CHARLOTTE, N.C.With nearly 1,000 outlets nationwide, Driven Brands Inc.'s Meineke Car Care Centers brand said it is poised for unparalleled growth as consumers place a greater focus on preventive maintenance and entrepreneurs seek franchising opportunities within the industry.
The Charlotte-based franchisorciting data from Global Industry Analysts Inc. that the value of the U.S. automotive aftermarket is projected to top more than $722 billion by 2020said opening new auto service centers is critical to its goal of growing the Meineke brand.
Meineke aims to continuously help its partners improve their top and bottom line performance to sustain a successful franchise system, the company said.
Investment levels for Meineke franchise locations range from $225,000 to $275,000, according to the company, and top-performing stores average more than $675,000 in annual sales.
The franchise remains committed to expansion through qualified single and multi-unit franchise partners for development across the U.S. and Canada, specifically in Atlanta, Jacksonville/Daytona Beach, Nashville, Orlando, Tampa, and Northern California, Meineke said.
The automotive aftermarket is often misunderstood in the business sense. Many times, the first thoughts that come to mind are dirty garages and an assumption that you have to come in with automotive experience, said Dave Schaefers, Meineke Car Care's senior vice president of franchise development.
In reality, we are looking for business-minded entrepreneurs with a variety of backgrounds who are seeking franchising opportunities in the booming aftermarket industry with attractive center-level profitability.
We have a number of new programs that help with financing and encourage growth within our system.
To break down the barriers of franchise development and accelerate brand growth in new and underserved markets, Meineke said it has developed several financing and incentive programs for new and existing franchisees.
The company recently partnered with BoeFly L.L.C., an online marketplace harnessing technology to dramatically simplify the execution of commercial transactions.
Meineke said it is now able to offer access to more than 3,600 lenders with the completion of a single loan request for faster start-up periods and better financing options for franchisees.
For qualified new franchise prospects interested in purchasing multiple licenses, Meineke said it will discount each license after the initial one is signed and will reduce royalties by 75 percent for the first six months. If an existing franchise partner decides to purchase additional licenses, Meineke will discount that license, offer a comp point-of-sale system as well as a 75-percent reduction on royalty fees for the first six months in operation.
Meineke parent Driven Brands is an automotive franchise holding company with over $1 billion in system-wide annual sales and more than 1,500 locations worldwide. Over the past year, the company said it has placed a greater focus on brand acquisitions, inking deals with seven brands in the last 18 months and further accelerating growth for brands such as Meineke and MAACO.
Combined, Meineke and MAACO signed 210 licenses in 2014 through acquisitions and franchise deals with new owners, according to Driven Brands.
Formerly known for its muffler repair service, Meinekewhich opened its first auto care center in 1972now provides tires, brake repairs, tune-ups, alignments, shocks and struts, routine maintenance and other services. In 2013 it secured an agreement with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. for the Findlay, Ohio-based tire maker to be the supplier partner for its Meineke ExTRA (Expert Tire Replacement Authority) program.
This report first appeared on www.tirebusiness.com.