The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is targeting women in its ad campaign educating consumers on its technician testing and certification.
The institute says it has found that once consumers know about the Automotive Service Excellence certification, they want to seek mechanics with that certification.
Women are particularly interested in the program, the organization says. After reading a brief description of what the certification means, 77 percent of women surveyed by the institute said it would be an important factor in their next auto repair.
The campaign could provide dealerships that have Automotive Service Excellence-certified mechanics a chance to promote their business to women who own cars.
A BLUE SEAL
The spokesperson for the campaign is Margaret Baillargeon, president of North Central Ford in Richardson, Texas. She has given drive-time radio interviews in top 30 markets. Baillargeon is chairman of the board of directors for the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence, which is in Herndon, Va., a Washington suburb.
'Women have become a dominant force in the purchase and service of today's vehicles,' said Baillargeon, pointing out that the institute's research shows 65 percent of auto service customers are women. At least 75 percent of Baillargeon's technicians have the certification.
Her dealership has plenty of company when it comes to hiring Automotive Service Excellence-certified mechanics. A total of 143,536 dealership technicians have that certification, almost a third of the total 440,000 technicians certified nationwide.
Dealerships also represent 140 of the total 762 'Blue Seal' program participants. Blue Seal participants are shops where 75 percent of the technicians are Automotive Service Excellence-certified. Also, the facility must have at least one certified technician in each service performed.
The Automotive Service Excellence logo is a blue seal promoted on literature and an arm patch worn by certified technicians.
A TOUR AND MORE
In addition to the magazine and radio coverage, the institute:
Was scheduled to broadcast its first live World Wide Web chat Thursday, July 29, on the women.com network, a general interest Internet service for women. The event was to feature a session allowing listeners to ask questions of Christine Vinson, an Automotive Service Excellence master certified technician who works for Fairfield Toyota in Fairfield, Calif. Vinson is also a Toyota master certified technician. Master certification is the highest Automotive Service Excellence rating.
Plans to continue its tour of major cities in which the institute staff has lunch meetings with consumer advocacy groups.
Will promote Automotive Service Excellence certification at expositions that showcase products and services useful to women.
Plans to promote car care tips in women's magazines during October, which is national car care month.
The institute would not disclose how much it is spending on the campaign, which is funded through testing fees.