DETROIT—Consumers who know what the blue-and-white National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence seal represents say ASE certification is an important standard they consider when choosing a vehicle repair shop. But most consumers don't know the seal means a shop employs technicians who have been tested and certified, according to a survey commissioned last fall.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is trying to change that, said Richard White, vice president of communications.
He and other staffers hosted a series of meetings across the country with representatives from service and repair shops, dealerships, auto companies, vocational and technical schools and consumer organizations to update them on the institute's consumer-awareness campaign and to urge them to get involved.
At a Detroit meeting, Mr. White outlined efforts that include distributing pamphlets and news releases and making members available for newspaper, radio and TV interviews. The ASE has worked hard to place its seal in movie and TV scenes depicting auto repair shops.
``ASE is by no means a household brand name,'' he said, ``but we feel that more and more consumers each year are aware of the program and what the blue-and-white seal means.''
Since the institute was founded in 1972, 400,000 techs have been tested and certified.
The survey, conducted by Sawyer Riley Compton Agency in Atlanta, consisted of 300 interviews of owners of 3- to 8-year-old vehicles. Respondents were 35 to 54 years old and split evenly between males and females.
It found 11 percent of consumers identified the ASE logo in brand awareness interviews. Of those who could identify the logo, only 17 percent could describe what it meant.
After being given a brief description, 62 percent of those polled said certification will be important to them when deciding where to have their next repair done.