Meineke Car Care Centers has opened its first new prototype location in Charlotte, N.C. The Meineke and Econo Lube N’ Tune cobranded center called “Meineke of the Future” is 5,334 square feet, which is larger than most existing Meineke and Econo Lube structures. It is Driven Brands’ first brick-and-mortar prototype combining the best of Meineke and Econo Lube operations.
“This new center showcases the best of Meineke and Econo Lube under a single roof,” said Dave Schaefers, senior vice president of franchise development. “The seven-bay facility has already experienced great weekly car count up there with some of our highest producing centers. We are very excited about the latest addition to Driven Brands and look forward to new franchisees using this build-out.”
Meineke of the Future was designed to test current thinking around an optimum service mix, equipment and technology with the aim of identifying what services, processes and equipment the prototype should include. The new prototype is constructed to handle more than 150 oil changes per week, with more lube pits and lanes plus dispensing and waste oil equipment than a typical Econo Lube. The co-branded center has a large inventory of tires, as well as the necessary tire changer and balance and alignment equipment to handle tire changes. The signage, waiting room and technology also have been updated to attract and retain more customers. The new prototype can handle twice as many customers per week as other cobranded centers and more than three times as many customers as a normal Meineke Car Care Center.
Driven Brands is the parent company to several other franchised automotive brands, in addition to Meineke and Econo Lube N' Tune. Other Driven Brands companies include Maaco (collision repair and auto painting), Drive N Style (automotive paint repair, vehicle reconditioning, protection and appearance maintenance, and aftermarket installation services), as well as Tortal.net, a training company that specializes in developing interactive online training solutions.
Growth projections for Meineke call for about 70 to 80 new franchises to be added in each of the next three years, with a total of approximately 180 to 200 franchises added by the end of 2014. Maaco plans to continue to expand its presence in markets across the U.S., and growth projections call for approximately 165 additional new centers to be opened by 2014. Markets targeted for expansion include Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Rochester, N.Y.