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Tire, auto service firms prominent on 'Franchise 500'

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IRVINE, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2014) — More than a dozen tire and automotive service franchisors made Entrepreneur magazine's "Franchise 500" list for 2014, headed by Snap-on Inc. and Midas International Corp.

To compile its list, Entrepreneur judges companies on objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation, including financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. The magazine also considers the number of years a company has been in business and the length of time it has been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing. Not taken into consideration are subjective elements such as franchisee satisfaction or management style.

An independent certified public accountant analyzes the financial data. The magazine then plugs these objective factors into its proprietary formula to come up with each company's ranking.

Snap-on Tools and Midas were ranked 24th and 25th on the list, with 4,780 and 2,308 franchised locations globally, respectively, the magazine said.

This is the firms' fifth straight year on the list; Snap-on was ranked 26th last year, while Midas was 31st.

Other automotive aftermarket companies on the list were:

Jiffy Lube International Inc., No. 30, with 2,098 locations; down from No. 3 in 2013.

Meineke Car Care Centers, No. 52, with 945 locations; down from 51st in 2013.

Valvoline Instant Oil Change, No. 60, with 897 locations; up from 62nd.

Mac Tools/Stanley Black & Decker Inc., No. 78, with 522 locations; up from 238th in 2013.

Precision Tune Auto Care, No. 162, with 340 locations; no change from 2013.

Tuffy Associates Corp./Car-X Associates Corp., No. 237, with 350 locations; up from 287th in 2013.

Express Oil Change, No. 241, with 194 locations; down from 197th in 2013.

Christian Brothers Automotive Corp., No. 267, with 112 locations; down from 226th in 2013.

Mighty Distributing System of America, No. 298, with 111 locations; down from 270th in 2013.

RNR Custom Wheels & Tire Express, No. 322, with 66 locations; up from 455th in 2013.

Honest 1 Auto Care L.L.C., No. 355, with 32 locations; down from 321st in 2013.

RimTyme/Rent-A-Center, No. 362, with 25 locations; down from 316th in 2013.

Vince Ficarrotta, vice president of franchising for RNR, said it's a "great honor" to be included in the list. This is RNR's eighth consecutive year on the list.

"The franchise side of our business continues to grow stronger," Mr. FIcarrotta said, and we're very optimistic about expanding our brand in the future."

RNR said three more locations are set to open in February, which would expand the rent-to-own company's network to 70 stores in 19 states, including seven company-owned operations.

Companies nominate themselves for consideration, Entrepreneur said, which explains in part why some other prominent automotive aftermarket franchisors — like Big O Tires L.L.C., Grease Monkey Franchising L.L.C. or Milex Complete Auto Care — are not on the list.

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