Exotic Motorwerks: Deutschland Specialization Spells Success
Exotic Motorwerks is a one-stop center for all motorized objects of desire of Germanic origin. It comes as no surprise that the shop’s ausgezeichnet (German for excellent) reputation draws enthusiasts of German sportwagens (sports cars) from near and far.
Naturally, all shops want to maximize their customer base and draw as many vehicles as possible. While limiting work to only a few brands might at first seem dubious, sometimes the decision to specialize in specific marques pays off, especially when your’s is the only shop in town that has the experience and skills to tackle certain vehicles that other shops are hesitant to service.
Dan Warner, founder and owner of Exotic Motorwerks Inc., is a self-proclaimed Porsche fanatic. His respect for and love of the German brand, coupled with his hard work and high level of discipline, has propelled him to the status of a hard-core specialist.
His love affair began with his first model 914 at the age of 18, followed by college, followed by a lengthy term at a large Porsche dealership. Quickly, his skill and knowledge base reached a level where he decided to open his own shop in 2002. In a few short years, his reputation grew at a rate that prompted him to expand and move to a location that was more conducive to his customer base. Within a scant three years, he moved the operation into an upscale airport hangar adjacent to a small public airport that is predominantly used by private jets and helicopters, in a very affluent area between Scottsdale and Phoenix.
The area, locally regarded as “the Beverly Hills of Phoenix,” features a substantial population of Porsche, Audi and Mercedes owners. Warner, assisted by long-time German vehicle technician Andy Piech and service writer Brian Dame, service all German brands, with Warner specializing in Porsche.
One of his “specialties within a specialty” involves the relatively unique Porsche 928. Warner has become so well known for his expertise on that model that even Porsche dealers from as far away as Las Vegas and California often refer their 928 customers to him. “My love for Porsches was such that I decided to concentrate my personal efforts on models within the Porsche marque, while co-worker Andy tends to handle the remaining brands.” Warner noted that while his shop services all German brands, Porsche service accounts for approximately 80% of the shop’s workload.
Scottsdale, located east of the state capital Phoenix, is a burgeoning area, with a population of approximately 250,000-plus, a median age of 46.3 and a median household income of around $76,000. With plenty of upscale houses, resorts and entertainment, it’s not surprising that the area boasts a clientele that is fond of German vehicles, in particular Porsches and Audis.
While the majority of his Porsche customers are male, he is seeing a rise in female owners, especially with regard to Boxters and Cayennes. As a result, the shop is making an effort to become more “female friendly.” This was part of the decision to move into the current location, which features a more spacious and uncluttered environment, with a clean and attractive waiting room.
What do customers want/expect from your shop?
They expect extremely high-quality service, from very knowledgeable and experienced technicians. Our reputation was founded on that premise and continues to grow because of it.
Where do you buy your parts?
We source from many parts vendors. Our primary sources are SSF Auto parts, Worldpac, and Porsche North Scottsdale.
Do your parts buying decisions tend to be more heavily influenced by price or quality?
We always purchase based on highest quality. Because of that, we can offer a full two-year warranty on parts and labor.
What influences your parts buying decisions? Rank from 0 to 3, with 0 having no influence and 3 having the greatest influence.
Brand name recognition 3
Promotion in racing 0
Perceived quality 2
What is your approach to technician training?
Continued education is always a challenge for independent shops. Luckily we have an excellent rapport with many of the other independent shops and several of the dealerships in our area. The shop owner who does not see his competition as an asset is greatly limiting himself and his shop’s capabilities. We continually take advantage of classes and training seminars that are offered by various aftermarket manufacturers.
How has ASP benefited your business?
Admittedly, we have only recently become aware of Auto Service Professional magazine, and are impressed by what we’ve seen so far. We look forward to all it has to offer in the future. ■