Mitchell1 – OnDemand5

Mitchell 1 “the First Choice of Automotive Professionals” has an online learning tool, “OnDemand5” that is a completely self-sustained website dedicated to automotive repair professionals. The images, tutorials and step by step instructions give mechanics, instructors and auto repair enthusiasts, the ability to fix just about anything on wheels.

Market Focus

This is where Mitchell 1 does well as a market leader of their product. Their approach to vehicle repair gives “OnDemand5” a unique balance between technical jargon and plain English understood by a multitude of readers and users. I’ve seen this software package used at the high school level, Technical training schools with apprentices and in the automotive/transportation industry. Many say they couldn’t live without it. All three sectors use Mitchell1 extensively. Albeit, the majority user is the adult learner.


OnDemand5 is a dynamic, interactive service with a “one day turn-around” for Q’s and A’s and 1 888 number from 5:30 am to 4:30, based out of San Diego. Although predominantly a service oriented website, their content is the useful information you access from a monitor which is located inches away from the repair task. They have built course ware and content that they host themselves. Backup of client data happens immediately and a snippet of code sends the customer a reminder of upcoming service to their vehicles. It seems that the technical writers are employees of Mitchell1, therefore, the infrastructure, CMS and all material is housed within the Mitchell Repair Information Company. (MRIC) Interestingly, technical repair manuals are still available for sale.

The Buyer

This e-Learning service, as mentioned earlier, can be used on several platforms: high schools, Technical schools and more specifically, Repair Shops including light duty, heavy duty, diesel and tractor-trailer. In the category of repair, Mitchell 1 dominates with an array of products available to the users, each having it’s own purpose. They are; On – (OnDemand5 Repair, OnDemand5 Estimator, OnDemand5 for Transmissions, OnDemand5 Medium Truck and lastly, Vintage Service and Repair) and the mother company supporting OnDeand5 is Mitchell1 supports,,, MitchellSupport, ASEtestpreparation, MitchellRep, Tractor-Trailer, and lastly, OnDemand5direct. As you can see… tons of information and support available to the buyer of this service. However, with service comes a price. A site license for a single user runs 159.00 per month with a year long commitment to the license agreement. That’s a whopping 1908.00 dollars, taxes not included. Site bundles are also available. At the high school level, I suspect point of purchase would be through a district wide initiative or on the other side of the scale, as a single user to whoever finds this product useful.

Global Markets

From my research at the site, it seems that Mitchell1 products are developed for the North American market, or any English speaking country. Product line supports repair service for Audi all the way to Volvo and expressed as “Import and/or Domestic” With the huge inventory of repair information, Mitchell 1 by far exceeds competitors such as All Data, Jonko or AutoRepair4U, to name a few.

Development of the Market

Mitchell1 is a high end, supported learning technology that is specific to Vehicle repair. With the millions of vehicles on this planet, Mitchell products is the viable choice for the English speaking market. In other words, they do very well close to home. The range and scope of this business is therefore a strong resource right next door. So far, English is the written language at the site and the indigenous user would be the people who have a vested interest in automotive repair. I have not read where they plan to re-create content material for use in other languages, in other countries.

Face 6 – Competing with Other Forms of Learning

A – Computers in any auto shop years ago was unheard of. Because of the cost of Technology, the climate of most repair shops was not conducive to having a “pristine computer” sitting idle that no one wanted to get it dirty. Now, it’s the complete opposite. Key boards are blackened with dirty fingers and monitors need to be wiped constantly from the probing fingers of inquisitive mechanics. Why worry about a filthy key board when you can by a new Logitech for seven dollars and sixty two cents and just through the old one into the land fill… 🙂 (just kidding!)

B – Many people who are using Mitchell1 have said good-bye to text material. Walk into any garage and ask where the shop manuals are? If the guy is close to retirement he may awkwardly turn around, with his fag hanging from his mouth and hobble to the darkest part of the shop where you then choose to say… “aw… it’s OK, I’ll come back later.” These days, most shops are bright and “cleaner” and the computer is a welcome site. Billions of bits of information is just a key stroke away.

C – The learning technology I speak of is not an imposition to the current system, but rather an addition to. OnDeMand5 is an ideal way of learning via the Internet, in a capacity that is appropriate, quick and up-to-date for the subscriber. My pitch!

sorry, mine are always so long…



1 Marc Kampschuur { 09.19.08 at 4:11 pm }

Had a look at their website, pretty much the picture the pitch format – especially like the Feature and Benefit table. Pretty concise value proposition on the wire diagrams too A quick note about wiring diagrams “Ours are the best. They always have been.”

Had a quick look at the Chilton site, looks individual manuals, paper or cd, are $20. Would expect businesses to use OnDemand for the range of cars and service with a manager buyer and schools to use Chilton with the individual student/user as buyer – does that bear out or am I way off (and why?).

2 David De Pieri { 09.21.08 at 9:01 pm }

Hi Marc,

Thanks for the input.

Repair shops will definitely use this service as a single user. The Delta district where I teach has 7 high schools and they purchased the “Multi-User” pack for 225$ I asked our auto shop guy, it was a district initiative to purchase for all 7 schools. The individual student would never be expected to pay that amount, unless they wanted it for home use, but then that’s a little extravagant. I’ll ask how Chilton fits in, don’t think they get much air time though.


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