Business Overview

In addition to being found in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as commercial vans and semis, diesel engines are also installed in some sports cars, passenger vehicles and pickup trucks. Diesel performance shop businesses specialize in servicing the diesel engines in these light-duty vehicles and maximizing their performance. (Pickups branded “heavy duty” still fall into the light- or medium-duty range of diesel vehicles.)

The number of diesel passenger vehicles in the United States pales in comparison to how many petrol-powered cars and trucks there are. The niche market requires specialized mechanics, however, and it’s growing. In 2016, over 280,000 additional diesel passenger vehicles were registered across the 50 states.

Who is this business right for?

Anyone who is mechanically inclined and has a passion for diesel engines may enjoy running a diesel performance shop. Business owners frequently work on engines themselves, and having a passion for this kind of engine helps business owners connect with their customers.

What happens during a typical day at a diesel performance shop?

A typical day at a diesel performance shop business is full of activity. Business owners:

  • Diagnose and repair existing problems
  • Check and perform routine maintenance
  • Order and install aftermarket parts
  • Recommend engine upgrades and improvements

In many cases, business owners serve a dual role as advisor and mechanic, helping customers decide what work should be done and then complete that work.

What is the target market?

The target market for a diesel performance shop is anyone who owns a light-duty diesel vehicle. This includes contractors who have a diesel pickup trucks, automotive enthusiasts who have diesel sports cars and everyday drivers who drive fuel-efficient diesel models.

How does a diesel performance shop make money?

A diesel performance shop business makes money by charging for the repairs, maintenance and other work done. Invoices include charges for labor and parts.

What is the growth potential for a diesel performance shop?

A diesel performance shop may have a single location or a number of locations. For example, J&S Diesel has a single location in Las Vegas while D&W Diesel has shops throughout the Northeast.