Buying into the AAMCO Franchise: The Real Story

Iconic American auto repair franchise continues to focus on growing profitability for franchisees

With a 50-year history as the leading brand for transmission repair, the AAMCO franchise has retained its well-earned reputation by strengthening its business model and making significant investments to maximize profitability for its franchisees.

This commitment to AAMCO franchise owners stems from the fact that several members of the AAMCO corporate team have been franchisees. Before joining the brand, AAMCO CEO and President Brett Ponton was CEO of Heartland Automotive, the largest Jiffy Lube franchisee in North America, operating nearly 575 units across the country. Brett’s earlier experience as a franchisee is at the core of how AAMCO operates as a franchisor.

“Our core focus as a franchisor is to ensure that we have a profitable business model for our franchisees,” Ponton said. “As a former franchisee myself, I know that the two most important things about running a business are 1) earning a profit and 2) increasing the equity of the investment made to franchise with AAMCO. This is what I think about from the very first moment that I wake up in the morning, and it’s the reason AAMCO has made substantial investments on behalf of our franchisees — to simplify our business model and to educate our owner-operators and their teams to ensure that AAMCO centers remain the industry’s experts in Total Car Care and transmission repair.”

AAMCO franchisees have the tools to be industry experts

AAMCO doesn’t require its franchisees to have automotive experience before franchising with them, but it still is of paramount importance that the brand grows its reputation as the industry’s technical experts in Total Car Care, just as it has in transmission repair. AAMCO’s expertise in fixing the most complicated part of the car has made it a household name for the past 50 years, and AAMCO’s Total Car Care offering helps position the brand’s franchise owners to compete for a significant share of the $57 billion general automotive repair market, according to IBISWorld research.

“We create value for franchisees primarily by doing two things: 1) Help them improve bottom lines results, and 2) Help them create long-term enterprise value in their business and the investment our franchisees made in our brand,” Ponton said. “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.”

At AAMCO University, the brand’s state-of-the-art training and educational facility, AAMCO 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. AAMCO’s 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 and Global Powertrain Systems work together

AAMCO Rendering 8 bay center office

With nearly 700 centers across North America, AAMCO is actively seeking single and multi-unit operators who are passionate about our brand and committed to providing the highest-quality service.

AAMCO is the undisputed leading brand in transmission work. To help AAMCO franchise owners get a bigger slice of the $57 billion general automotive repair market, the brand launched its “Trust” campaign to expand the public’s perception of what AAMCO can do. After all, if AAMCO is trusted to fix the most complicated part of a car, the brand can surely change our customers’ oil, fix their brakes and rotate their tires.

When AAMCO made the decision to get into Total Car Care, the brand knew that it had to make its business model simpler. Rather than hiring a specialized transmission builder, AAMCO franchise owners can now purchase a high-quality remanufactured transmission from the Global Powertrain Systems state-of-the-art transmission remanufacturing facility. AAMCO can get a remanufactured transmission to over 70% of its franchisees the next day. This gives AAMCO franchisees immediate access to a vertically integrated supply chain with preferred pricing on our core transmission category, and helps AAMCO franchisees keep their costs low while they are focusing on increasing their profitability in the Total Car Care segment.

For Sherri Underland, co-owner of an auto repair franchise in Levittown, Pennsylvania, the AAMCO business model has become so efficient, that she is confident that she can run a profitable auto repair franchise.

“Now that AAMCO has a partnership with GPS, the business model is so simple that I could still run a successful business even if I didn’t have my husband to help me,” Underland said. “The benefits of the partnership with GPS are endless: There is a better warranty that we can offer our customers, and we are saving the salary that we would have to pay a builder — plus it reduces the challenges of maintaining a specialized labor workforce.”

Costs and fees of owning an AAMCO transmission franchise

With nearly 700 centers across North America, AAMCO is actively seeking single- and multi-unit operators who are passionate about the brand and committed to providing the highest-quality service. Interested candidates should have a minimum net worth of $250,000 and liquid assets of at least $65,000 per unit. Depending on the real estate site selected, franchisees can expect the total investment to be $227,400-$333,000, with a $39,500 initial franchise fee. Reduced franchise fees are available for honorably discharged veterans.

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