The new program provides franchisees with remanufactured battery packs, technical support, several levels of training, a software portal with CRM (customer relationship management) and other exclusive products.
Unlike the previous iteration, where franchisees reconditioned hybrid batteries in their own shops, THS now remanufactures/reconditions batteries in-house in Torrance and ships the battery packs to franchisees as they order them.
This has allowed THS to reduce the franchisee fee to $16,500 from $60,000-plus previously, plus an additional $995 per month.
Battery prices will be the same for all franchisees, no matter where they are located, Mr. Crawford said, with shipping costs built into the price.
The program has five aspects, starting with protected territories. Franchisees also receive:
• Basic training, where techs learn safety, how to repair and replace the batteries and how to make money on the vehicle. Advanced training focuses on rebuilding systems in the car, such as air conditioning, power inverters and how to work on hybrid vehicles and full electric vehicles.
"The goal is to have every one of the techs for every one of the shops be L-3 (ASE) certified, which is hybrid electric certified," Mr. Crawford said.
• A diagnostic tablet with proprietary software that will diagnose all internal combustion and hybrid and electric vehicles, with the exception of Teslas.
• THS batteries, which are reconditioned and come with a three-year warranty. The batteries feature a built-in IOT chip that interacts with the vehicles' systems and modules. The chip feeds data about the vehicle to the cloud, which Mr. Crawford said THS is using to build a predictive model. "Our hope is that in 12 to 18 months, we will be able to predict when the vehicle will fail," he said. The goal is to be able to alert vehicle owners of a possible problem so they can have it checked out before it breaks.
• Local marketing help, including providing original content for franchisees' social media efforts. THS will provide franchisees with a web page specific to hybrids, or a landing page on their current website, and provide marketing campaigns aimed at driving customers into their places of business; and
• Innovative products, such as a lithium battery replacement for the nickel batteries found in most hybrids and electric vehicles today. THS' lithium replacement battery will come with a 10-year warranty "because it's a new battery basically," Mr. Crawford said. In addition, lithium batteries are lighter and have more capacity, which yield better miles per gallon, he said.