This is actually quite shocking. Carmakers, with all of the effort that goes into advertising and brand building, are competing against uncertified, unbranded local garages with limited access to finance who market themselves primarily by word of mouth - and losing. Those services that aim to literally steer customers towards the carmakers' own dealers and authorised repair centres must be seen in this context.
These online marketplaces like Openbay and Carama push back in the opposite direction. They are certainly customer-friendly, providing better information, more choice and a more competitive market than either tied service centres or word of mouth.
Whether they turn out to be more friendly to the independent garages, or whether they push them into an Uberised race to the bottom, remains to be seen. If they turn out to be successful, though, then we can look forward to seeing another prop kicked out from under the automotive OEM's business model.
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