Iconic auto repair franchise continues to invest in franchise owners as it ramps up for a bright future
For half a century, the iconic AAMCO franchise brand has been a dynamic part of American car culture. With nearly 700 auto repair locations across the country, AAMCO is the rare, time-tested legacy brand that remains both committed to innovation and trusted in the eyes of the American consumer. Why are we so successful? Because AAMCO. continually invests in the franchisee experience and network infrastructure to ensure that our auto repair franchise owners know every aspect of their business and have the tools to maximize their profitability.
While we don’t require that our owners have automotive experience before partnering with us, it is of paramount importance that the AAMCO brand maintains a reputation as the industry’s technical experts in Total Car Care, just as it has in transmission repair. Our expertise in fixing the most complicated part of the car has made us a household name for the past 50 years, and our Total Car Care offering helps position our franchise owners to compete for a significant share of the $57 billion general automotive repair market, as calculated by IBISWorld.
Part of the reason AAMCO is still the dominant brand in transmission repair, while also rapidly growing in total car care, is that our corporate team continually invests in our auto repair franchise owners to help them maximize profitability. This commitment to our franchisees stems from the fact that several of the AAMCO corporate team were franchisees themselves. Before joining us, AAMCO CEO and President Brett Ponton was CEO of Heartland Automotive, the largest Jiffy Lube franchisee in North America, operating nearly 575 units.
“The most important thing to remember as a franchisor is that we need to have a business model that is financially viable and successful for franchisees,” Brett says. “In order for the AAMCO brand to remain successful going forward, we need engaged owner-operators who are excited and passionate about this business. It is extremely important in the total car care marketplace, which is our space, to have very customer-focused owner operators who love to build teams and are passionate about our great national brand. Our auto repair franchise owners find success in making our national brand feel very local as they serve the communities around their stores.”
Here are three reasons entrepreneurs are buying into the AAMCO total car care franchise:
1. The AAMCO franchise opportunity offers multiple revenue streams
AAMCO is the undisputed leading brand in transmission work. To help our franchise owners get a bigger slice of the general automotive repair market, which generates $57 billion a year in sales according to IBISWorld research, we launched our “Trust” campaign to expand the public’s perception of what we do. After all, if we are trusted to fix the most complicated part of a car, we can surely change our customers’ oil, fix their brakes and rotate their tires.
For Joe Zambri, owner of an auto repair franchise in Toronto, Canada, the opportunity for multiple revenue streams sets the AAMCO brand apart:
“I think what sets the AAMCO franchise apart from our competitors is that our business is changing rapidly,” Joe says. “We have been able to piggyback a new revenue stream with Total Car Care and grow that slowly and steadily, while maintaining our core revenue stream from transmission repair, which has a high margin. In a way, we have evolved into a hybrid model — we have diversified enough to bring in more revenue and lifelong customers, but we have not gone too far away from our core expertise in transmission repair.”
2. Continual training and exceptional, ongoing support
How do we turn entrepreneurs without auto industry experience into savvy, skilled and passionate auto repair franchise owners? AAMCO University.
At AAMCO University, our auto repair franchise owners and their teams of technicians receive 250 hours of training, as well as 200 hours of online coursework in every aspect of their business. Training topics range from customer care to center growth strategies, from leadership to quality control and key performance indicators. Our top-of-the-line programs and equipment have provided consistent benefit to franchisees, staff and loyal customers who trust the AAMCO name like no other in the automotive world. Franchise owners can work with our expert instructors in more than 300 courses ranging from basic shop safety to master-level diagnostics and transmission rebuilding. These modules are offered in classroom, online and interactive settings.
“AAMCO University is a significant investment in our owners and their employees,” Brett says. “We want to make certain that we have the best-trained franchise owners and center managers in the industry. We also want to maintain and develop the best-trained technicians in the industry to solve the problems consumers are going to have with their vehicles in modern-day driving America.”
We’ve built a state-of-the-art educational training facility because we are interested in increasing not only the profitability of auto repair franchise owners but also the equity of the investment that our franchisees made in franchising with AAMCO.
“We create value for franchisees primarily by doing two things: 1) Helping them improve bottom-line results, and 2) Helping them create long-term enterprise value in their businesses and the investment our franchisees made in our brand,” Brett says. “We wrap ourselves around the franchisees: we’re talking about operational support, marketing support, administrative support, recruitment help — because our mission in life is pretty clear. We need to support the people on the front lines of our business: the auto repair franchise owners who are operating the business every day, who have the pleasure and the fortune of serving the millions of consumers AAMCO has the pleasure to take care of year in and year out.”
3. The AAMCO brand is intent on winning customers for life
One of the biggest positives in partnering with a nationally known brand with a 50-year history of expertise and customer trust is that the groundwork is already laid. We have spent decades establishing ourselves as a preeminent brand, and franchisees benefit from that legacy the day they open their doors.
The fact that the American public trusts the AAMCO brand is especially important when considering winning customers for life. AAMCO calculations, based on information from Consumer Reports, HIS Automotive, R.L. Polk & Co. and the Pew Research Center, find that the average automobile customer will spend $54,036 on repair during the time they own and operate a car. If that customer has two vehicles — and most households have two vehicles or more — that amount doubles. Even though the average transmission rebuild has a significant price tag, total spending on transmission work is a small fraction of car care spending. Most people only consider replacing a transmission on a vehicle once. They get oil changes, brake work and tune-ups continually. The bulk of that $54,000-per-customer lifetime spending goes for other repair services.
“At AAMCO, we believe we are very well positioned to win the automotive aftermarket,” Brett says. “Our brand is very well known for transmission expertise that typically has a large ticket value associated with it. Our goal going forward is to maintain our leadership position for transmissions, while focusing on building lifetime relationships with our customers through providing expert service in all automotive areas. As a result, we will build long-term business value for our franchisees.”
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