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“More women are driving up to garages’ service bays”
by Will Buss

Belleville News-Democrat, Monday November 10, 2003

BELLEVILLE - Mechanics at Paul Stock’s auto service garage try to appeal to women.

Stock opened Stock’s Underhood Specialists at 321 Centreville Ave. in 1984, but has recently seen more women than men seeking service for their vehicles.

To learn more, Stock has attended seminars about women’s issues, where he found that a vast majority of customers who show up at service garages are women.

Stock attributes two main reasons for this:

  • All men were perceived to be mechanically inclined.
  • Those men who are not are too ashamed to admit it.

“I have men come in say they’re so embarrassed,” Stock said. “This has forced many women to the front door.”

As automobile engines have become more sophisticated, more car owners are unable to perform their own maintenance. In this case, Stock said, women have taken control.

Some have taken initiative, and others have done it out of necessity. He said the number of women who are single and older than 50 is growing. Those women with families have 80 percent of the veto power over the spending of a family’s income.

Because more women are making more decisions, Stock said women want to know more about their service. They want to be well-educated.

“Even though they don’t understand the techical jargon, they still want to know you’re talking with them to inform them,” he said. “Men think they should know, and when they don’t know it, they don’t want to ask anyone.”

He said some women have called his shop and then try to get their husbands to talk on the phone. Last week, he got a call from a women who said her husband had put off maintenance on his truck and asked whether Stock could come pick it up.

“I’ve never met him, never talked with him, and don’t know him,” Stock said. “That is a common occurrence.”

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