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THE SERVICE STATION VS. THE AUTO-MALL: TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

In our nearly 30 years of auto service in Northeast Minneapolis and the Twin Cities area, we’ve seen the industry change quite a lot. At one time people got everything they needed in one spot – gas, an oil change, repairs and even a little friendly conversation.

Back then people in Minneapolis and St. Paul didn’t rely quite so heavily on their cars. And cars were a lot easier to service; there were no computerized systems yet and the basics most people could do with an average set of tools.

Like cars and trucks themselves, auto service quickly diversified. Service stations in Minneapolis and St. Paul had to offer engine and emission diagnostics, auto air conditioning service and repair and a host of other relatively advanced services.

Now we have the “auto-mall.” You’ve seen them: a brand tire store, a muffler shop, a tune-up station, maybe a store specializing in transmissions, all in one extended location.

Choice is good. But there are some industries where it can be too much of a good thing. At an auto-mall, each store is likely to charge its own independent fee. And you’re likely to pay much, much more for combined services than you would at a traditional full-service station.

Or maybe traditional isn’t the right term. With a complete range of expert auto services and a long-term staff, St. Anthony Mobil is perhaps as traditional as you can be in NE Minneapolis. But what we’ve found is that, even without trying, we’re also ahead of the trend.

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