access to additional services such as expert advice or regular vehicle inspections. They allow companies to stimulate repeat purchases, increase customer loyalty, and provide closer communication with customers, which helps to increase sales.
  • Promotion of the qualifications. Marketing promotion of the qualification of the technicians can be an important element in ensuring a high level of interest in the services of a particular service provider. Customers' attention should be focused on regular trainings and courses to update skills, on new technologies and innovations in the automotive industry, and on the certification programs that confirm the level of professional qualification of the technicians. Promotion of qualification helps to increase customer confidence in services.
  • Reputation management (SERM). Depending on the size of the company, participants in the auto parts and automotive products market should take care of the reputation of the business, which is formed in the digital environment through customer reviews and comments. Market participants should actively monitor and respond to reviews, resolve possible problems, and maintain positive communication with customers. Effective SERM helps maintain consumer trust, increase customer loyalty, and ensure business stability in the online environment.

It should be noted that within one article, we cannot show all the pitfalls or demonstrate all the marketing methods and tools specific to the mentioned industry. In other words, these are just a few examples of quite general marketing approaches that can be applied to automotive goods. From a practical point of view, everything is much more complicated - the choice of a specific marketing strategy and tools depends on the target audience, competitive environment, and unique advantages of the company, etc. At the same time, it is desirable to understand that marketing of automotive products may encounter a number of specific problems that are unique to each individual case and require an individual approach to their solution.

Achieving the commercial objectives of a company through effective marketing requires a deep understanding of the market situation, consumer needs, the ability to analyze and explore alternatives, and a creative approach to problem-solving. Our company has extensive experience in defining optimal marketing strategies for our clients' businesses, creating a strong brand and market positioning, as well as developing a marketing mix and implementing the chosen strategy. You can familiarize yourself with the services and solutions our company offers on the "Services" and "Solutions" pages, respectively.
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