CALGARY, Alberta The principals behind the Go Tire Inc. mobile tire service business are re-evaluating their plans to franchise the business in the U.S., looking instead at two possible business models to drive the concept forward.
The two modelsworking with an existing multi-outlet retailer to add mobile service to the bricks-and-mortar network and developing a partnership model that would bring the potential franchisee in as a minority partnerlikely would exist side by side, according to co-founder Craig Howes.
Calgary-based Go Tire is planning to roll out its concept, or concepts, at this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. It exhibited at last year's SEMA Show to promote its mobile service.
Launched in 2011, Go Tire has 30-plus franchised businesses in operation in Canada. The goal is to have 90 franchises operating three years hence, Mr. Howes said.
Mr. Howes told Tire Business that Go Tire is at an advanced stage in negotiations with a major U.S. retail group to develop a model to allow the retailer to extend its brand and footprint via the mobile tire-fitting/service route.
He declined to identify the retailer at this time, but said the concept is based on the premise of taking a portion of the tire/wheel servicing business out of the service bays in order to free them up for more profitable automotive service business.
The second business model would allow Go Tire to continue to offer its mobile tire-service concept to those looking to set up their own business.
Go Tire sees the partnership business model as a more viable option to get the business up and running faster than the straight franchise concept. In this concept, Go Tire likely would control 65 percent, Mr. Howes said, although this is still being evaluated. He also noted going the straight franchise route would involve considerable resources to support building a brand name across the U.S.
The Go Tire franchise is more than just a tire shop on wheels, the company has pointed out on numerous occasions. The basic franchise model in Canada allows the franchisee to add windshield repair and replacement and/or auto detailing to the mobile tire service concept.
The company also is planning to add wheel repair to its portfolio of available services, according to a recent tweet. Mr. Howes declined to elaborate until the program is ready for launch but said the service would help franchisees build business during shoulder seasonthe typically slow selling periods after or before the summer/winter tire changeover time.
The equipment in Go Tire vansfull-size turbo-diesel Mercedes-Benz Sprintersis designed to run off the van's motor or off a 12-volt battery.
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