Meineke Shares Outlook, Strategy For 2019 And Beyond

By July 11, 2019No Comments

Meineke Car Care Centers, now in its 47thyear of operations, recently held its annual convention, March 10-13 in Las Vegas. In addition to sharing its outlook, strategic plan and key initiatives with its franchisees, vendors and industry partners, Meineke also recognized its top-performing franchisees across North America at the event. (See complete list of winners below.)

Following the conference, Danny Rivera, president of Meineke Car Care Centers, provided members of the media with an update on the company’s outlook for 2019. In a call with media, Rivera highlighted the shift that has been taking place at Meineke over the past year to become a more “high-tech and nimble” business.

Sales at Meineke are up six years in a row, with 2018 being the company’s best year in over a decade. Meineke is looking to build on that momentum with a focus on the customer, utilizing technology as a means to help serve them better.

With more than 850 locations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Meineke aims to be the solution for consumers’ total car care needs, Rivera said. While the franchisor may have once been known primarily for oil changes, thanks to its Econolube brand and its strong presence out West, Rivera says Meineke today does it all – from tires, brakes and alignment, to diagnostics, shocks and maintenance.

To up the ante this year, Meineke will utilize a new strategy it calls “e-inspection,” which aims to take the mystery out of auto repair for its customers.

“Consumers want to be knowledgeable about what they are buying,” said Rivera. “Cars are complicated pieces of machinery and they are intimidating. They require a lot of services and as a consumer you are coming in maybe for an oil change, thinking that is the only thing your car needs and lo and behold, you are told about other things your car needs. So, as we are trying to engender trust with consumers, we are trying to use technology to break that barrier.”

Rolling out now to 150 locations across the U.S., Meineke technicians will begin using tablets as part of the inspection process, with the goal of increasing transparency in the repair process for the consumer. Customers will be shown pictures of what the part in need of repair looks like, compared to the what the new recommended part looks like. These pictures will be sent to customers via email and text messaging, taking pressure out of the process, says Rivera.

Rivera added that once the e-inspection system reaches “critical mass” (meaning participation at 70 percent of Meineke locations), the company will begin to market and advertise the new program across the country.

A “relentless focus on delighting customers” is one of the things that sets Meineke apart from its competitors, said Rivera. “The industry, by and large, has been doing things the same way for a very long time … We take a stance on really trying to understand what consumers want and need and what are consumers asking for in general.”

Rivera said Meineke looked at major consumer brands like Amazon, Apple, Zappos and how they service customers for new ideas on what the automotive repair market can do differently today to provide a world-class experience for consumers. “Transparency and simplicity are two things that we try to put at the forefront,” Rivera said. “Removing mystery, educating them and putting them on a level playing field. Take the time to explain and help them feel knowledgeable so they feel like they have some sense of power.”

Second to its focus on the customer, Rivera said its ability to attract passionate and savvy business owners to the Meineke franchise family is the other key to its success. The company recognized these top franchisees at the conference in Las Vegas. Award winners included:

Franchisee of the Year Award

Lee, David and Phillip Repass, Lewes, Delaware

Growth Award

Morningside Holdings, Fort Worth, Texas

Most Improved Award

Sam Sa, Fair Lawn, Passaic and Butler, New Jersey

New Franchisee of The Year Award

Ivaylo and Engy Boutros, Ontario, Canada

Commitment to Excellence Award

Ramsay Brothers, York, Pennsylvania

Crystal Wood Memorial Award

Pete and Julie Robinson, Denver, Colorado

Crystal Wood Memorial Award

Greg Masewic and Marc Arnold, Concord, New Hampshire

Top Sales Award

Lee, David and Phillip Repass, Lewes, Delaware

Overall Sales Award

Samuel Rung, Thu Vu, and Jonathon Young Multiple Center Operator

Canadian Sales Award

Ross Coates, Mount Pearl, Connecticut

West Territory Sales Award

Bill Edwards, Los Angeles, California

Northeast Territory Sales Award

John Bird, Wilmington, Delaware

South Gulf Territory Sales Award

Larry Rath, Springdale Arkansas

North Central Territory Sales Award

Joe Saelens, Madison, Wisconsin

South Atlantic Sales Territory Award

Lee, David and Phillip Repass, Lewes, Delaware

Multiple Center Operator Award

Joe Cooper, Charlotte, North Carolina

Meineke Charitable Foundation Award

Bryan Brown, Louisville, Kentucky

Meineke Charitable Foundation Award

Scott Martin, Indianapolis, Indiana

Meineke Charitable Foundation Award

Kevin Leger, Phoenix, Arizona

“We are proud of these franchisees for their leadership and their accomplishments in 2018,” said Rivera. “These Meineke Car Care Centers represent the best of the best in providing trusted service to our customers, delivering reliable repairs, managing high-quality operations and, in turn, creating exemplary profitable performance.  The theme of our Meineke Convention – “ALL US. ALL IN” — showcased our roadmap for propagating these award-winning franchisees’ experiences and talents across the entire Meineke network. Combined with our 2019 strategic plan and long-term operational improvements, we are putting our operations in overdrive as we focus on achieving our business goals.”