A major dimension of distinctiveness in retailing is the trade-off between high levels of service and price competitiveness. The objective of this research was to examine the role of service quality in the marketing of a consumer durable, namely the automobile. To accomplish this, a set of both product-oriented and service-oriented cues was developed. The product cues included brand, country of origin and price, whereas the service cues were accessibility (distance to dealership) and dealership service quality. Service quality was operationalized via the two SERVQUAL dimensions of "reliability" and "empathy".