Best way to find techs: referrals BEDFORD, Texas—A poll conducted on the Automotive Service Association's Web site found that word-of-mouth referrals and vocational-technical schools are the most effective ways to find entry-level employees.
According to the survey of ASA members, 46 percent cited word-of-mouth referrals; 38 percent vo-tech schools; 11 percent, newspaper ads; and 5 percent rated other avenues as most effective.
Most of the shops completing the survey have less than three trainees in their operation—30 percent have none; 60 percent have one or two. The majority of shops—82 percent—pay up front for educating their technicians. About 10 percent of the shops surveyed require the employee to pay first before being reimbursed after a certain amount of time.
Six percent of the shops pay for half of the cost of training, while the tech pays half.
Valvoline chain has record '98 growth
LEXINGTON, Ky.—Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) reported record growth during 1998 in its decade-long pursuit to sign franchisees to its quick-lube chain.
By last November, VIOC had signed more new franchisees in the previous 12 months than in any previous year, boosting its open-franchise-center population by 28 percent. The chain expected to have more than 600 centers open by the end of 1998, with about a third of them franchises.
The quick-lube operation has become a central component of the Valvoline Co.'s efforts to grow its share of the motor oil market, VIOC President Jerry Wipf said.
Company plans call for 20 new franchisees and more than 30 new franchise locations in 1999. By 2002, VIOC expects about 40 percent of its centers to be operated by franchisees.
Today's vehicle need fewer tuneups
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.—The Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) has confirmed what many auto service shops already have discovered: Vehicles are going longer between tuneups.
MEMA's pocket-sized guide, Replacement Rates of U.S. Automotive Parts, analyzed data on 62 automobile maintenance categories, ranging from major collision repair to air filter replacement from 1993 through 1997. Its research indicated that in 1993 five of six vehicles had annual tuneups. In 1997, less than three of five had annual tuneups.