Take 5 Oil Change, Christian Brothers Lead Auto Category on Franchise Times Top 400

Take 5 Oil Change, Christian Brothers Lead Auto Category on Franchise Times Top 400

November 05, 2021

Even though federal data showed Americans drove 13 percent fewer miles in 2020, they still took care of their vehicles, as evidenced by the uptick in sales for automotive aftermarket franchises. The 1.3 percent increase overall, to $12.8 billion, however, is a marked slowdown from the 7.8 percent jump in 2019, according to the Franchise Times Top 400 ranking of the largest U.S.-based franchises by global systemwide sales.

Christian Brothers Automotive, the leader in the repair segment with 12.6 percent growth, moved quickly to contactless service, the company said, including contactless key drop and an option for a customer to have their vehicle taken to a service center and returned without any direct interaction.

Several brands in the repair segment did take a hit, including Meineke, down 6.5 percent to $509 million in systemwide sales, and Midas, which saw sales decline an estimated 4.8 percent.

2020 was a strong year for auto detailing franchises as the performance of Tint World and Ziebart showed consumers still wanted their rides to look good in 2020. Sales at Tint World, with 85 locations, jumped 20.9 percent to $49 million, while Ziebart grew to $180 million, a gain of 5.9 percent.

Collision repair brands saw business slow last year, to the tune of a 5.8 percent decline overall, from $1.8 billion to $1.6 billion. Maaco and Carstar both took a hit, down 5.4 percent and 6 percent, respectively. RNR Tire Express, meanwhile, generated notable growth in 2020, with sales up 14.8 percent to $211 million. The tire retailer also added 13 locations, a 10 percent increase.



Demand for speedy service

The performance of quick-lube oil change franchises further demonstrated the demand for auto maintenance in 2020. The trio of brands on the Top 400 combined for $3.7 billion in sales, a 7.3 percent increase. The group also grew its collective unit count by 5 percent, to 4,113 total locations.

Take 5 Oil Change, which debuted on this Franchise Times ranking last year at No. 198, shot up to No. 152 thanks to its 23.6 percent increase in sales. Acquired by Driven Brands, franchisor of Meineke Car Care and other auto repair businesses, in 2016, Take 5 saw growth “across the board in 2020,” said Brand President Danny Rivera.

Rivera noted growth in two key areas: car counts and average checks. To increase car counts, Rivera said Take 5 focused on its brand positioning, “being 100 percent clear with the consumer on who we are and what we stand for: A stay-in-your-car, 10-minute oil change.” To push average checks higher, Rivera pointed to the brand’s mix of high mileage oils, synthetic blends and ancillary products such as wipers that give technicians the opportunity to make recommendations. But there’s never a hard sell.

“A big part of our process, we make sure to let consumers know when they don’t need something …We don’t want it to be, every time we speak we’re trying to sell you something,” he said.

Take 5, which also grew its unit count by nearly 14 percent last year, to 547 locations, puts an emphasis on franchisee training, Rivera continued, such as with its Rally Point learning management system. “We’ve decomposed the business down to the levers where you as the franchisee have control,” he said of providing owners with key performance data to help them grow their business.

Jiffy Lube, the largest oil change franchise, added $40 million to its top line in 2020. It’s also the largest brand in systemwide sales in the auto aftermarket category, as that 2.2 percent increase drove total sales to an estimated $1.8 billion. The brand also added 23 locations last year.

Source: Franchisetimes.com 

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